Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Garden & Food Update

The harvest of food is starting to grow. Yesterday I used a 12"x36" tray to bring everything in due to how much I had to pick. Here's a sampling:

Kohlrabi: Still bringing in about 2/week. I need to plant some more so that we can have some this fall.

Cucumbers: 4 in yesterday, I'll probably be bringing in many more in the days ahead. Most of the plants have been doing an excellent job, I have had a couple have the leaves wilt with no explanation I can find.

Snap Peas: I thought I would be done with these plants by now, but I still brought a large serving size worth in the house yesterday

Basil: It had been coming in small amounts, I just brought in a sandwich container of basil

Cilantro: It is doing well this year, I'm picking it as I am going to use it.

Zucchini: These plants are growing like crazy. I gave them 5 feet of space originally and some are currently 10 feet long with more to grow. I have brought in about 5 18" ones and a bunch of small ones. I over-watered the plant initially and they had blossom rot from it.

Green Beans: They have been slow this year due to me planting them late (and the cooler summer we've been having). I started harvesting yesterday and should continue to have more in the days ahead.

Dill: These have done wonderfully this year, they are about 4 & 1/2 feet tall and have beautiful flower heads.

Tomatoes: We've been having enough cherry tomatoes for salads so far, they have turned out well

Broccoli: I was concerned about planting broccoli this spring due to last year's crop taking all year to form some heads, but they turned out really well this year (again due to the cool weather). I have pulled out half of the plants and am almost done harvesting the rest.

Turnips: I don't believe I've eaten turnips before, but had some on Sunday and they tasted great. My wife enjoyed them so much she wondered why they are not more common in the stores. I planted some more this past weekend so that we can have a nice fall crop.

Lettuce: I believe we're going to have a crop all summer long. I have slowed down on my picking of it as we have been having a hard time eating all that I am bringing in. I planted more this past weekend to take us through the fall.

Grape Leaves: We canned 3 jars worth this past weekend so we can make a favorite appetizer in our house (stuffed grape leaves with rice, meat, and spices. I like mine with lots of lemon juice, my wife likes very little).

Other interesting items going on in the garden:

Asparagus: We received 8 more asparagus plants that someone dug up out of their garden. They planted them this year and did not like how they looked in their yard, so they gave them to us.

Pumpkin: I didn't mean to plant pumpkin this year, but we had 17 pumpkins donated to us last year and I threw some seeds into the compost pile by accident. The largest pumpkin we have so far is about 4 inches across.

Peppers: I picked a jalapeno pepper a couple weeks back since it was so small and I wanted the plant to focus on growing bigger, but we should be having banana peppers coming in this week as well as maybe some more jalapeno. I actually enjoyed putting the lone little pepper into nachos this past week with it cooked a little bit.

Eggplant: This cool summer has been rough on the eggplants. They really like those 90 degree days and we haven't had much of them. This week for example the evenings are supposed to be in the 50's for the most part and during the day in the 70's. The normal low/high is 65/83 which we are very off this year. Maybe those ice caps melting is messing with our weather here.

Overall the garden has been bringing down our food bills this year. We're spending right now about $25-35/week on food, which consists of sugar, flour, milk, cereal, cheese (a big expense for us), butter, snacks, and misc cooking supplies. My wife makes bread for us, we have a fair amount of homemade jam & syrup, homemade spaghetti sauce, canned applesauce & other apple items, etc. As an ending note, I'll leave you with my breakfast experiment from this past Sunday in order to use up some of the vegetables we have:

1 Tbsp Butter
1 Kohlrabi Bulb, tough skin portions removed, sliced into french-fry sized pieces
6" Zucchini cut into 1/4 circle shapes
6 Turnips at 2 to 3" each, sliced and left as circles or 1/2 circles
Fresh Dill (to taste)

Add butter to pan, cook kohlrabi first with some dill, then add turnips 2 minutes later. Once the kohlrabi starts to soften up, add the zucchini to the pan with some additional dill and cover until the zucchini is fully cooked. Serve with toast or eggs.

1 comment:

Betsey C. said...

I continue to be so impressed with you guys! You must feel so good eating all those fresh vegetables and getting all that healthy exercise in the garden. Kudos to you!!

My 3 Earthboxes are doing very well, even though, as you said, the weather is not cooperating. Tomatoes love hot, sunny weather too!