Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Garden Update-End of August

Here is a little peek inside my garden. Things are winding down a lot now that it is the end of August. This years garden has been quite a challenge with the insane amount of rain we received in June and July.i'm pretty sure i ended up with every garden disease in the book. 

i somehow still managed to harvest a good amount of food, and although i was unable to can anything this year i have been working to fill up our deep freezer with garden produce.

The garden attracts all kinds of butterflies. We have been waiting for the monarchs to appear and finally spotted our first one earlier this week.  It flew from plant to plant and seemed to be sunbathing on this cucumber vine.

My cucumbers got a very late start, and i wasn't sure i would ever see any cucumbers. The plants all have downy mildew, which is pretty much impossible to control organically so i almost expected them to die back before they ever got a chance to produce. Somehow they are still hanging on, although a lot of foliage has died back, the vines are still growing rapidly and cucumbers are appearing everywhere!  i panted the lemon cucumbers, picklers and slicing cucumbers and have been picking several of each per day. i may make up a batch of refrigerator pickles. i haven't decided yet, because i'm lacking fridge space. i'm thinking i might make them just to give away though.

i planted a lot of peppers this year in green, yellow and red. The plants all look great and are loaded with peppers, but i'm still waiting for the colors to turn. These yellow peppers are getting close, but they are supposed to be a golden yellow not this greenish yellow. i think that in another couple of weeks i should have lots of good looking peppers! 

The late blight wiped out almost all of my tomatoes, but somehow i still have this one plant that is loaded with big green tomatoes and so far doesn't have a spot of blight on it.  It's very strange because this plant was right in the middle of the other tomato plants that were infected with blight and have since been pulled. So how it has managed to stay blight free this long..i have no idea. i really hope that i am able to harvest those lovely tomatoes! i wish  knew the variety as it has proven to be somewhat blight resistant.  i had  actually made a point of writing down a chart of my garden so i knew exactly what and where i planted this year, but i accidentally left the paper outside and it ended up getting we and the ink smeared so now i have no idea what i planted.  

i've been working to transition my garden from summer to fall.  All the wax beans have been pulled and i planted lettuce, kale and purple bush beans in their place.  Most of my fall garden is in, and was planted in a different bed. i put in more lettuce, kale and swiss chard. i also planted 16 broccoli plants, and three different kinds of beets. My sweet potatoes (bottom of picture) in this garden are doing well, but something, either a vole or possible a chipmunk, dug under the plants and ate about 1/4 of the sweet potatoes in the other sweet potato bed. i considered digging all the sweet potatoes now, but they quite small and i have no where to store them. So i left them in the ground and have been checking daily for signs that they are still being eaten. So far there has been no knew damage. If i can keep them in the ground until the end of Sept. i will actually have a basement to store them in!

My first planting of zucchini have all died back and been pulled, but i planted zucchini/summer squash every three weeks this summer and so i have had a continuous harvest despite the vine borers, squash beetles and downy mildew.  This is one of my newest plants just beginning to produce.  You can never have too much zucchini!! ;)

This was my harvest from a few days ago. i actually picked it all for dinner. i was planning to take a picture of the meal, and put up a recipe post..but forgot to take a picture.  Anyhow, i turned all of this into a tasty stir fry. The stir fry consisted of Eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, purple beans, onion, carrots, peppers and swiss chard. i added tofu that was pan fried and then  cooked in a sauce of OJ, tamari and garlic. i let the sauce cook down to a thicken glaze, sauteed the veggies and served it all over rice.

We enjoyed fresh sliced cucumber and tomato with it, and had a large bowl of fresh sliced peaches. Most everything came from the garden except the rice, tofu and sauce ingredients. 

As i try to get back to eating better i hope to share a few more garden recipes before the season is over. i still find cooking in this RV to be a it of challenge, but i'm dealing and making do with what we've got here. Which often means i literally pick the vegetables as i'm making dinner, since i can't fit any of them in the fridge. :) 


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