But she, and Our Happy Acres, and Diary Of A Tomato, and Seeding The Good Life, and Grow A Good Life, and Simple Garden Made Easy, and Mike's Bean Patch...the list goes on...all apparently have a similar climate, and all seem to be light years ahead of us, harvesting much more good stuff. I wish I knew why.
But we are finally harvesting some things anyway. We get nearly daily pickings from the lettuce and spinach in this bed:
Enough for salads every day, and spinach for the freezer. The spinach is starting to bolt, though. In a few days we should be picking the snow peas behind them. As with all the beds directly sown this spring, germination was spotty.
One bright spot has been broccoli. The early variety Blue Wind gave us 3 heads this week, with this one the largest:
We've got 6 Arcadia and 6 Fiesta teed up--the plants are very healthy but the heads are still very small. I think not practicing pure square foot technique here made a difference--one every other square instead of the recommended one per square.
Another bright spot is the bed of onions and potatoes. This is the first time I've tried to grow potatoes, and the results so far seem to be great. They are putting out flower buds.
It's kind of strange, but last summer I planted a few squares of kale (Dwarf Blue Curled). They never amounted to anything by fall; just a few inches tall. I covered them with a cold frame anyway, and when I uncovered them in the spring they looked almost dead, and of course no bigger. That bed was one of two I am resting this year, so I planted a cover crop of field peas. The peas grew quickly, and for some reason, the kale decided to grow too. So we were surprised to find usable kale when we went to chop down the peas this week. We took it all.
Enough for a meal, anyway. Here's what the beds look like. Their frames have rotted, so now they just look spooky. That's another project...
We continue to have a bumper crop of tarragon and The Kitchen Goddess is putting it to creative use beyond just drying. Here is Tarragon - Chive Flower Vinegar before...
And here's tarragon compound butter, in the freezer now just waiting to be applied to sauces or our first baked potatoes!
In the spirit of sharing how we use our harvests, our Saturday night dinner was green salad and grilled venison tacos, with all components (except the cheese, which we haven't gotten involved in yet, and the tortillas, which we could but were too busy to make ourselves) coming from our own hands. And paired with a half-bottle of our own Black Rot Wine--so called because that fungus decimated our vineyard last year and we were only able to salvage a few grapes. It's been bottle-aging since fall, and when we opened it up (first time), surprise! Bubbles!! How did that happen?
Now for an update on the progress of "The Survival Garden," introduced here. The Red Flint corn is up and thinned, and the two varieties of dry beans are up as well, though only about 75% survived whatever ate the seedlings. The pumpkins are doing all right, too.
It's not a true three-sisters garden, or if it is, it's the three sisters that don't get along.
So that's it for this week. I would like to thank The Kitchen Goddess for pitching in and shouldering all the burden of garden chores this week while I was out of commission with an injured back.
Happy harvests to all!
Actually you're far ahead of my garden and I'm in zone 6 - I have no broccoli formed in main garden, but there is a small head forming in community; your onions are twice as big as mine (the two i pulled were overwintered from last year and grew under hoop cover), and your potatoes look much taller than mine as well :) Don't feel too bad, your garden and harvest is very lovely.ReplyDelete
Thank you! Though looking at your pictures I would hardly say I'm ahead of you.Delete
It certainly has been a crazy spring and I am feeling behind as well. Most of my spring greens went in late and only produced a few harvests before they began bolting. Right now the lettuce is hanging on. Your potatoes are ahead of mine. They look good and you will be enjoying some baby potatoes soon. The beetle is a three lined potato beetle. They look similar to the cucumber beetles. I have these too but don't worry about them too much. They will eat the foliage though and reproduce as the season progresses. Take care of your back. I hope it feels better soon.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Rachel. I am feeling better. And thanks for the identification of the beetle. I looked it up, and apparently it is not as bad a pest as the Colorado variety, or so says UNH Extension.Delete
Well, your spinach looks much better than mine ever did and that broccoli head is beautiful. That's so funny with the kale - apparently some varieties overwinter very well - I definitely want to try that this year. Now I just have to make sure I remember to plant some in the fall :)ReplyDelete
Thank you! I will try kale again this summer, as the small picking we had was delicious.Delete
Your broccoli looks much prettier than mine! Enjoy all your harvests. It is strange how every garden seems to grow at its own pace. Your potatoes look so big and healthy. Mine never got that big and lush and now they are fading away without much underground to show for it.ReplyDelete
Thank you Julie. I feel I am cheating a little by planting such an early variety of broccoli--60 days.Delete
I find myself trying to compare my garden to others and it usually turns out to be a depressing practice. Bubble in your wine? Well now - I have no experience in wine making but if you like a bit of bubbly now and then good for you. If not... I hope someone has the answer. ;-)ReplyDelete
You're right...there will always be successes and failures, so why dwell on the failures?Delete
I think within a climate zone there are all sorts of microclimates. We had a wet but cool spring that favored greens and Brassicas, but not peppers, beans or squash.ReplyDelete
Those potatoes are sure looking good. And you might be behind a few gardens, but you have spinach while it is just a fond memory here!!!
Thanks Dave. Let's hope the peppers etc. catch up.Delete
Well my broccoli hasn't headed up yet, so you are ahead of me there. I only planted the other two you have, Fiesta and Arcadia. I do see little heads on some of them though, so I'm hoping soon.ReplyDelete
I overwinter dwarf blue curled kale every year without protection here (zone 6b). They are pretty hardy. I love them and the Winterbor (which isn't quite as hardy) because it gives me early greens to eat.
Wow, no protection? I am definitely going to try it again this year then.Delete