June 19, 2013

General Goings On in the Garden

written by Yvonne

THE BLACKBERRIES ARE TURNING BLACK!  We took a taste and some are delicious and others are still a bit on the tart side.

Herbs are taking their time but coming along. Basil, dill and parsley are definitely 'online' and cilantro isn't far behind. There are very tiny green leaves in here but it's too early to tell what they are. Although now that I think about it, I did make a map of the bed so I'd know what's what. Guess I should pull that out and consult it.

The garlic has sprouted scapes...

and with all the tops dying off, it's time to harvest.

There have been lots of flowers on the tomatoes and when you actually peak underneath and inside the bushes you can see the tomatoes. This appears to be some of the small cherry tomatoes.

Here's another tomato variety hiding.


Tom bought and put up cages for the beans along the driveway.

It's hard to see but the long, thin green items are the string beans.  Just a few so far but they are starting.

Seriously!? This grew from a single seed! This is ONE zucchini plant.

We harvested the first zucchini from the monster plant (above) and several more will be ready for harvest this week.

A small sampling of a few things we harvested.  (The cantaloupe mixed in with the raspberries was bought at the grocery - not one of ours.)

June 11, 2013

Short and Sweet

written by Yvonne

This week's post is short and sweet. We got a break from tending the garden last week because it's been raining like crazy and we just haven't been able to get out there.

In between storms, I did manage to get out there long enough to do some harvesting of greens and raspberries. I've picked three small bowls worth of raspberries over the last week, and Sunday we washed and bagged the following:

1 bag kale
1 bag chard
3 bags lettuce
2 bags spinach
5 bags collards

Lots to do this weekend so stay tuned!

June 5, 2013

Eating It Up

written by Yvonne

This post is comprised of two week's worth of work, harvesting and picture taking.  Note to Stephanie - There's some good Spot the Dog photos in this post.  There's one with Olive in it I didn't even see initially.  :)

It's a good thing we planted two rounds of spinach and collards because we are going through them like crazy.

"You guys gonna harvest this spinach or what?"

Yep, beet greens got harvested too.

As did the collards.

I took a chance and made a collard smoothies and ya know what?  It worked!  You could taste a hint of greens, but there was NO bitterness and one would have been hard pressed to identify what the 'green' was.  Here's the recipe:

2 cups collards
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup water
1/2 cup blueberries
1 banana
2 cups strawberries
1/4 cup carrot (about half a carrot)

I consulted a web site and it said to make a well-balanced smoothie for two, shoot for the following:
  • 2 cups liquid
  • 2 cups greens
  • 3 cups fruit

This is the kale, chard and broccoli. It's also a BUNCH of volunteer tomato plants that have grown up in between everything.

It may not look much different, but this is the same bed after pulling out all the tomatoes and doing a harvest on the kale and chard.

Kale and chard (left), beet greens (back right), lettuce (front right).  Lot of greens to wash and bag. We decided to freeze the chard and kale and keep the beet greens to eat this week. 

Now THIS is what I call a lettuce patch!  I swear, we blinked and these patches quadrupled in size!

The peas seem to take forever to come up, then once they do it's hard to keep up with them.

You go out and pick two or three hand fulls and the next day there are twice as many.

Dinner tonight? Stir-fry snow peas with green onion and mushrooms over red rice.

The driveway beans (sounds like a variety of bean doesn't it?) are growing and growing.  Couldn't be happier!

It's a little hard to see, but this pant has started a runner.  We'll have to stake them up this coming weekend

Growing, growing, growing.

A flower or two has even been spotted which means tomatoes aren't far behind.

The garlic, as always, does great. It's starting to die off on the tops which means it won't be too long until harvest time.

I haven't told Tom this so shhhh... but I think this is the last year we're going to plant garlic.  I truly love growing garlic but 1. it takes up an entire half a bed and 2. I found the most excellent thing at the Global Supermarket (a multicultural food market here in Charlotte). Already peeled garlic! I like using whole garlic rather than that pre-minced stuff you buy in a jar that's sitting in oil. Having pre-peeled garlic is fantastic!

I was a little concerned about the cucumbers because they seemed not to be growing much.  But then again, the cool Spring weather lasted a long time so it really has been too cold for them to take off.

Well, no more!  They've doubled in size over the last week and they've flowered.

We planted this one squash in the garden 'cause as we all well know, squashes over take their space and they produce far longer than you have recipes in which to use them.

Sure enough, if you look under the leaves, blossoms are a-growin'.

The garden annex on the side of the driveway has proven to be good growing ground.  My bet was that these volunteer plants would turn out to be cucumbers (or maybe it was my wish full thinking). But no. Looks like they're going to be... yep, you guessed it; more squash.  Squash soup, squash salad, grilled squash, stir-fry squash, squash bread, pickled squash, squash smoothies...

I know this is hard to see because of the dappling sunlight but the basil is starting to sprout...

as is the dill.  (Note to Rebecca: "Dill weed!")

I've been waiting patiently for the peppers to get moving so I could put hay around them but they too have been taking their time because of the cool spring weather.  However, this weekend they were finally distinguishable enough from the grass that I could...

put hay all around each plant.  There are about 8 or 10 pepper plants here, some of which are very small.


The raspberries are coming in a few at a time. I was actually able to pick a small bowl-full this afternoon. Looking forward to having them for dessert tonight.