Welcome to another Harvest Monday report from Eight Gate Farm, brought to you by Daphne's Dandelions. Thanks, Daphne!
It's been a beautiful weekend here. It's nice that the craziness of April and May is behind us, and the chores are not so taxing. At least for awhile...
The first broccoli of the year! I took the three heads of "Blue Wind."
They weren't particularly large, but the florets were starting to separate. You also might notice that some of the beads look undeveloped, or withered. I consulted Prof. Google, and found an article on Brown Bead, which seems to describe the symptoms. It's environmental in cause, not a disease per se, caused by rapid growth in high temperatures after abundant rainfall or irrigation. I'm not sure about abundant irrigation, but the temperatures did get warm quickly.
We decided to hit the mesclun bed hard, and take out the kale-y things, leaving the lettuce-y things to get bigger (sorry to get all scientific on you). Here's the harvest:
A little birdie told me it might be time to pick cherries. Literally! I was working in the garden and a Gray catbird zoomed by with a bright red cherry in its beak. So we went over to the orchard, and spooked a lot of his friends, taking my cherries! There weren't a lot of deep red ones, but even the ones with just a blush tasted sweet, so we took what we could reach.
There is disagreement about whether or not cherries will continue to ripen off the tree. Does anyone know? Anyway, there's still a lot out there, if the birds don't get them all. These were out of reach:
Speaking of irrigation, I do have the entire garden set up on drippers with timers. It's on for 15 minutes, every other day. Doesn't sound like a lot. But I noticed something interesting. The zuchinni on the bottom left is twice as big as his neighbors. I realized that his micro-sprinkler wasn't working. So am I over-watering the others? Just to be safe, I shut them all off.
Another question for readers. The dill is starting to flower, earlier than I can remember. That's okay, but I like dill leaves too. Will it continue to grow once it starts flowering?
Now for some progress-shots. In the foreground are the Brussels sprouts (one passed away, root maggots I suspect) and broccoli, then potatoes and onions, and in the background some of the grapevines, which The Kitchen Goddess did a great pruning job on. You couldn't see through them before.
Snow peas in bloom, and taller snap peas behind them not flowering yet.
Leeks (finally growing), and Dwarf Blauwshockkers peas, also not flowering, but I'm starting to crave pea soup already!
That's it for this week. Thanks for reading, and I hope your garden chores have also settled down, so you can just enjoy watching things grow.
The garden is looking good. Blue Wave is indeed early and quick to flower. When I grew it under cover, I didn't pay attention and opened the covers to find 3 yellow bouquets, so you were smart to cut it. Doesn't look like you are over-watering the squash, could just be normal variation in plants or a little extra compost in that hill?ReplyDelete
Thanks, Dave! I like the earliness of Blue Wind. Last year we did not get many side-shoots--we'll see this year. The soil for the squash is new, so no amendments were added. Could be normal variation.Delete
Yum - cherries! We just netted our tree last week; our cherries are still green and I think they have to fatten up a bit too. I have no idea if they will ripen off the tree, so you'll have to give us an update on that if no one else has an answer. Our big cherry pest around here seems to be the plum curculio - the last time we had a (small) cherry harvest, about 1/3 or so of them were infected - is that a problem where you are?ReplyDelete
Well, your broccoli is way ahead of mine - no heads yet & I still have to resow the seedlings that didn't make it to the transplant stage. Hopefully I'll have a better fall broccoli harvest than I will a summer one.
Oh god, Margaret, another disease to worry about. I'll look up the symptoms and see if my trees have it. Good luck with your broccoli.Delete
To answer your dill question, I would expect you can just snip the flower heads off and the leaves will keep growing. Most plant tolerate that fine. Mine was started a bit late so no flowers yet but that is what I will do when they form. If I'm not ready for pickles then I will dry them to store til I am :-)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Emelia. I will probably try snipping the flower heads.Delete
I had the brown bead on some of my broccoli last year. It looked bad but didn't seem to hurt the plants or the taste that much. I don't know if cherries continue to ripen or not. We do let blueberries sit for a day to let them deepen in color a bit, but they are surely not cherries!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Dave. The cherries are pretty sweet now so I can eat some while I wait for the others to get darker (or not).Delete
I've noticed that dill often makes some side branches while the terminal seed head forms. Still the best way to ensure a steady supply of dill greens is to keep dropping seeds in open spots. You can never have too much dill.ReplyDelete
The dill is from transplants, which I subsequently read is not recommended. Maybe that's why they are flowering early. There are some volunteers in that spot too, but they are still tiny. I love dill, but not when it pops up where it is not welcome.Delete
Wouldn't it be nice if the birds just ate the cherries that were out of reach? :)ReplyDelete
My veggie garden chores have slowed down but now I'm in fire prevention mode. Spent most of yesterday cutting back and removing shrubbery that was too close to the garage. I've been tackling the dry grass off and on over the last couple of weeks with the whacker. Still have some tree trimming to do, some of which I'll hire someone to do, I'm not into climbing trees or ladders. Then maybe I can relax and watch the veggies grow.
Thanks, Michelle. The birds are both greedy and lazy. Yes, get your fire break set, then you can relax!Delete
I always pull my dill when I pick the seed head, so no clue. Though they always look like they are about to die when I clip off the head. The green foliage starts dying on me.ReplyDelete
Your garden is looking lovely.
Thanks, Daphne. I don't think I'll let the dill go to seed just yet. I will be a good experiment.Delete
Broccoli and sprouts look wonderful! I had a few started early which look strong but no heads yet (and more seedlings for fall planting). LOL on the little birdie - I used to have a mulberry tree and I knew they were ready to harvest when I started seeing purple bird poop on the white siding of my house. Sigh ...ReplyDelete
Haha, purple poop! Thanks for your comments. Your broccoli should do fine.Delete
What a wonderful selection to pick! Love the pictures. Do you have hard time with birds eating your cherries? Mine got stripped by bluejays :(ReplyDelete