Monday, August 1, 2011
Mid-Summer Day Dream
Ta-dah! So much bigger and better than last year. We just got our soil test back from our local extension office. The results were: very high nutrients, excellent pH - do nothing!
We just got back from vacation and have some catching up to do with harvesting. It's amazing how much everything grew.
The flowers are going crazy. Lots of bouquets inside the house.
We're harvesting plenty of carrots and beginning to regularly get ripe outdoor cherry tomatoes. We spaced the tomatoes too close together so harvest is a bit hard. Next year we'll do 2 tomatoes across each bed and stagger the cage placement. We also need to be a lot more aggressive about pruning early on in the season. We love our scarlet nantes carrots the best but also enjoy purple haze. The purple haze carrots ripen pretty quickly and have a lovely color gradient from purple to orange and then yellow.
The fennel is ready to harvest. The celery is doing well as are the brassicas. We're just about done harvesting kohlrabi and ready to try for a second planting.
Our first crop of ever-bearing strawberries has slowed down considerably. Hopefully we've got enough season left to get one more crop. We enjoyed eating fresh strawberries so much that we didn't freeze and preserve any. Behind the strawberries, our rhubarb is growing very well and the garlic is just about ready to all be harvested.
Some of the lettuce is starting to go to the seed. At that point it becomes chicken food. Behind this is a relatively new planting of carrots. Even further back are the peas. They are covered in snow peas and sugar snap peas.
The shade garden is growing slowly but steadily. I imagine that next year or the year after this spot might look quite lush.
The elephant garlic is about ready to harvest. The black currants are in and ripe! These are pretty good for fresh eating, but we're looking forward to using them to make wine. We're getting a couple raspberries as well. These beds are looking pretty wild because we're moving everything out of them next spring when we plant the berry patch.
We're going to be up to our eyeballs in potatoes!! It's time for us to start acquiring bins, sand and burlap bags for storing our potatoes. Growing these is the easy part, now we've got to learn how to store them properly so that we get potatoes all winter.
The cucurbit bed is amazing! Last year we had some difficulty with squash not getting pollinated (I'm not sure how that happened given that we raise bees on our property) and/or blossom end rot. This year we're getting bunches of patty pan, yellow crook-neck and zucchini squash. We've also got butternut squash and sugar pumpkins that are doing well. The cucumbers are growing more slowly but starting to fruit. Note to self - next year we should plant the squash at the same spacing (i.e., 2 ft apart) but the cucumbers need to be a lot tighter (i.e., 1 ft apart).
The corn is starting to tassel. Maybe we'll get a couple ears of corn... not sure what is going wrong here. We have excellent soil fertility for corn, is it just too cold at night?
Our beautiful harvest from last night. We had meatloaf (locally raised beef) with shredded carrots and zucchini, sauteed patty-pan with onions and fennel, mashed potatoes and rhubarb crisp. Delicious!