June 16, 2014
I went to pick some more peas this week…to find that they had stopped flowering and there were only a few which had not plumped up. I guess it was time to rip them out! I love getting fresh peas but they are one of the harder crops to harvest and shelling them is rough on one’s fingers so I was not too upset that the spring pea season was over!(That bowl wasn’t quite big enough…had to get another one)We got a good crop this year (thank you Kitty for keeping the bunnies away!). The second planting produced long pods and fat peas.(my husband’s hand 😉 )
The chickens LOVE the pea shells and we put a tunnel over the area so some chickens could eat the rest of the aphids before we planted something else…
We are lightly steaming this batch of peas each night. The kids decided they like them better this way (rather than raw).
My daughter wanted to pull her carrots. The tops looked so wonderful, she felt sure they were ready 😉 We allowed her to pull one but she pulled and pulled and NOTHING. I pulled and pulled and still, it would not budge! I got a trowel out to help and I finally got most of the carrot up, but not before the top ripped off and the bottom broke off as well. We tried pulling another one and the same thing happened. I find it very interesting that the carrots look so good (very straight and very long) and yet, they were impossible to pull…interesting. We convinced her to leave the rest of her carrots in the ground. They definitely need more time to plump up.
Spinach and Lettuce
I harvested the last of the bolting spinach this week and ripped up the plants. Even though we love spinach and will miss our spinach salads, we are getting a TON of lettuce.
Even with the biweekly plantings, we still do not have enough kale! You heard me correctly…we would eat sauteed kale or kale salads every day if it were up to us. One day I’ll get the hang of all that needs to be planted…one day…
And last but Certainly not least…
Earlier this week, I was able to pick enough for everyone to have one. Later in the week, we got a handful (literally) of blueberries. This week is going to be insanely busy — I think it will work out really well because I think this is the last week of easy-going gardening. Starting next week and not ending until the end of July, harvests will pick up, blueberries being one of them.
Too bad the kids want to start schooling again next week (we took a break after the baby was born). And, no, they cannot help me harvest the blueberries. The 1yo has been banned from the blueberry patch because he keeps picking unripe berries. He follows his older siblings around so if they help, he’ll want to help. ‘Good thing’ the baby has been feeding around 4 or 5am so I’ll be able to get in some harvesting before it gets too hot and before the kids wake up.
- Picking squash and potato bugs every day
- Pruning tomato plants about once a week
- Planting carrots, lettuce, kale, cucumbers, zucchini
- Starting the Fall Garden by planting celery and cabbage
- Ripped up the spinach, broccoli and cabbage (the worms got to them and they were pretty much destroyed — the chickens LOVED the worms!…I WILL cover the plants this fall!)
As you may or may not know, I do not have a seed starting area in my house. Our house is in the woods so growing things in a window is impossible. I refuse to spend money on lights, etc…not to mention there is no room for any of that stuff.
Each year, I just do my best direct seeding…many times nothing comes up (too hot when they need to be started) but sometimes I get a few crops. This year, I am playing with some ideas. This week I implemented one of them: starting seeds in the sunflower boxes. This way, they still get sun but also get some shade throughout the day.
When the seedlings are big enough, I will transplant them into the overflow garden where I plan on covering them for the winter with the chicken tractor-turned hoophouse. This week, I planted celery and cabbage in the sunflower box. I had no luck with celery this spring but thought I would try again in the Fall Garden. I really hope I can figure out how to grow celery one day (soon) because we eat (and juice) a TON of it!
Hopefully, next week I’ll be telling you about new chicks (they are due this Friday)! I hope all of these aren’t duds as well.
We’re still getting about 14-16 eggs/day 🙂 We are trying to find new ways to eat them. We are steaming them, eating a lot more omelets, and just recently we made egg salad for the first time ever. It was a HIT!
I am playing around with freezing eggs for the winter as well. I froze some in ice cube trays. They are nearly impossible to pop out I think I am just going to freeze them in little zip baggies and nestle those in a freezer bag. We eat at least 8 at a time anyway (if I’m cooking for all the children). It’s really not worth it to freeze them individually.
Check out what everyone else is harvesting and what they are doing with their harvests at Daphne’s Dandelions 🙂