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?

44 comments:

  1. My, you have had a great gardening week. I can almost hear Reece as he finds another carrot.
    Good for you in already getting a start on your fall garden. My fingers are crossed that yesterday was the last massive thunderstorm so now things can dry out and I can get to work, it's a mess out there.

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    1. It is such a wonderful sound Tracey. He woke up this morning asking when he could go harvest the carrots. So sweet.

      I hope things dry out for you so you can get out there and get your hands dirty :)

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  2. What a wonderful harvest, and so amazing for Reece to be so immersed in it all. Also I've not really noticed your back fencing and gate before, but they really stood out to me in that first photo and look great, love the lines of them.

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    1. He is loving it Sally, and so am I. Thank you, that is actually the front of our property, and that fence came with the house when we moved in 17 years ago :)

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  3. what a wonderful chore for a little guy to have... harvesting and cleaning carrots !!! I glad to hear your harvest is bountiful, even after the damage from the hail storm. have a great day!!

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    1. The best part about it Erica is that he loves doing it. Pure joy exudes from him while he is harvesting and cleaning them.

      Thank you.

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  4. So your pole beans are just getting ready now? I was wondering why mine are so late... (this is the first time I've done beans.) So maybe we aren't unusual...
    And I need to tell my husband I need at least two garden beds next year!

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    1. They are! We picked the first one yesterday :) We should be able to harvest a ton in the next few days.

      YES on more garden beds, can you ever have enough?

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    2. What kind of beans did you plant this year? (I planted Kentucky Wonder and they're so tough... I hope if I pick them early, they'll be better.)

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    3. We planted Blue Lake, first year trying them, and we love them. Harvested the first batch for canning yesterday. So good!

      Here they are: http://www.veseys.com/ca/en/store/organicseed/organic/bluelakeorganic

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  5. Crosspost: I see you are having compost and soil delivered. :) Do you have a formula you use in your beds? Do you use apply anything during the growing season or just rely on the composition of the soil in your beds? I apologize for peppering you with questions. Best, Rachel

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    1. Yes, we had it delivered today. No special formula, just put some in each bed and mix it up a bit. During the growing season it really depends. If something looks like it needs it then I will use an organic kelp extract as a fertilizer, but for the most part with such a short growing season I don't find I need anything extra. No problem on the questions, hope my answers helped.

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    2. Thank you Kim! I will look into the kelp extract. I've never heard of using that before.

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    3. No problem, happy to help.

      Here's a link to the one I use...http://www.cottagegardener.com/catalog/plants/organic-kelp-seaweed-extract-fertilizer/

      Any other questions just let me know :)

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  6. I love your garden and never tire of seeing pictures of it. We are getting cucumbers very sporadically which makes pickling a bit of a problem so we are just eating them in salads. Glad to see you got a potato harvest. My kids love pulling up carrots too and then snacking on them in the garden. Our green beans are coming along nicely but I doubt we'll ever get a tomato to ripen! Getting more plums than I know what to do with.
    That last picture is making me very hungry.... gosh it looks delicious.

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    1. Awe, thank you Emma. We have a ton of green tomatoes, and are getting some cooler weather. Really hoping it warms up so they all ripen. Plums..how lovely to have those growing. How about a plum jam. I can almost taste it :)

      Thank you, that was dinner with our carrots and potatoes. Love eating food grown in the backyard :)

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  7. You must be so proud of your garden! It is beautiful, everything!

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  8. The gardens look wonderful and so bountiful. We have been harvesting tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, green peppers and hot peppers almost every day. It is amazing how quickly they grow. I am finding myself putting up food late into the evenings this summer.

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    1. Thanks Kathleen. It seems lately that overnight things are growing, it is crazy, eh? I have been doing the same late into the evening. Either that or early in the morning while my two men sleep :)

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  9. glad you did not lose everything from that storm, you never know with mother nature. We had one yes one cucumber and that is it. I bought a bush variety instead of our regular burpless one and it just did not like my yard...the tomatoes are coming and the peppers! my we have peppers coming out of our ears.

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    1. Oh no, just one. I wish I could send you some, we have them coming out of our ears :) Enjoy those peppers.

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  10. Don't you just love The Cottage Gardener? Been doing business with them for years, just amazing sweet people with amazing seeds and values.

    I'm so happy stuff is bouncing back. Your gardens still look amazing to me!

    Things here are doing well : We finally have broccoli and cauliflower growing (we planted too late, but looks like we will have some for fall!), swiss chards is doing great. We harvest 8 lbs of potatoes last week and will harvest again next week. We did the box method this year and we are going layer by layer. I really liked it. I'll email you the site if you want to try it next year! we are finally eating our tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, beans and still have a few peas every day. We will be ripping out the peas this week-end an planting fall peas. Our fall beds are doing great : We have carrots, kale, spinach, lettuce, winter greens, radishes, arugula, herbs and beets growing. We even started saving seeds! It's a beautiful time of year for sure!

    Have a wonderful evening my friend. xo

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    1. I do, they are actually just down the road from us, about 20 minutes :)

      They have all bounced back pretty well, thank goodness.

      Great to hear things are going well in your garden, it really is a wonderful time of year in the garden. I have looked at the box method, we might try it next year, although I might stick with what we have done last year and this year, give it one more shot. We will see.

      Thanks, you too! xo

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  11. Wow! It all looks so good Kim. The colour of the calendula! I started to get my seed order ready, but I haven't got any further. Frosts are coming thick and fast at the moment and I think I'm still in hibernation mode. I'm thinking I might go with how I'm feeling and wait until I'm ready. Spring is next month but we do have a long growing season. Enjoy your harvests. Lovely story about Reece. Much love my friend. xxoo

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    1. Thanks Julie. Isn't the calendula just beautiful. Hibernation mode is good for you this time of year, enjoy it.

      Thank you, right back at you. xo

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  12. I love your garden - always inspired by these posts x

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  13. You inspire me so much Kim- keep posting these lovely images. I hope to "get it together" next year.

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    1. Awe, thank you my friend. You know you do the same for me :) Looking forward to seeing your garden next year.

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  14. Kim- it looks great! And, thanks for the reminder that I need to finish planning my fall garden... pronto!

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    1. Thanks Taryn. Yes, get on that fall planting, it is time :)

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  15. I too am always inspired by your garden posts. And your land, too is so lovely.
    xoxox

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    1. Thank you Cory. This land is wonderful, and each day when I walk out there I feel more connected to it. xo

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  16. It all sounds so wonderful. My little garden plot went crazy with growth while we were gone and the pumpkin plants along with the beans and corn are huge! Nothing died in the two weeks I was away. That makes me so happy. :)

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    1. Thanks KC, even after the hail storm, the plants have managed to bounce back, so happy about that. I am glad to hear you garden survived while you are away...amazing!

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  17. Your garden is so gorgeous....literally my dream garden. And those carrots; how beautiful!

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    1. Thank you. We are all loving those carrots, Reece never knows what colour he is pulling up, so it is always a surprise.

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  18. Garden is looking amazing Kim. I love that you'll be using cold frames! Does it get too cold in winter to grow the whole way through- or can you get by with some protection for the plants?

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    1. Thanks so much! Our winters are full on winters...lots of snow, can be very cold, and usually way too long. Last winter was a bad one, snow from November to late March.

      Basically winter gardening here means getting everything grown, and then through the cold months just harvesting as the sun thaws everything out in the cold frame (and in the tunnels which we are building soon to cover two of the raised beds). It will be too cold for anything to actually grow for a few months, but we can still be harvesting. This is our first year giving it a go, a little bit of an experiment for us. Fingers are crossed it works out well, but only time will tell.

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    2. That is a long winter... sounds a bit like our summers! I look forward to seeing how the cold frames work out for you- anything that extends the growing/harvesting time is a good thing :)

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    3. It is, and I kinda wish our summers were that long instead :) I do enjoy winter, just not quite so much of it.

      I will be sharing the successes and the failures of our experiment, let's hope for more successes :)

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  19. I think I'm going to have to try the salt and pepper cucumber next year!

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    1. You definitely should, they are so good!

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