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Farm Report

August 5, 2009

Behold the fruits of my labor!

Lunch:

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Tomatoes and flowers are from the garden. I’m in between lettuce crops at the moment — l’m still learning how to space out the crops properly, so this lettuce is store-bought. The tomato is the Patio variety, which I grow in large pots on my deck, which is the sunniest part of the yard. I’m also growing, for the first time, two Brandywine plants in the ground, but today is the first day I spotted tiny green tomatoes on the plants — there will be dozens, if they make it. So they won’t be ready for a while. I’m a big fan of the Patio tomatoes, though. They are like small plum tomatoes and they pack a tremendous amount of flavor into a small package.

Dinner: Beets!

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This is my first crop of beets and I’m extremely pleased. This is about half of what I planted. The rest are still a little small, probably because they were overcrowded. I’m hoping they’ll keep growing now that they’ve got some more room.

Also being harvested this week: sugar snap peas — all gone, I’m afraid. I tend to eat them straight off the vine.

As for the rest of the kitchen garden, on the deck I’ve got new crops of chard, spinach, lettuce and arugula growing in window boxes. This is the second round for all of the above. I’ve also started some onions in a large pot. When the beets are all done, I’ll probably divide them and transfer them to the ground. But for now they’re looking content. The herb boxes with basil (Thai, regular and purple), thyme, sage, parsley, dill and chives are all going like gangbusters, as are the marigolds I planted with them. I’m going to have to divide them as well, as they’re beginning to crowd out the basil. The strawberries are doing much better this year on the front porch than they did last year by the vegetables. They get hotter afternoon sun, which they seem to love and, most importantly, I remember to water them more frequently because I walk by them all the time. They are covered with a mix of white flowers and green berries.

In the ground, the pole beans are climbing all over the deck railing. there are a few beans, still small, and lots and lots of blossoms. There is one tiny pepper visible so far on my pepper plant and lots of blossoms there too. The one surviving cucumber plant is looking a little shaky, but has many flowers. The zucchinis are going nuts and are covered with flowers but no sign of any squash yet. My one remaining garlic plant is looking spindly. I may try another batch in the onion pot once I remove the onions. And the first round of carrots are nearly ready to pick. I’m hoping to get a second batch in before winter. Carrots require patience. I may try to start them in a window box inside next year.

All in all, it’s looking like a successful first year. It’s not an ideal location — the plants would love more sun — but it seems to be working out okay. The big question mark is whether they will all survive our trip out west. My neighbor will be coming by daily and I will ask her to water, but she’s got plenty of garden chores of her own. Will she have time? I hope so.

What’s growing in your garden?

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2009 1:23 pm

    The only thing I grow really well is impatiens, because deer don’t seem to like them. My zinnias are also doing pretty well. Since I stopped even trying to grow tomatoes and peppers in pots right next to the house, due to deer eating all the fruits of my labor, the deer have come down to eat all the leaves off my hibiscus plant. Every. single. one.

  2. teranika permalink
    August 5, 2009 1:52 pm

    LOVELY! That salad looks WONDERFUL! How I want a garden. I started off this year by nearly killing everything when I was in Europe. But we’ve made a miraculous come-back in July, and now I’m growing strawberries (normal and alpine), Italian sweet peppers, English lavender, LOTS of herbs (mint, two types of parsley, basil, chives, cilantro, marjoram, two kinds of oregano, two kinds of thyme, rosemary). We also have several flowering plants, and Susi’s willow tree which miraculously came back from the dead (a very good sign). It’s a big deck.

  3. teranika permalink
    August 5, 2009 1:54 pm

    p.s. I’m nostalgic for late summer in the Midwest, when people go around at night surreptitiously leaving gigantic bags of zucchini, tomatoes, and corn on people’s doorsteps. How I would love one of those bags of goodies now.

  4. August 5, 2009 2:18 pm

    That salad looks good enough to eat! 😀

    My neighbour has a fair sized garden but spends most of the growing season cursing the birds, squirrels and rabbits who pretty much clean her out before she sees any of the fruits of her labour. The other day I caught her in the back of our yard banging on a tree with a shovel cursing up a storm at a squirrel.

  5. August 5, 2009 2:35 pm

    Herbs, and sad tomatoes. We’ve got the blight.

  6. August 5, 2009 3:24 pm

    Rosemary and lavender! I have those too. I forgot to mention them. As for wildlife invasions, I’m afraid to say anything about it, because I’ve done nothing to prevent them — no spraying, no fences, no nothing — and so far the only thing that’s been bothered at all was a couple of chewed chard leaves. We have an abundance of wildlife pests — tons of bunnies and chipmunks and raccoons (oh, the raccoons — there’s a family of 8 that lives in the tree that shades my vegetables a little too much) and a bumper crop of foliage-decimating deer. But so far they have avoided this little corner, which is very close to the house, tucked between to wings of deck. There are plenty of other things to eat in the yard, however — hostas, blackberries, walnuts and hickory nuts. So perhaps they have enough without tormenting my vegetables.

  7. readersguide permalink
    August 5, 2009 3:52 pm

    Delicious!

    We’ve got thyme and oregano, and spearmint. I think that may be it, edible-wise.

  8. August 5, 2009 7:15 pm

    I’m posting about my yard tomorrow I hope- inspired by dinner too.

    Be wary of strawberries that start to turn red. I’ve never had the chance to see one ripe and on the vine. The day I hope to pick them, they’re gone.

  9. The Lass permalink
    August 5, 2009 7:49 pm

    Lovely!

    We only have herbs this year, due to the severe drought. In our herb garden are rosemary, oregano, tarragon, lemon mint, orange mint, sage, lemon verbena, lavendar, kaffir lime leaf (which started three years ago as a small plant and is now over three feet tall), Thai basil and regular basil.

  10. The Lass permalink
    August 5, 2009 7:50 pm

    lavender – I hate typos!

  11. August 5, 2009 9:47 pm

    Wow – that’s impressive!

    I’m afraid I don’t do veggies but the hydrangeas, day lilies, coreopsis, liatris, purple coneflower, cosmos, and (yay!!) my gladiola are in bloom right now! I have to say day lilies are growing on me and I’d love to do a mixed bed of all different colors of them… Someday! In the meantime, I need to cut back the dead ones but it’s just been too hot to get out there so far.

    Oh, and in the shaded window boxes on the porch, these cool little violet-purple flower things that I can’t remember the name of and Boston ferns – they’ve done really well even though I’ve been awful with the watering!!

  12. crankygirl permalink
    August 6, 2009 12:27 pm

    I love the way that salad looks. Yum.

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