Monday, July 18, 2016

Inch by Inch, Row by Row. (Part Two)

A little over two weeks into July and the abundance and beauty of the garden is really becoming apparent. The hard part is done and the focus can shift on keeping the weeds and pests in check and integrating all the bounty into creative meals and easy snacking all the while trying to take a moment from time to time to capture the sights and smells of the landscape. Its usually during these times of reflection that I notice the diversity of bugs, casts of light and the occasional vole scurrying by or the slither of a garden snake darting through the grass and under the tomato bed as I just witnessed while carrying a bucket of kitchen scraps to the compost pile.

A lily after a midday rain shower.

The Rainbow Chard and Celery

Collard Greens sizing up to elephant ear status.

Peas have been abundant but most snap peas don't even make it into the bucket, luckily the raw shell peas are less appealing to me and a bit more work to snack on.

Although the underbrush around the newly fallen maples is a bit of a jungle, the berries seem much more abundant this year and should be ripening soon.

The tomato bed is finally complete with A frame trellis in place. So far the design I planned out seems to be working and stable. I used all fresh beech saplings in the construction keeping the cost down to just a few dollars for twine and some beefy 6" nails.  I also splurged on a $15 roll of deer netting that wrapped around the A frame pretty easily and hopefully will deter any major damage throughout the season. I do have to construct some type of gate for the front in the coming week.

I love the view down the tunnel, as the plants climb Im curious what type of canopy it will create and how well the fruit will set on both sides.

A recent weekend harvest !

Beets, snap peas, last of the crinkled cress. 

Lettuce, Escarole and Frisee 

This broccoli plant was tucked in between a few others and never really took off and just started bolting. I decided to pull it to cut down on the competition for nutrients. The cross section of soil and the fungi growth made for a great picture by my wonderful wife Cassi.

Both the Noche and Goldmine Summer Squash are just beginning to produce !

So many greens, I think I sneak a couple of these giant leaves into every meal.

Rainbow Chard is next on the list of munchables !

The peppers are starting to flower and Im gonna slide my old tomato cages around them this year as I lost a few last year due to a strong thunderstorm blowing a few plants over that were bearing some plump peppers, hopefully the cages will keep that from happening this year.

Broccoli is really sizing up nicely into some wonderful heads and making a grand appearance to a few veggie stir fry dinners this past week !

Bush beans are leafing out and ready to start producing some beans.

Beets are ready and willing for pulling and its another easily snipped green, not that we are in need of much more nutritious leafy greens !

Excited about this Jamaican Sour Gherkin plant which produces some tangy grape sized fruit along with some lemon cukes on the right and diva cukes on the left ! Im going to string a trellis for those this week as well.

First handful of blueberries at the homestead are here !

The beginnings of the compost system we have started, its slow and steady and has grown to about half a bin so far with a nice integration of kitchen scraps, lawn clippings and coffee grounds starting the process.

The brush pile has been getting burned slowly.

Snapdragon still life with twine.

Yarrow has been abundant around the homestead, stay tuned for a few recipes and for its uses and healing properties.

And lastly a brief encounter with a cute lil porcupine who was meandering through the overgrown brush chomping quietly on some fresh greens, I had a few words with him and told him the poison ivy was probably the best food option for him and also to please keep a distance from our tomato plants. Hopefully he understood me !

Till next check up... coming up Ill show you what we did with our large garlic scape harvest and update you on a few ferments underway including a strawberry rhubarb wine and the maple wine I started early this spring.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Inch by Inch, Row by Row. (Part One)

As the rain barrel trickles and the sun beats down on the garden we embrace the bounty and shape our meals around its supply. June brought heaps of garlic scapes, lettuce, salad mix and more. To get caught up I will just share some sights and captions from June at the localrootz homestead.

A classic slug view of the lettuce sizing up along with some broccoli in the background and peas in the foreground.

The high mowing mesclun mix had great germination and kept providing us a delicious blend of greens with ample mustard greens mixed in.  

Everything always has such great order in the beginning of the season.
Right to left (Radish, Speckled Trout Lettuce, Chicory Mix, Lettuce Mix and Broccoli) 

Here Im cutting some Tat Soi, which is an asian green that comprised my favorite salad. Straight Tat Soi mixed with sliced radish and a ripe avocado then garnished with ginger miso dressing and a few spoonfuls of crushed raw cashews !

Watch that lettuce and chicory mix fill in.

After the first round of Tat Soi had finished and its neighboring spinach which never really was much of a success due to the quick burst of heat that hit this June we decided to plant a handful of bush beans.  

Along with the bush beans we had planted some beets that were now filling in and behind those the gem of the spicy greens this season made its appearance. 

This powerful green packed a punch that was not for the faint of heart but myself being a flavor hound I found it to be the most complex and interesting green I have ever tasted.
So peppery and green at first but then the heat of mustard seed creeps and mingles with pungent anise, cinnamon and mint that evolve on the palate.

I passed out some of this to friends and family and some people had a similar experience as I did but others will now be cautious of anything I offer up for an extended period of time.

Crinkled Cress... check it out! It was most pungent at this stage when it was just forming flowers but I found a quick sauté tempered its pungency !

Broccoli is beginning to form some crowns.

Beans are up. On the left are the Dragon Langerie and on the right some Royal Burgundy.

The "flux" bed in full swing with peas climbing... I call it flux because it gets the most rotation through the season and always has something ready to eat and other things just starting to sprout.

Our middle bed is filling out nicely as well with lots of different hot and sweet peppers on the left, a row of celery, rainbow chard, shallots, collards and finally some kale.

Chard and Celery.

So many unique peppers including some Shishito, Habenero, Ghost, Biscayne and more.

Little seedlings in bed finding their roots. 
Eggplant, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage and Summer Squash.

Another quick project was wrapping the lawn edge of the newly planted asparagus bed with some leftover weedblocker... just a foot wide strip pieced together and piled over with some leftover fieldstones piled up. The asparagus has its fern growing out and establishing a good root system that hopefully will be the start of a long stretch of asparagus on our spring plates for many years to come. 

Our little sugarbaby watermelon is still being shy... 

Tomato bed all planted, I also spaced some mixed basil seed along the edges and planted a couple cucumber plants along with some jamaican sour gherkins. 

A typical dinner at the homestead starts with a quick trip outside the kitchen door to our garden.
       Garlic Scapes, Herbs and Collards.

Grilled Herb Chicken Breast served over new potatoes, with corn, collards and scapes.
All from Maine with the exception of the corn which isn't around just yet.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...