July 24, 2015
In the last couple of weeks the garden has gone nuts. We were watering it with lake water but lately we have had warm weather and plenty of rain, perfect conditions for creating a jungle garden. I mulched all the paths with straw. The mulch is doing its job at helping to retain moisture and reduce weeding.
We were away in the city for 4 days this week and we astonished at how quickly everything grew.
The raspberries are awesome this year. We are picking every other day and freezing what we can’t eat.
One of the things I like best about our Vestfrost Fridge is the ice-cube tray. We have little use for ice cubes; however, I am aways freezing things like bananas, beans, chickpeas, raspberries, green beans, etc that you would normally freeze on a cookie sheet. The ice-cube tray is perfect because there is no worry of tipping the tray. Once they are frozen, I just transfer to a freezer bag.
The beans are suddenly ready and in abundance, both green and yellow. I scaled down my plantings this year and so am able to pick them clean every other day. We eat what we can, give away some and freeze the rest. I hope by picking the plants clean I can extend the bean picking season.
The beets and carrots are now just perfect size for that first summer feed. As soon as the carrots get finger size I start dreaming about a vegetable stew like the one I had at the Zerabny’s 40 years ago. New potatoes, baby carrots, peas, beans, onions and garlic in a thick broth. Oh so good. I made one the other day. See the recipe on Ponderosa Cooks.
The peas are now ready for picking, two different varieties. And it looks like it will be a bumper crop this year. Right now, we are able to keep up eating them fresh, but soon I will have to freeze them if I am going to keep up with the harvest. Green peas are a powerhouse of nutrition and nutrition never tasted better.
The potatoes are taking over the garden. Next week we will dig a hill and see what we have.
We have been eating small yellow zucchini for a couple of weeks now, but suddenly the zucchini making machine has slipped into overdrive. Will have to take today’s picking into town tomorrow and find a few lucky recipients. With four plants (2 golden, 2 green) I will have to be diligent in picking or I will be overrun.
Most exciting is my brassica crop. I have never been able to grow broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or kale in other gardens without them being consumed by the cabbage butterfly. Since I have no wish to dump toxic pesticides on my veggies, I opted to pay the extra amount for organic produce from the market garden. However, this location, perhaps because it is so remote, is perfect. No cabbage butterfly problems. I have beautiful broccoli’s beginning to form. Large luscious cabbages starting to fill out. And loads of kale. The cauliflowers are doing well but so far no sign of heads forming. I remain patiently optimistic.
We have been enjoying loads of fresh lettuce and spinach for almost a month now. The spinach is starting to go to seed, but the lettuce is still nice and tender. The romaine and buttercrunch lettuces are heading out nicely.
I was super surprised and excited to find my first cucumber today. Can’t wait to bite into this one.
The tomatoes are growing like crazy. Most of them are staked and each week they grow taller and taller. The are beginning to form tiny tomatoes and I look forward to toasted tomato sandwiches and Tomato Crouton Casserole. This casserole may seem odd but its a real treat for your taste buds. The only kicker is that you need fresh garden tomatoes to make it. So once again, I wait patiently for my firsts red tomatoes, dreaming of this luscious casserole.
And there is lots of basil, parsley, oregano. rosemary and sage as well. I have been cutting and drying but I see a basil pesto in my near future.
Although the majority of my garden space is taken up by veggies, there are plenty of flowers as well. The sunflower is starting to head out, the poppies are blooming and the calendula has begun showing its lovely yellow face amongst the bachelor buttons.
And Mom’s lilies are putting on a wonderful show this year.
This is the first summer I have had off since the kids were small. Summer was always a busy time at work and gardening was a weekend task. It is lovely to do a bit every day and really enjoy each moment and the bounty offered.