Tuesday, April 10, 2012

More of Our Spring Garden, 2012

This year's garden was very successful and continues to be as such still into this warm month of April. We basically had no winter this year so brassicas didn't happen as well as some other cold weather crops I was hoping to try. However, due to the fact that we recently moved our garden out front and that it's much smaller than when it was out back, we're pleasantly content with what we've gotten out of it this spring.

(Lincoln doing morning chores)
(Norah helping)
Some pentas I planted to add some color and vibrance.
sugar snap peas
(they're healthy, but not abundant since they were planted too late and the weather hasn't helped)
Here are the crazy weed-flowers that I so desperately wanted to mow down, but continually fought the urge. These flowers brought so many honey bees this spring that I couldn't part with them! It was a bitter-sweet relationship. They gave us such good pollination for everything (especially the cucumbers). It was difficult harvesting cucumbers because unless you beat the bees to them early in the morning as the sun was coming up, or in the early evening as the sun was going down, you were risking getting stung if you walked through them to pick a juicy cuke!
We trellised the cucumbers this year and it worked very well, especially since we used a sturdy trellis versus the nylon netting we used last spring.
We did a 'Straight 8' cucumber this year (not a pickling) and we must have harvested at least 15 large cucumbers and they're still coming. The plants themselves are starting to really feel the heat as they're slowly withering away. We may get a few more, but only if the caterpillars will stay away. It's amazing how healthy the cucumbers have been up to this week. Not a worm in sight!! However, we over watered this past week and the mildew has set in and boy is the mildew ever a welcome doormat for the worms. We picked 5 smaller cukes tonight and they each had a worm in it. They were conveniently thrown over the fence to the chickens who had a hay-day. :)
lettuce...we did a Boston Bibb and a Buttercrunch. I'm currently letting about 10 of them go to seed right now, so they're long, skinny and very bitter-tasting, but they'll produce their flowers before long and then I'll hand them to dry and collect seeds by shaking them in a brown paper bag. No person should ever pay money for lettuce seeds. They're just too easy to collect and do yourself. Anyway, we had some great salads this spring!
I did some 'Rattlesnake Pole Beans' as well as some bush beans. I don't know why I even planted the bush variety because every year the Rattlesnakes out beat the bush beans in taste hands down. From now on, it's Rattlesnake pole beans that I'll be planting. They have a beautiful purple flower bloom and the beans themselves have purple stripes that disappear when steamed. We prefer just to eat them by the handful, raw and juicy.
Tomato blossoms are everywhere and the tomatoes are starting to come in nicely. They're big and green right now and it's only a matter of a week or so before they start ripening. Ahh. REAL vine-ripened tomatoes that are juicy and not "rock-like" in perfect genetically modified formation, taste and texture.
apple blossoms...I'm waiting for fruit to set well this year and then our orchard will be covered in bird netting galore. (Pesky squirrels!) Maybe I'll finally get that pink bee-bee gun for Mother's Day this year! (Hint, hint honey.)
Molly catching some Florida sunshine.
A pineapple that finally produced after sitting in the ground for 2 years. I had placed some apples and plastic bags on them months ago trying to use the methylene gas to stimulate a pineapple to grow and I guess something worked because isn't he cute? :)
orange blossoms
Norah and I harvested this basket full one morning. She and I always have fun in the garden together. She's a good taste-tester too!

1 comment:

Rachel E. said...

Wow! What a wonderful show of handiwork. You have worked so hard and it looks lovely. I look forward to my garden next year. Researching it all will be fun.

I agree with you on tomatoes. Vine ripened have a wonderful flavor. I had a Polish friend tell me her they don't gas their tomatoes, but use urine. I wanted to gag. I try to buy the on the vine clusters.