Thursday, August 19, 2010

Harvest Time

Last year was rainy and cool and this year was hot and dry. Neither have been optimal for vegetable growing, but we’ve managed to grow a majority of our summer produce, with the exception of lettuce and fruit. When I planned these beds a couple of years ago, I didn’t take into account the growth of trees. They just love to branch themselves out and make shade all over the place. Not the best situation for tomato growing.  I got just enough, but I wish I had a few more to share with neighbors and friends.

I planted the cukes in my sunniest bed and they've done great.  No wonder my trellis keeps falling over. This is the "Japanese long" variety.

Last year the little fig tree was new and produced 13 figs.  This year I'm getting 22. Nobody seems to like them but me, and that's perfectly fine.

I'm growing several kinds of pepper - this is a red hot cherry, and there are two more sweet red plants from Hook Mountain Growers.  If you're local, do yourself a favor and buy some of their supremely healthy seedlings next year.  They've all done spectacularly well here, even in my poor soil.

Also from HMG is this Pineapple Ground Cherry - a very fun plant to grow. The "cherries" look a little bit like small tomatillos. They're ripe when they drop on the ground, and do have a sweet, pineappley flavor. I graze on these in the morning for breakfast. I do plan to have my kids taste them eventually. (am I bad or what?)

Garlic was harvested a couple of weeks ago and is curing on the windowsill.  Half of this will be used to plant next year's garlic.

The hens will be 20 weeks old at the end of August. Just a few more weeks tiil I’m harvesting eggs!  The sunflower heads are one of their favorite treats.

I wouldn't be surprised if I am the grower of the "world's smallest carrots" this year.

Okra continues to flower and produce these pretty red pods.  They look cool sliced thin.

In the school courtyard, our 4th graders  planted a "Three Sisters" garden.  Some of the first harvests have been donated to local food pantries, but we still expect to have plenty for the kids to pick when they start school in a few weeks.

It was our first time growing corn (at least since I've been involved in the school garden).  We're really looking forward to planning some kind of harvest event at the school this fall.

I'd love to hear what you're harvesting, or what's looking especially good at your farmer's market this week!


patti said...

I think you did a GREAT job!
We had great lettuce...for about six weeks. Same with zucchini. And onions.

Basil went WILD and continues its trend.

But right now my tomato plants sag with green fruit but few seem to be ripening.

What can a second-year gardener expect?!!!

Love this blog.

TALON said...

Wow! It all looks so wonderful! I love how the okra slices look - like flowers. We've had the same weather here - too wet last year, too dry this year. Our tomatoes still aren't ripening. We don't plant a lot - mostly herbs and tomatoes because we've got enormous black walnut and pine trees that provide little chance of hours of sunlight. But the farmer's market has been terrific. We've been loading up on green beans, cucumbers, nectarines, peaches, spring onions, garlic...just a feast of great stuff. Oh, and the corn is in now and it is the best it's been in years. We've been pigging out on the peaches 'n cream local corn.

The kids will have a wonderful time with a harvest celebration - that's so terrific!

pamHMG said...

What a respectable harvest for someone who was paying more attention to the chickens this season. The pictures look amazing - you did a great job this summer! I already have so many things I want to do differently for next year. Always a learning experience, huh. Makes me wish I could have started this 20 years ago :)

Guinnah said...

You've got some great stuff there (and I'm jealous of your chickens). Our CSA shares have been abundant and delicious - in our garden we have tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, cantaloupe(!), herbs and peppers. The fig trees are overloaded but won't ripen until September or so. We have a ton of grapes (and an equivalent amount of critters eating them during the night). Finally our winter fruits - citrus and pomegranate - are looking healthy and full!

I love what you've done with the school garden.

sam said...

Tomatoes and zucchini have been slow, but we've harvested some. Nice crop of green beans, but they're about done. Plums and grapes were abundant this year and very sweet. Winter squash plants are still blooming - I doubt anything will mature before it turns cold. Radishes did horribly - never seen them get so buggy. A strange year for gardening here!

Stacey said...

I was saying yum yum until you had to throw in the okra - yuck yuck. Pretty flowers though. My tomatoes are almost done if you can believe it.