Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Around the Garden
So much is happening around the garden right now, it is hard to know where to start. We are harvesting food, one, two, three times a day, we are cleaning up beds...this week the potato bed and the snow pea and bush bean bed, and we are planting seeds for the fall and winter garden.
The garden is dealing with the hail damage pretty well. As you can see, many of the plants got hit hard, but amazingly they are still producing very well. The Swiss chard has bounced back, the cucumbers are growing like crazy and the tomatoes are ripening by the day. I dug up the potatoes, the plants had been hit hard, and completely died back. It was a pretty good harvest, but not as much as we had expected. We had a great harvest last year growing them in straw, this year we have had mixed results. I have turned the potato bed over, and let the chickens in to scratch around. Next spring this area will become our very own little berry orchard with more raspberries and blueberries.
I collected the rest of the snow peas and bush beans, and cleaned out that bed. The pole beans are slowly ripening, and I suspect over the next few days will we be collecting them by the bowlful. Pumpkins, squash and zucchini are doing very well despite the damage to their leaves. I harvest two or three zucchinis every few days. What doesn't get eaten gets shredded and frozen in one cup portions to be added to stews, soups and sauces over the winter. The cucumbers have surprised me the most. Even though they got hit very hard, they just won't stop growing. I have been pickling up a storm this week, and will continue to do so it seems, there are a lot of cucumbers out there. We tried a new cucumber in the garden this year, the salt and pepper cucumber. I highly recommend it. It is the yellow one up there in the photos. So good.
Reece is having a blast digging up carrots. As I work in the garden each day he sits at the carrot bed with his trowel, carefully loosening the earth, pulling gently and then squealing with delight as he pulls each carrot out of the ground. It is pure joy for him, and melts my heart every time I hear him squeal. Once he has harvested enough for dinner, he happily cuts off the green tops and carefully washes them with the hose. I love watching him take on this chore each day.
Soil and compost will be delivered this week. The cold frame, and the two new raised beds need to be filled, and the other beds will all get a good top up as they finish up the growing season. I planted the first seeds for the fall and winter garden this week. Kale, Swiss chard, beets and carrots all went in one of the raised beds that will be tunneled this winter. As I planted the carrot seeds, I called Reece over from his harvesting job to show him the carrot seeds. He was amazed that the tiny seeds in my hand grew into the carrots he was now harvesting. From seed to plate, I love that he is learning this lesson so early in life.
It has definitely been a full week in the garden, and thoroughly enjoyed by all of us.
How are things around your garden?