September 5, 2011

VEG: Summer garden comes to a close

written by Yvonne

Current vegetable happenings: We have three successful cabbages. There is definitely something chowing down on the large outer leaves but we're not going to do anything about it at the moment. If it/they starting eating too much, we'll have to spray a little Jerry Baker tobacco/soap/garlic repellent.

We "found" a volunteer lima plant hidden under some weeds in one of the boxes.  Since none of our lima seeds germinated, we'll leave this in and see what it produces.

These are turnips we planted several weeks ago. They were covered up by the basil. Now that the basil has been trimmed way back, these guys should get plenty of sun.

A teeny-tiny cilantro plant. Come on little guy, you can do it!

Since we've been clipping the top of this tomato plant, tons of tomatoes have come out. We're calling them our early fall tomatoes.

Broccoli plants are coming along.

It's obvious why these peppers are called "rainbow" peppers. Simply gorgeous!

It being Labor Day weekend and all, we needed to spend time laboring in the garden. Although we've been somewhat disappointed with our summer vegetable production this year, we learned a lot which will hopefully translate into a more productive fall garden.  I started by pulling out the old kale and marigolds, and significantly pruned back the basil.
Tom got another truck-full of dirt Friday so we could top off the beds this weekend. The dirt in all four beds has settled so they needed more. In addition to settling, there's a dirt wad around the root of every plant so when you pull something out, you loose a little dirt that way too.

We could see it coming a mile away. As soon as Olive saw the tailgate down, she wanted to get into the back of the truck. Once we got a good deal of the dirt out, we let her get in.  Needless to say, she got a bath at the end of the day.

The newspaper posts we used to plant seeds in some weeks ago held up GREAT! This is the a butternut squash in a newspaper pot.

With new dirt in place, we designated areas for the squash, lettuces, and collards.

Our day in the garden was done. Time to move the truck back to the carport as Olive gets her first ride in the back of the truck.

Saturday was canning day. We spent the better part of the day chopping, cooking, and canning - all of which was made SO MUCH EASIER now that the microwave above the cook top is gone. We were able to use all four burners and could put the canner on the back burner. Yesterday Tom labeled all of our wonderful work.

 We made blackberry jam, peach jam (which turned out MUCH better than last year's batch - apologies to anyone who got that as a gift last year), and pepper onion relish with our homegrown rainbow peppers.