Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Crop Updates - an Evening in the Garden

My heart has simply not been in the garden this year. The weeds and pests have taken over, and I can't seem to get myself to care. It's the whole job thing - will I find a new one (and be moving), or will I be on unemployment come winter? With the former, I won't be able to reap the benefits of my veg garden, with the latter, a garden's worth of produce will surely be welcome if there is no income! I waver between the two. Some days I'm out there weeding and mowing, but most days I just don't seem to care. It's been a strange year.

I finally gave up on the peas. The freezer is full and the plants were slowing down. The pods that remain I'll let dry and then harvest for seed.

Still, other things should be ripening, so it was time to tour the beds and see what was what.

The garlic will be ready for harvesting pretty soon. The tops are turning brown, which is usually the indicator. I pulled up this one to check size - not too bad. I'll give the rest another week or two.

Ah - the Haralsons are starting to redden! I'm very excited about the apples this year. Only Haralsons and Jonagolds, but there are several fruits on these two trees.

As you can see, these runner beans are still refusing to grow up.

The pole beans are just not robust this year, either. Only now are they FINALLY starting to fill in, but even so, they are Spartan. Reasons? I have a few possibilities: these are the same beds in which I planted beans last year; I didn't use any innoculant this year; we had a cold snap early in the season; we had a lot of rain in June, and very little rain in July; and the soil is generally pretty poor. Take your pick.

But, the beans are blooming and that's a happy thing. The hummingbirds are content - between the beans and the bee balm, there is finally food for them in my yard.

The first two blossoms here are runner beans (scarlet and painted lady); the others include Cherokee Trail of Tears, Rattlesnake, and Blue Coco, among others.

Beans are starting to form. I imagine in a week or so I will start picking and freezing.

Look! A tomato!

The zucchinis are doing well - lots of blossoms and some fruits already, which something seems to be enjoying.

I picked these last night and after some judicious trimming, they became stuffed zucchinis. Rice, sausage and tomato sauce.

After a slow start, the cukes are now loaded with blossoms!

I admit, I have been a poor gardener this year. Not knowing if I was staying or leaving, my heart just hasn't been in my garden. So, I did not patrol for pests, and here is why one wants to keep on top of CPB infestations:

The leaves were completely gone from the spuds and the plants were brown and dead. Still, I was hopeful that there might be some potatoes underground, even if small, so I dug in with my hands.
Voila! Not a whole lot, but better than none at all. These are, I believe, purple majesty potatoes.

Scrubbed up, they are a beautiful purple-black color. It almost looks like a pan full of very large black olives!

The inside, as you can see, is a beautiful deep purple.

And look! Purple smashed potatoes! I know, some folks will turn their noses up at this, but I think they are lovely. And they taste just wonderful.


1 comment:

Woodswoman Extraordinaire said...

If you figure out how to motivate to remove weeds and pests, please let me in on your secret. My gardening is always sporadic and haphazard, and I have no moving excuse. Yes, somehow, some things always grow.

LOVE the purple potatoes.