Thursday, May 31, 2012

In the Vegetable Gardens

 This is the perfect time of year for the gardens. We've beaten back the weeds, the plants are thriving, early veggies are coming on and all seems right in garden world. Of course there are the continual concerns about insects, and while I was away lots of things got a little behind. This week I'm playing catch-up and even moving forward a bit.

I don't have a lot of photos tonight--I forgot to take my camera for a walk with me this evening. Here is one of the little "new" garden developed where the old equipment shed used to be:

 The lettuce is right at peak, and I need to get more planted. Maybe tomorrow. The onions, carrots and broccoli in this garden are happy campers, and in the lower end the squash are fine too. It's funny to see the odd things turn up in the soil--nails, chain, unidentified chunks of metal--from the years of storage in the building on this site.

In the other early garden, the peas are pretty much done. We've picked all of them now and I've frozen several bags along with cooking quite a few for dinners. They are so good--and really so much work. Are they worth growing? Monetarily, probably not. Factor in the cost of seed, the trellis, the time spent caring for them and the time it takes to shell them and the ones for 99 cents in the frozen food aisle look like a bargain. Will I grow them again? Of course, I always do because they look so lovely as they grow, and the taste is just so much better. I grow snap peas too and they really are a good return on investment. The carrots are probably near harvest time and the onions are right behind them. We pulled up the bolted spinach and planted celery in its place. Succession planting is the best way to utilize space but it can be a challenge to keep up with it.

Raspberries are finally ripening! These are my favorite berries and probably the most difficult, at least for me, to raise. Today Larry covered them with net curtains because the birds seem to favor them too.

With the cherries, a handful of raspberries, a cup or two of strawberries and a few blueberries, I made a batch of mixed berry jam this afternoon. I suppose you could call it CRABS jam, right?--Cherry- raspberry and blueberry-strawberry jam! It's delicious, whatever it might be called. I also made a cherry cobbler, and since we had teenage workers here, I baked a penne casserole and chocolate chip-oatmeal-cranberry cookies for lunch and made a salad to go with it.

This little guy is a volunteer, one of several scattered throughout the garden (along with the volunteer dill). I'm not sure what variety he is although obviously it's a larger kind of tomato as opposed to the cherry type, which is what we had planted in there last year. I think the birds helped us out. I am curious to see what develops here, but so far the plant and its fruit look pretty good.

I'll try to post photos of the flowerbeds tomorrow--the good, the bad and the ugly of them. I've done a lot of work in them this week but there is still work to do, mulching in particular. Does garden work ever really end?

Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Nance said...

the gardens . . . it is all good. We are eating onions, radish and lettuce here in Iowa. I gave up on "shell" peas because, as you wondered, the harvest is not worth the effort -- but I will plant sugar snaps because peas are so good for the garden soil. I love and nurture volunteer tomatoes. If they volunteer, I know they are conditioned and hardy to this climate -- and I probably will be eating the volunteers before the purchased and pampered tomatoes are ready.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

It's looking good, Sue. Over here everything is rather confused by the weather but surviving nonetheless.

Brighid said...

Looking great in your garden! I'm not growing much this summer, too much going on in the family. Besides, We are very blessed to have sooo many fruits and veggies given to us by friends...

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