Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Garden update: July on the verge

Two weeks ago, above.

... and yesterday afternoon. You know how last week I told myself I'd commit to a big harvesting and preserving session every week? (I imagined that would be sufficient to get everything in.) Well. So far this week I have frozen a gallon of peas, a gallon of broccoli, a gallon of spinach, and a gallon of beet greens. I made another batch of arugula pesto and froze it. And last night I pulled beets and did four pints of pickled beets, plus sesame noodles with peas and scallions and kale, and salad with steamed baby beets (the ones too small for the jars) from the garden. HEAVENS.

Heaven and HEAVENS, all rolled into one. Every afternoon when I let the big chickens out, they bee-line for the currant bushes shown here, loaded. Nothing funnier than a chicken running.

And you know what? I just better settle in and get used to harvesting like a mad woman. I have four zucchini hills with three plants each, and they all look more or less like this guy, above. Hoo boy.

I'm loving the little pockets of flowers that have sown themselves all around: catchfly, coreopsis, and three different kinds of poppies. Bright-colored, self-seeding flowers will always be welcome in the vegetable garden. 

I feel like this photo is going to appear in a big "before" blog post in like five years, when the shed and the garage and the rest of the house are teal, and maybe we've built new back steps, and when we're probably driving something more exciting than a 14 year old Altima and my father-in-law's truck. So I hope, at least.

The potatoes are flowering. So pretty, and so weird to see such pretty flowers on such a homely plant.

This year I grew bona fide grocery store-size beets. I think the key is in the row spacing. I've always thinned my beets within each row, but this year I left a solid 16 inches between rows-- partly on accident, as I was counting on carrots growing between the rows, but they never showed. Happy accident, then, that these beets are so stellar.


I'll close with Delmer's opinion of the canning-kettle-steamy house on an 83-degree day.

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