Monday, June 27, 2011

drowning in produce

I never thought I would be growing "too much" food. My radishes are starting to taper off and I am getting ready to plant a second crop. My swiss chard is taking off and I can't eat it fast enough. I can't give it away fast enough either. It is a plant that tastes very similar to spinich. You can use it in a salad, you can put it on your sandwich, you can cook it, (my favorite is to boil it and serve it with a pat of butter and salt and pepper) the possibilities are endless. So is the plant...endless. The more you pick, the more leaves grow to take the place of the ones you harvested. I have a feeling I will be eating more of this plant than I ever thought possible.
My lettuce is also coming in thick. When I buy a head of lettuce in the store, I know I have to eat it within three or four days or it goes bad. When I pick lettuce from my garden, I can have it in the fridge for a week and it doesn't even WILT! It is still as crunchy and fresh as the day I harvested it.
My sunflowers are almost a foot tall and growing like crazy despite a neighbors claims that we can't grow sunflowers here. Because of that prior "knowledge", I planted every seed I had and well over 260 plants came up. I can't wait to invite this neighbor over this fall to see how hard it is to grow sunflowers here, lol.
The onions I planted are just as big or bigger than the onion plants I bought and are growing like crazy. I plan on dehydrating chopped onion pieces this fall to store for the year to come. I am toying with the idea of onion powder too, but we will see just how many we have. I have a sneaking suspicion that it takes A LOT of onions to make onion powder.
My pepper plants are doing good, but not growing much. they seem to have just stalled out and decided to stay this size. I am seeing new growth coming on, hopefully some blossoms in there as well. I would really like to make some salsa this year.
Speaking of salsa, the tomatoes are also doing good and they are actually growing a little taller. We are playing with the water system to fine tune it so that everything gets the right amount of water. The tomatoes seem to like what they are getting so we aren't messing with them much.
The cucumbers are putting out new leaves almost every day and I am looking forward to pickle making this fall. We tried a few new kind of cucumbers and I am hoping they will work well for pickles. We have four bush cucumber plants and four lemon cucumbers along with four pickling cucumbers. (gosh, I hate typing that word)
My jeruselum artichokes are getting really big and I think I will plant them a bit different next year. I want to do something similar to what we did with our potato plants. We have them in a small box that we can add layers to as the plants grow. If you keep putting dirt over the top of the plant, it will be forced to grow ever higher, producing more and more potatoes all the way up the stem.
My peas and beans finally came up (they were the last planted) and are 1 1/2 to 2 inches tall now. I have to figure out what will work best as a trellis for them to climb. Still pondering that one.
The corn is around six inches tall and can now flutter in the breeze. This is the crop I think the whole family is most excited about. We all love corn on the cob and I will also freeze any excess that we can't eat fresh. With three rows of corn, I think there will be plenty to freeze.
The squashes (zucchini, crookneck and pumpkin) are doing well as are the melons. I think those will be one of the more fun crops that the kids will enjoy picking and eating.
I am busy right now dealing with everything that is coming ready and I know it is only going to get worse as the rest of the crops mature, but it is certainly a satisfying kind of busy. And now I have proven to myself that I really can provide for my family. Now if I can only get a deer this year.......


  1. Around here if you have a garden, you GET deer. I just need a HUGE mouse trap.

  2. I could use a neighbor like you! That sounds like a real fine garden you've got going there.

  3. Later this week, I'll be posting about 3 things to do with the soon to be zucchini fest that many gardeners are about to deal with! :-)

    Some day, I'd love to have a home with a garden...

  4. North, we are swimming in deer here too, but we have 5 dogs and a good fence. They don't really bother the garden :)
    Hermit, I would totally give you some if you were nearby!
    Maura, I can't wait. I am going to need some ideas.


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