Monday, July 14, 2008

They Took Over the Garden

This past Tuesday evening a few kids took over the garden. Isabelle introduced Ava to snacking on the pea pods and I showed Ava how to shell them, which she picked up on instantly. They did not seem to mind that the peas were starting to get old and starchy. Then, all the kids met at the carrot patch where we thinned the patch by pulling one small carrot each. I think they enjoyed seeing the immature, muddy, not-yet-orange carrots. Next, we headed for the kitchen where we washed them, scrubbed them and put them to the taste test. Who knows what the kids take away from these moments, but it could be important.
This weekend I did some major garden housecleaning and redecorating. Compared to a few weeks ago the small garden looks bare. I stripped the peas from the fence, took down the broccoli raab, harvested the last two cabbage heads (weighing 10 pounds each) and took down several volunteer dill. Since we've not replanted succession crops, we now have plenty of open space. In the back garden I culled a few of the cucumber vines by simply cutting them at the plant's base.
If you want a full or partial head of cabbage, please let us know.
Last year our tremendous onion harvest was followed by the almost equally tremendous onion rot. This year we have some different tactics. One of these is to bend all the tops to the ground when a few of them start to do this on their own. So most of the onions have been "rolled". They stay in this state for a couple weeks before we harvest them. Because of the unending rain, I removed all the mulch on the onions to help them dry out a bit.
A quick estimate indicates we have about 360 onions: red, yellow, white, Texas Sweet, Walla Walla, etc. We can and should start using these immediately. They are sweet and tasty, cooked or not.
All onion mulch and all the remaining mulch went around the tomatoes to suppress weeds.
I harvested our 1st cucumber today. A couple of Early Girl tomatoes are ready for harvest. The dill is up. We have parsley, cilantro, bush beans and just now are getting French green beans. The back herb garden is doing really well considering the moisture. The peppers are small but doing fine. All the tomatoes are fully recovered from their near drowning. Potatoes raising their young-in's.
Helping hands could plant more beets, some squash (we have not planted any), more bush beans, cilantro, okra?, or whatever. The tomato vines are starting to wander from their cages. They need to be either coached back into the cages or tied to them. Weeders will be needed at the end of the week.
Have a good week.


Anonymous said...

that doesn't happen everyday. wish you all the best.

Rebecca Lynn said...

Miss you guys. You will have to see our garden before it is all gone. It is the site of a first attempt (out of control but enjoyable). It will still be another week before there is a visible path at our house and another three before it seems more like home and less like summer camp, so keep us posted on your schedule.
I love being able to see your garden here if not in person : )

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