October 29, 2008

The end is near

Tom pulled a single beet Sunday that looked like it was ready to eat. I roasted it and added it to a salad, made from lettuce harvested from the garden. We sauted the beet greens along with a batch of collards and mushrooms (not from TY's garden) for dinner. YUM!

Ah the signs of fall. Last night a freeze warning was in effect. Tonight as well. We aren't quite ready to give up on the vegetables yet so we decided to cover everything with newsprint to save what we could. We'll likely be harvesting what we can over the next week or so to get all we can before the really cold weather gets here.


October 12, 2008

It's a Garden, By Golly

Update for this week...

Y - Not doing too well. Most of the green shown here is clover and weeds. Just the clump in the middles is spinach. Not even enough to make a small salad. Don't know why it didn't take off like the collards. Might not have planted enough seeds.
T - It all comes down to the dirt ... and hey, we actually got SOME of it to grow. Spring will be better!

Y - Got our first blossoms this week!
T - Suddenly two blossoms have become five or seven.

T - Stems of the broccoli are FINALLY starting to get thick and characteristic of the luscious vegetable that gave President George H. Bush nightmares.

Y - We replanted a whole bunch that were too close together and got a look at what's growing underneath all these fuzzy green tops. And sure enough, there were little orange carrots starting to appear!

Y - After doubting if these would take hold or not... there are no doubts now. We had a mini salad last week. YUM! Next week I'll be harvesting a bunch to make salads for 4 people for a trip to the mountains.
T - I thought that the weird color was a sign of poor growth. I couldn't have been more wrong. This beautiful yellow-green-red lettuce seems to be of the butter crunch variety and is so delicious. Y tried my suggestion and cut leaves off to see if they would regrow like Chard does, and sure enough it regenerates. Winter salads, here we come!

Y - This is probably the most exciting for us because it looked the saddest in the garden for a while and we both like eating it so much. The large plant in the background is almost ready to harvest!
T - And this stuff keeps giving and giving and giving leaves after harvests. We now have 8 big plants, and a couple of stragglers.

Y - What a difference a weak makes! I've counted 10 cucumbers growing and LOTS more flowers with potential.
T - They seem to like being strung up on our homemade twine lattice.

Y - Looking strong!
T - I moved and replanted 7 or 8, and boy they're looking GREAT! Greens for sauteing, and that sweet red root roasts like no other.

Y - We'll be eating a third meal of beans this week and I'll be picking some to take to the mountains. They are producing so many it's almost hard to keep up with harvesting them.
T - These Blue Lake plants are small and bushy, and don't need the lattice I put up. And the beans they give off are HUGE.


October 5, 2008

Brief Update

Today T & I tied the cucumber vines up the trellis. They weren't climbing on their own as we thought they might... so we helped them out.

We employed the Jerry Baker (Master Gardener) method and used pantyhose to tie up the vines. The nylon in the pantyhose attracts the electricity in the air and gives the vegetables an extra 'charge'! Attracting electricity to the garden helps things grow and improves nitrogen content, Baker says, which is why things sprout up after a good thunderstorm.

I continued to see more and more flowers blooming... but no cucumbers. But as we tied the vines up, lo and behold I saw the first signs of a cuke. Pretty cool, eh?

The carrot and beet tops are super strong looking and hearty. However, since it's a root vegetable there's really no way to know how they're doing. Except that there is this one lone beet bulging out of the ground, so it's likely they are doing well.

Did another thinning on the collards, which we'll eat tomorrow. Harvested twice as many green beans as last week which I'll cook tomorrow night as well. There are enough beans with which to make a main dish.

Tom grew up around gardens so he knows the thrill of working the seeds and soil then cooking what comes up. I did not grow up with a garden and I fell like a kid on Christmas morning when I harvest food from my backyard and cook it up. I've read many quotes from gardeners exclaiming the joys of growing your own food; how rewarding it is and how much better it tastes. I'm a believer. They aren't exaggerating and they aren't overselling the payback.