Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Finishing Up the Garden Tour

I know everyone can grow zucchini so it's nothing to brag about, but I think my two plants (in the same hill) are especially pretty this year. Maybe it's all the blossoms still putting on a show that impress me.

We've been eating them sliced and sauteed with onions and mushrooms with an egg on top for breakfast most every morning for a while now. Yum!

Here's my bed of slicing cucs. I thinned the bed down to four plants. Then two up and died on me before bearing fruit. They just withered and started to turn brown. I inspected them for insect damage but couldn't find any. The two remaining plants are producing about 55 pounds of slicing cucs a day. (Okay, maybe a little less than that.) I took ten cucs to a get together yesterday and wouldn't let anyone leave without taking at least one. They are soooo good and we eat a lot of them either cut into spears with a little salt or sliced and mixed with red onion, garlic salt, black pepper, dill weed and a smidge of mayo. We always miss them when the frost zaps the vines.

I planted three kinds of peppers in this bed and there was a time earlier this season when I didn't think any of them would get over 6" tall. But they did.

This is a sweet pepper, Antohi Romanian, an Eastern European frying pepper. They've always done really well for me yielding heavily. They are yellow turning both orange and bright red, but you can harvest them in the early yellow stage. You can't see them all but this plant has ten peppers on it.

We've never been much for hot, spicy foods but I know they are reputed to be good for us so for the first time this year, I've grown Cheyenne, a "warm" hot pepper which can be used when green, as they are now, or when they turn red. I've yet to harvest one to give it a try. (Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy. No kidding, I'm really afraid of them. I mean I'm supposed to wear protective goggles and gloves when I prepare them??)

I have serious doubt that these jack o' lantern pumpkins will make it this year. This is our largest one, about the size of a soccer ball. (Oh well, there's always orange spray paint.)

Unless we have an early killing frost, I think my Red Kuri squash will mature. This one shown here grows visibly bigger each day. Really.

How many green and yellow beans can two people eat? Like the peppers, my bean plants started so slowly this year, but have ended up giving us a bumper crop. I don't think I've ever had such a good crop of beans.

The green and red cabbage are huge, but a bit beat up by munching insects. They've been hard hit by critter damage this year and I've yet to harvest one to see if they are usable. I really must do that soon.

That's an overview of most of what's happening in the garden right now. Fall plantings are growing under shade cloth and I'm hoping they will give us fresh green goodness well into fall. I'll take the shade cloth off at some point and put cold frames on top of them to extend the season as much as I can.

Gardening a hard work, but I do so love doing it. This time of year I feel like a squirrel (or perhaps a big, ol' bear getting ready for hibernation) taking in the bountiful harvest and packing it away for the winter. What a great pay-off for your own labor!

23 comments:

Larry said...

Use your Cayenne s to make hot pickled cauliflower, hot pickled broccoli or hot pickles. They're not real hot and ours came out like the ones you get at the grocery store, except without all the chemicals.

2 Tramps said...

Aw, it all looks so great! Our zucchini plants need to see what yours look like so they know how to grow right... Your Red Kuri is sure doing good - hope ours has a growth spurt with all the hot weather we are having.

Sparkless said...

Wow that sure is lots of cucumbers! I bought 25lbs of pickling cucs and thought that was too much I can't imagine how two people get through double that every day.
We have blooms on our plants but not much to show for it yet other than some pitifully small carrots, one tomato and some blueberries and a couple of strawberries.

Chai Chai said...

I love seeing how other gardens are doing this year in the Northland! My cucumbers are huge (maybe the goat poo helped) as are my squash. I didn't think one could grow a pumpkin this far north - I hope yours makes it!

Simply Scaife Family said...

Beautiful garden!

Susan said...

Funny thing, my zucchini plants (2) produced about six fruit and now, all the blossoms are male. what's with that??? I'm not ready to give up my zukes. I'm glad you posted a picture of your red kuri, as I planted it for the first time this year and I'm never sure what they are supposed to look like! I am also going to try your frying peppers next year - they are amazing! I think your garden is so beautiful, that I am going to suggest that Jane and I come up and take a tour - and Jane brings the wine!

p.s. And what is with the verification/i am not a robot numbers/words? Are they kidding?

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Hi! You are getting wonderful produce from you garden. We don't like things too spicey and I am also afraid to handle hot peppers so had to smile at your goggles and gloves! We eat a lot of our cucumbers just sliced! Yum. Nancy

Mama Pea said...

Larry - Ooooh, pickled cauliflower with one or two of the red Cayenne peppers in the jar sounds absolutely delicious! Regardless of how any of our garden vegetables turn out, at least we know they aren't laden with poisons, right?

Mama Pea said...

2 Tramps - With all the unusually HOT weather we've had here this summer I had expected all the squashes and pumpkins would be farther along than they are . . . but if we get any of them to mature, we'll be happy!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Another case where my attempted sense of humor went awry. We really aren't getting 55 lbs. of slicing cucs a day . . . it just seems like it when every time I go out there I find a huge cuc that has magically grown over night.

Keep your fingers crossed on your garden. There is still good growing weather ahead!

Mama Pea said...

Chai Chai - Some years my pumpkins make it, some years they don't. We'll have to wait to see what happens this year!

(Cucs do like fertilizer so I think yours are showing their appreciation!)

Mama Pea said...

Simply Scaife Family - Thank you for saying so! :o}

Mama Pea said...

Susan - I am going to suggest that we ALL go to Jane's for a summer. She can use us as slave labor and we will learn more than our little brains can handle. Now that girl knows how to grow FOOD! AND make wine. Hee-hee.

Mama Pea said...

Cozy Thyme Cottage - Yes, we are getting good things from our garden and I'm very grateful.

Have you ever grown Lemon Cucumbers? They are an old heirloom seed and we like them very much also.

Sparkless said...

Even though it's "a little less than that" it's still a lot of cukes for two people. ;)

gld said...

Your gardens are beautiful! It is so refreshing to see a lush one and hear someone bragging (well deserved) about the harvest. I assume you have had good rains ?

Mama Pea said...

gld - We were extremely dry the first half of gardening season but then we started getting very adequate (1/2" to over 2") rains regularly (but not too much) so then the crops really took off. We've been in the "lucky" part of the country this year, that's for sure.

Leigh said...

Wow, everything looks absolutely fantastic! What a treat to see. Most of that stuff I didn't plant this year. You've got me inspired for this fall and next year too.

Lisa said...

*sigh* I would so trade you beans for our eggplant :) Your garden looks amazing. I'm always interested in what you plant and cannot believe the variety (and the amount of the variety!) you produce, harvest and preserve. My cukes did that too..... kinda' like they blew up, like a water balloon, overnight.... then all of a sudden they were 'over'. Your pumpkin plant looks healthy.... you might make it. Thank you SO MUCH for the photos!!! I ALWAYS love seeing your garden.

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - I've gotten so many ideas of things to try and good varieties to plant from other bloggers' gardens. I usually plant pretty much the same thing . . . I probably should get out of the rut and branch out more. It's just that our season up here is so short that we're a bit limited. (Until we get that heated LARGE greenhouse, of course! Right. :o})

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - I just picked another six well developed slicing cucs. They're starting to remind me of zucchini!

I feel the same way when you post pictures of your place, too, Lisa. Why does everyone else's garden/landscaping always look better than your own?

Erin said...

Everything looks fantastic! Wait until I post a photo of my garden, you will be doubled over laughing at the state of it this year! That cabbage looks beautiful.

Mama Pea said...

Erin - When you have the weather you've had, what else can you do but run out to grab any harvest you can get and forget about everything else. Besides that, I'll bet it doesn't look as bad as you think it does!