Thursday, July 2, 2009

Harvest post

Our daily harvests are getting much heftier and tastier. Gone are the days of early spring where lettuce, spinach and radishes were our only produce. Now we are regularly pulling broccoli, potatoes, beets, carrots, peas, lettuce, green onions, green beans, raspberries and spices from the garden. These new veggies are coming in in nice quantity and are adding significant weight to our daily harvest. Our harvest weight is now up to 50 pounds for the year. Some details:

  • Broccoli: We have already harvested all of the main shoots. Many of these weighed almost a pound on their own. The side shoots are not quite what I imagined. They are about 1/3 the size of the main shoot and they don't grow as tight. They also go to flower faster. The first three broccoli that we harvested look almost completely spent at this point. I have approx 18 broccoli seedlings temporarily planted in the cold frame ready to move to the main garden in a couple weeks for a fall crop.
  • Potatoes: These have been a wonderful surprise. Despite never flowering and despite heavy shade from the adjacent corn row, the potato harvest has been a big success. Each plant yields approx 8-10 potatoes and approx 1.5 pounds of harvest. The look and taste of the spuds are fantastic, and they are really fun to harvest. There is nothing like digging your hands through the beautiful soil mining for little red bombs of starch!
  • Peas: Raise your hand if your pea harvest always disappoints. Excuse my spelling as I type the rest of this post one handed. My peas are falling over due to my lazy staking and much too tight planting. The pods are really really hard to find in the mess of vines and leaves. Then I never seem to get as many as I think. They taste good however, and the kids love to eat them directly from the garden, so I can't complain too much. I may however try to a variety that doesn't climb next year - as I have done with the beans.
  • Beans: Speaking of beans - what a nice little crop I have going. At the end of the corn row, I planted bush beans called fin de bagnol - planted 5/9. These came from seed saver and are really, really nice looking. They get long and thin and are oh so tasty. My harvest this morning yielded about 30 beans from this very small planting. The other two bean varieties that I planted on 5/22 early bird garden, and 6/7 slenderette are not yielding yet. The early bird garden beans look wonderful. The slenderettes basically look crummy. They were hit by bugs right from the start and look just plain anemic - weird. Note: Order a ton of fin de bagnols next year. Also planted some pole beans from seeds that we had saved in prior years. I put these in the tepee area. Planted them approx 6/15. They are about 12 inches high right now and are beginning to find ways to climb the tepee. It is early yet, but I definately am liking bush beans better.
  • Raspberries: We bought two red raspberry bushes from Musser and planted them about a week ago. Yesterday I picked 15 ripe and wonderful berries. They are so tasty. I hope they do well.
  • Strawberries: I almost forgot - We didn't get a ton of strawberries this year- only enough for little garden snacks. But we did go strawberry picking. From our loot we made two nice strawberry rhubarb pies and preserved 8 pints and 12 1/2 pints of jam.

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