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.

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