Monday, July 21, 2014

Harvest Monday: Garlic!

On Friday night I decided I start digging up my garlic. I was extremely excited to find bulbs almost the size of my hand.

This particular variety is Music, and I purchased it from Territorial Seed. I'll have plenty of my own for seed this year. I harvested about 30 heads on Friday, and then decided to let the ground dry out just a bit more and finished on Saturday night. All in all, I got about 70 heads of garlic, and they're all hanging in a shady corner of my garage to cure. We won't have any vampires sneaking into the garage any time soon.

Green beans have been coming in just a bit every day, and I've gotten broccoli about every other day (either a head or a side shoot). They've made excellent side dishes for my burgers topped with peach salsa (made with garden jalapenos and cilantro). 

On Friday, I harvested the first zucchini just in time for lunch. It joined green beans as a side for a sloppy joe (which contains green peppers and onion from the garden).

While all these harvests look delicious, I've been battling Japanese beetles in the garden. First they were on my green beans, and within days they spread to the basil and zinnias. On the advice of a local CSA farmer, I've sprayed the affected plants with neem oil. Hopefully that takes care of them.

To see what other gardeners are harvesting, check out Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Harvest Monday: Peas & Carrots

There were lots of harvests at Gross Farms 2.0 this week, but I was terrible at photography them (it doesn't help that my memory on my iPhone is full, so I have to delete photos before I can take more).

Monday - Thursday I picked the last of the sugar snap peas. They had terrible germination, but the plants that did grow produced well. I'll definitely grow them again next year (Sugar Lace), but I'll give them the support of a small bunny fence—even though the package says no support needed. It lies.

On Thursday I picked the first St. Valery carrots and two gorgeous fennel bulbs. I had my eye on this soup recipe to break in my new pressure canner, but I didn't have enough carrots for it yet. I used some of the fennel fronds to make fennel tea, which was quite delicious.

Sunday was a day of garden transition. We picked the last of the snow peas (an entire gallon bag full) and ripped them out. They'll be planted again next year as well (Mammoth Melting) but with a much taller fence to climb. I ripped out the fava beans that never produced (planted too late), and harvested the rest of my 5' x 3' bed of carrots, which included St. Valery, Cosmic Purple, Lunar White, and a rainbow mix. For some reason, the white carrots never really want to do their thing. I'd estimate I got about 10 pounds of carrots total. Plenty to make the soup, which made a delicious Sunday dinner.

I also got my first handful of green beans, and my second head of broccoli. I'm eagerly awaiting the first zucchini.

The snow peas were replaced with chiogga beets, the carrots were replaced with red bush beans, and the favas were replaced with more carrots.  If I can keep the soil wet so they germinate, this will be my first year with a semi-successful mid-summer plant rotation.

To see what other gardeners are harvesting this week, check out Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Preview Of (Canned) Things To Come

I've been traveling for work, so the blog has been neglected. The garden is busting at the seams though. I hope to have some updates this weekend.

In the meantime, I just ordered this. I'm so excited to can soups, stews, chili, stock, corn, beans, etc.

All American 21.5 Qt Pressure Canner