Thursday, September 1, 2011

Veggie Explosion!

Well, the garden update from our return from vacation cruising while long overdue is finally here.
The tomatoes are on the left of the photo, and the bean trellis is on the right.  The Nasturtiums in the fore front draw the aphids, a real problem here, from the beans and Toms,  as the aphids seem to like the Nasturtiums better.

At bottom left you can just see the Faba beans, (Actually harvested now, and eaten last night. (Amazingly, my daughter said that was the best thing she had ever eaten, and could tuck right into a big bowl of them....)  The Zucchini are huge in this photo, (these have since been harvested and we got 20 small salad slicing Zukes, and 12 large shredding Zukes before dusty mildew set in (also a problem here) and I had to pull the Zucchini so the dusty mildew doesn't set into the Cucumbers next to them before they start fruiting.  Just to the right are the tomato plants spilling over the garden bed.

And speaking about tomatoes, here is my experiment from last year.  I took all the green tomatoes, at the end of last season, and through them in this garbage can (previously used as a potato bin about 8 years ago) with holes drilled into it, and 8 or 9 shovelfuls of dirt and compost.  Well these Volunteers are going strong! (We have been picking cherry toms off this now for the past few to love Open Pollinated varieties!)

My heirloom shelling beans are going nuts!  Everyone who walks by wants to know what they are.  In the bed on the right, is Cranberry beans, and Jacobs Cattle.  In the bed on the left are Canelli Lingot, and Hidatsa Shield beans.  These being Dry shelling varieties, I will let them fruit, then dry on the vine, collecting them when they feel like little stones.  Yes I know that dry beans are super cheap, but from experience, I know that the Cranberry and Canelli Lingot I grow taste infinitely superior to anything I can purchase.  These beans serve as a protein in Soups, stews, and risottos we will eat throughout the Winter months.

Harvesting of the garlic.  Got a good haul, from the 4x4 bed pulled 48 head of garlic out.  Most medium sized, but some good sized ones I will save for starter seed, and some small, I will chop up and use in sauces.  These are now finishing their drying in the Garage, and will begin using them this week.  This is an Italian Heirloom variety of purple tinged Soft Neck Garlic, it is one of the best I have ever tasted.

Carrots!!! Real Carrots!!! Wow, I have tried carrots over the years, but my 8" tall beds just didn't give good results.  So putting them in my 24" tall bed, really worked.  Also, the TP seed tape worked wonderfully!  Not sure what type of carrots these are, as I forgot to label them when planted.  I just know they are tasty as all get out!  These have been used, and the bed still holds 35+ more carrots, so we pull them as needed.

As of this writing, I have harvested much of what was planted earlier, here is a brief synopsis of harvest so far:
Faba Beans - 4 lbs
Zucchini - 30 lbs
Cucumbers - 12 lbs and still going strong
Onions - 10 lbs with another 30 lbs in the ground still
Garlic - 8 lbs
Green beans - 6 lbs and still going strong
Kale - 2 lbs
Beets - 10 lbs and still going strong
Spinach - 3 lbs
Peas - 4 lbs
Lettuce - 3 lbs
Raspberries - 2 lbs
Blueberries - Scant Handful....but hey, they are still young plants
Tomatoes - 2 lbs, with approximately 40 lbs at the breaker stage on the plant, and another 20 lbs green.

I have also planted, Butternut squash, and Small Sugar Pumpkins, with the weather we've had, I don't expect to get pumpkins by Halloween, but since I these are for Culinary use, if they come in November I'm happy with that.

And my experiment for this year is Watermelon and Cantaloupe.  These have gone bonkers in this warm weather we are having, and I have tons of little flowers, and 12 visible small watermelons and 8 visible small Cantaloupe.  I have not dug through the morass of vines to see whats on the inside of the 4x8 raised bed (the vines have spilled 3 feet out from this bed onto the rocks around the bed!)  I am optimistic by nature, but realize that I need strong weather we are not normally known for through September to call this experiment a success.

Next post will be an update on the Girls...big news there.


1 comment:

  1. Your garden rocks man. Well done!Your garden rocks man. Well done!