August Garden Update

August 5, 2017

Garden Season is in full swing. Suddenly the garden has blossomed and we are working hard to make good use of her bounty – eating, freezing and drying whatever we can. This is such an exciting time of year. I love doing my morning walkabout, deciding what we can eat or preserve each day. And all the mulching is really paying off, with only a small amount of time spent weeding. It has been hot and dry this year, and we are giving the garden a good watering about once a week. The mulch helps retain the moisture.

We pulled the first hill of potatoes and we astonished to find about 4 litres of nice sized potatoes. We gave these away to visiting guests, John and Gerry, but will be sure to pull another hill soon to eat.

Lettuce, lettuce and more lettuce – romaine,  buttercrunch and leaf lettuce. Stevie, our New Zealand guest informed us that romaine is called cos and the other lettuces I grow are referred to as “Fancy Lettuce”. I like that cause they do look pretty fancy! The spinach is finished and gone to seed, but there is still plenty of kale, Swiss Chard and beet greens. There is more greens than we can consume, but we have been drying some in the dehydrator to make green powder for winter smoothies.

The Brassica Covers that Ken built are working really well. So far I have harvested 3 cabbages, 2 cauliflower, a whole bunch of broccoli and plenty of kale – all without any cabbage worms. Today we pulled out all the kale and collards that were planted outside the covers as they are getting too chewed up. Luckily we have lots growing under the covers and I planted some more today after pulling out all the broccoli as it has stopped producing. I will definitely add a few more covers next year so that I can grown the collards and more kale.

We have been eating snap pea for a week and just started enjoying regular peas. We have been freezing all the snap peas we don’t eat, but the other peas will just be for fresh eating. The green beans are also producing like crazy and we have started freezing those as well.  There is lots of nice onions – bulbs and greens – to eat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The squash are starting to spread, blossom and produce.  We enjoyed our first zucchinis today and will soon have Scalloped Squash (or Patty Pat).

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cucumbers are blooming like crazy and we should be able to harvest some in another week. The tomatoes are beginning to ripen as well and we have enjoyed some Tiny Tims.

The fancy tomato stakes Ken made have been wasted on the cherry tomatoes. After checking the seed package I see why they are not climbing like crazy – I bought a dwarf variety. Duh!

It is amazing how well the peppers, basil and eggplant are doing in my little greenhouse. The self watering system is working really well and the plants are large, leafy, healthy and full of fruit. The peppers are large and still green, but very tasty. We had some pretty hot and sunny days in the last couple of weeks and a couple of them got sunburned.

My herbs are also doing well – lots of basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, cilantro/coriander, chives, sage, peppermint and stevia. I have dried quite a bit for winter use as well as enjoyed many fresh pestos and herb dressings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raspberry season is in full swing. We have been picking about 1 or 2 quarts of berries almost every day for a week. So far we have not gotten tired of eating raspberries – in salads, on our breakfast cereal, as raspberry lemonade, mixed with coconut milk yogurt or made into a dessert. Any we don’t eat I have been pureeing and freezing for flavoring my kombucha during the winter.

Our garden addition is coming along as well. We cut down the trees this winter and the stumps and roots have now been removed. Ken is tilling it under and this week I plan to plant forage radishes. They are used as a cover crop supressing fall weeds, with the added bonus that their tap roots can extend 6 feet into the soil. I am hoping they will add some good humus to the soil and break it up as well.

 

Summertime is here!

 

 

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About Darlene & Ken

Experiencing life off the grid, building a home, and trying to live sustainably.
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