July 21, 2014
Sorry for the silence. I’ve been having blogging issues. They’re not fully fixed but hopefully they will be soon 🙂
We are getting more variety these days!
The blueberries have finally slowed down. Instead of getting 8 quarts of blueberries/day, last week we got 13 quarts for the whole week and this week only 8. Still plenty to feed us (along with strawberries) but none to freeze.
Next week, I think we’ll be able to harvest our first watermelon! 🙂 We have raspberry canes also but no berries. I wonder why. We’ve never had much luck with raspberries. Hopefully one year they will take off. I worry it is the climate. Is zone 7b too hot for raspberries? I realize we will have to buy fruit in the winter months but I would love to not buy fruit from the store during the summer months!
As you can see, we are getting zucchinis! We were able to harvest our first zucchini two weeks ago. It was very exciting since last year, I did not have any and already this year, squash bugs have killed two zucchini plants. Now, we are getting about 2/day and I am running out of ways to eat them 🙂
We are getting about two cucumbers and a handful of tomatoes daily. I planted a lot of colored bell peppers so though there are a lot on the plants, I am still waiting for them to ripen fully. We have harvested a few green ones while we wait on the rest. I am just finishing up the gallon freezer bag full of diced peppers from last summer. It worked out perfectly. Only problem — I can’t remember if I had two bags of peppers or only one…
We officially are not harvesting lettuce anymore. It all had to be ripped up. WAY too bitter from all the mid-90 degree days. I have some baby red romaine growing so we’ll see in a week or two how that tastes but until then, no lettuce. We can still (theoretically) have salads…with kale. There are only two problems:
- With lettuce, we just have lettuce, no dressing. With kale, I have to marinate (more fore-thought)
- The cabbage moths are out like CRAZY. My kale that looked so beautiful this past month are holey now 😦 I have to throw half of it to the chickens. So sad.
We are able to harvest beans once a week. I need to remember to plant beans in a row from now on. When they are in a block, they are much more difficult to harvest. I am also thinking about growing the purple variety just so I can harvest more easily (more easily visible)!Another thought on beans…I grew pole beans around my corn mainly for the purpose of annoying the raccoons. However, I am unable to harvest the vast majority and that is just a waste. So, I was thinking, maybe next year, I can plant my pinto & black beans around my corn…
- It will climb the corn, taking care of the raccoon issue.
- AND I won’t need to harvest them until I harvest the corn so I won’t be missing out on my bean harvest!
Sounds too simple…there must be an issue…but I can’t think of one yet. We’ll see how it works next year, if I can remember 😉
The last thing on the harvest tally this week is potatoes. I was just picking potatoes as we needed them but the red potatoes started looking…not smooth? I read somewhere that red potatoes are best eaten ‘new’ and if they are in the ground too long, they will become hollow. So I went ahead and pulled all of the red potatoes. I did it at dusk and when I was planting some kale seeds this week (very shallowly), I raked a potato up. I’m sure I missed some. I just hope it was not too many. The potatoes are in the basement, in a plastic milk crate, stacked and covered with newspaper. We are using these first. The other two types of potatoes we have are yukon gold and purple. What I want to do is leave them in the ground (until first frost) and use them as needed, rather than having to pull them all at once. Is that something I can do? Or do I need to pull them all as soon as the plants die back? I need some gardening advice (per usual)!
We also pulled our first corn but I can’t seem to find any pictures right now…
I’m trying to find a way to eat all of these veggies. I am fine with monotony — same veggies, cooked the same way, every night — but I’m afraid after a little while, my kids will say ENOUGH. So I am trying to find a variety of ways to cook them, healthily.
One night, we had steamed corn, potatoes, and green beans and zucchini tater tots. Another night we had the same thing, but this time with zucchini fritters (we like the tots better). Later in the week, we had pasta primavera, zucchini quiche, and steamed corn on the cob. It was SO beautiful! We used our zucchini, bell peppers, yellow squash, onions, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and eggs. It was a bit time consuming & I do have a 2mo who likes to be held A LOT. But I decided next time, if I have someone home to hold the cutie patootey, I’m also going to make kale salad and mashed potatoes. Other than cucumbers, that will take care of ALL we have been harvesting from the garden 🙂 And fruit for dessert, of course…maybe some banana, blueberry, strawberry ‘ice cream’. Our favorite!
The sad news: no pictures. The camera wasn’t working and my husband was away with all of his cameras (wedding photographer). I WILL be making that supper many more times though so pictures will come eventually. Everyone but the 2yo loved it. He was just skeptical because he couldn’t tell what everything was. He loves cherry tomatoes but because I cut them up, it took a lot of convincing to get him to try them. Silly boy.
Can you tell I’m trying to be especially creative with zucchini? I have never had luck growing zucchini but this year, I have three plants that are producing wonderfully! They are in the old pea patch. Everything seems to do well in that area. It was prepped by the chickens last summer. I used 3 zucchini in our supper last night and we still have 7 on the counter! I know I could freeze it but I would rather use it fresh 🙂
The mama hen, with the 4 week old chick, has started laying again! Crazy. And I think our other chick (of the rooster/hen pair) may be laying…I don’t know how to tell without looking at her bottom though & that ain’t happenin’. Her comb is getting red though. She (and the rooster/her brother) are my daughter’s and she wants to get paid for the eggs so we do need to know when she starts laying…question is: is is worth it to isolate her to see?
Head on over to Daphne’s Dandelions to see what other gardeners around the world are harvesting! 🙂