Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What's Growing- July

i can't believe it is already July! In just the last two weeks my garden has doubled in size, and my vegetables have started really producing.

The first week of July, and we are still harvesting lots of greens. Kale, Swiss chard and some lettuce. The arugula, spinach and Buttercrunch have all bolted and gone to see. i'm still getting a lot of the Majesty (red) and the green leaf lettuce. Surprisingly, despite the heat is has not bolted or gotten bitter yet.
i harvest my first purple cabbage (and made sauerkraut), and have two more to pick. This was my first year growing cabbage, as my family won't eat it. The purple cabbage is a beautiful plant to grow. The flavor of the cabbage is quite sweet, and delicious raw. i've been searching a few recipes that i can make with it. i've really been enjoying it just added to my regular salads, it adds crunch and a pleasant sweet taste.

i am still getting some peas, although the plants are starting to yellow and die back. i'm also harvesting strawberries now! Seems a bit late, but i didn't get that many this spring, so i'm happy to have them!

i'm getting a surprising amount of broccoli still. The main heads were harvested several weeks ago, but the plants will continue to produce florets or mini-heads. i think i've harvested more broccoli from the mini-heads than i did in the original harvest. Every couple days i can go out and pick more than enough for dinner.

The blueberries have been really abundant this year as well. i've been picking 4-5 cups everything couple of days. 1 have about 12 quarts frozen so far, and we've been eating them fresh freely. We've been enjoying blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup on the weekends, greek yogurt with fresh blueberries, frozen blueberry-yogurt pops, blueberries with fresh cream and blueberries by the handful!

This year i planted Blue Podded Blauwschokkers, Dwarf grey and sugar snap peas. The blossoms and pods on the blue podded shelling peas were absolutely gorgeous, however i was not all that impressed with the peas. i shelled some fresh, and cooked them up. They were bland, tasteless and ugly. They cooked to a slightly greenish grey, and were not overcooked. They are intended to be a dry soup pea, so maybe that is why they weren't very good fresh.
The Dwarf grey i planted for the first time last year. Again i was won over by the beautiful purple blossoms. Dwarf grey are intended to be a snow pea, so you can pick and eat the pods when they are young. They do better in cold weather and although they continue to be prolific in the heat the pods become tough and fibrous.
Lastly i grew sugar snaps. These are by far the most delicious tender and perfect pea for eating fresh. They are my kids absolute favorite, and i'm pretty disappointed that i wasted so much space on the other peas.
i left the rest of the Blauwschokkers and Dwarf grey to dry in their pods for seed. i planted the two varieties next to each other, so i'm curious to see if they cross pollinated. i may plant a few next year as ornamentals, but i won't waste my garden space on these tasteless peas again. This fall i will be sticking with the sugar snaps.

Most of my tomatoes are green still, but i have one pathetic looking potted tomato that is completely loaded with tomatoes! i have already picked two beautiful red ripe tomatoes, and have a third that should be ripe in the next few days.

My beans are producing like crazy. i've already started blanching/freezing them, and plan to finally pull out my pressure canner and get some canned this year. These are the Royalty Purple bush beans. We love them. They are delicious and tender, and turn green when you cook them. My kids love them raw.

My pepper plants are not looking very impressive. They are small, and haven't grown that much since they wre planted...but several of them have giant peppers on them.

It seems like my zucchini plants doubled in size literally overnight. A few days ago i was just beginning to see blooms and a few baby fruit, and now my plants are loaded with zucchinis. Most are about 3-4" inches long, but in another day or two i'll be harvesting them.

My potatoes have just started to die back, and we've already dug some that were in the kids garden. i also planted corn, okra, cucumbers, pattypan squash, pumpkins, winter squash, beans, beans and more beans. :) i have purple beans, green beans, pole beans, yardlong beans, Scarlet runners and soy beans. As soon as the peas are pulled i will be planting more.

This next month will be crazy with harvest and canning. i can't quite decide whether i'm looking forward to it, or dreading it. Without a/c the house gets really warm with the canner running all day. It is all worth it though, when winter comes round and we can reach into the cupboard and pull out our home grown fruit, vegetables and sauces.

How is your garden growing?

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful garden. Deer and insects keeping eating my garden! Tomatoes and cucumbers are doing the best!