Monday, June 28, 2010

Apologizing and misc Garden

*****I posted this apology letter previously on my family blog*****

I really hate apologizing. It means I was wrong, and I hate to be wrong. But I think that I have to do it this time.

Dear Birds,

I am sorry to have accused you for being the responsible party for the "Great Edamame massacre". I still blame you for all of the missing ripe strawberries, but I think that another guilty party may be to blame for the edamame. During one of my morning garden inspections, I noticed one of the edamame sprouts I had protected from the birds had been "de-seeded" and a little slug was curled up next to it in a food induced coma. Let's just say that slug won't be bothering the garden in the future. So.... maybe it was slugs and birds, because 19 seems like a lot for slugs to accomplish overnight. The edamame seeds I planted in the raised container seem to be doing well, so let's hope that we will be eating fresh edamame beans later this summer.

So please stay away from the strawberries and I'll stop accusing you of eating my edamame seedlings.


Apologetic Gardener

Well, that was a relief to get off my chest! So here are the plants in containers that are thriving so far.

The edamame are the broad plants in the middle and the others are radishes planted to try and keep up with my son's voracious radish appetite.

Here are the two edamame that survived the first planting.
Don't they look sad? All alone and small?

Well, they have friends close by, a team of burpless cucumbers, a scalloped squash (photo below) and some arugula.

In a container on the patio are these beauties.... Cherokee Purple tomatoes. I am really excited to taste these! They are supposed to have a deeper/richer taste than plain red tomatoes. Yum!
I bought this plant for the hubby, it is a "Tomatoberry" which I hope are very similar to the Strawberry Tomatoes we used to find at Costco. Looks like he will be able to let me know if the plant is a hit or miss very soon.

And this curious guy is my Green Zebra tomato. I'm sure he is very tired of me feeling and prodding daily to see if he is ripe yet. This tomato should be green and yellow when ripe. So I think the feel test may be the only way to see if he's ready.

This little one has 5 female flowers and not a single male in sight. Thankfully there are many more squash in the garden to help out.
We've got some figs growing. Yum, I can't wait to bite into one this summer....

And about 5 grapefruit have set. I know that I really should pinch off the fruit and give the tree a chance to set deep roots, but I just can't. I really want to see these guys grow up to be big grape-fuit!
Well, I put some of the arugula to good use tonight. I had a craving for one of my all time favorite meals: pasta with shrimp, arugula and lemon. It was so nice to be able to come up with a meal plan and walk outside to get some ingredients! Hello yummy arugula.....

And hello dinner! Fresh arugula, tomatoes, and Italian flat leaf parsley from the garden. Now to figure out what's for dinner tomorrow....

Harvest Monday

This is the first (hopefully of many) Harvest Monday posts! Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions, and other harvests can be found here at Daphne's Dandelions

What a great garden week it was! Things are really starting to look edible. I am trying to decide when to start thinking about fall plants here, but we haven't even hit the hottest part of the summer yet. Last year when we were house hunting, the mercury hit 101.... and I am dreading the heat! (But the plants will probably love it).

On to the good stuff...this week from the garden we had fresh Swiss Chard, zucchini, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, strawberries, green beans, and jalapeno. That sounds like a big haul, but in actuality it was pretty small!

Eggplant: 6 7/8 oz
jalapeno: 1 1/4 oz
zucchini: 4 oz
scalloped squash: 3 1/4 oz
Celebrity tomatoes: 10 oz
Super sweet 100's tomatoes: 1 7/8 oz
Green Zebra tomato: 4 1/4 oz
Strawberries: 7/8 oz
Swiss Chard: 13 1/4 oz
Green beans: I don't know, the kid grabbed them from me and ate them...

I managed to get the strawberries inside to wash and weigh them before they were consumed. We've had a pretty good strawberry harvest so far this summer considering that we only have 3 plants that have been in the ground for 3 months and 3 more that we just planted 1 month ago. The hubby and I have not eaten a single berry... my goofy boy gobbles them up as soon as I let him find them.

The goofy boy has been asking me the last few days if we can eat the purple eggplant. So I finally caved this weekend and we harvested the largest of the 3 that are edible sized. Since we were finally going to eat one of the eggplants, I decided we might as well eat the scallop squash I picked earlier this week and the zucchini that was sizing up. We can't eat just 1 squash/zucchini, so might as well combine them all for a side dish. We washed them up, sliced and tossed them on the grill with the rest of dinner, and they were so good! Hubby's response to the eggplant was "I didn't hate it." True praise indeed.

The jalapeno below (1 of about 4 good sized ones on the plant) was used in a last minute batch of black beans.

Hmmm..... Dinner was grilled chicken legs, rice, grilled eggplant/zucchini/squash, braised collard greens and some black beans. Yum! Summer is here and the garden will hopefully produce us lots of treats.
This huge bolting plant is bok choy. I've been letting it grow with hopes of saving seed. It was such a great producer this spring, we probably cut and ate over 4 pounds of bok choy. I know at a single harvest we had 2 pounds, 9 oz! It's taking forever though, I really want the space as planted the watermelon next to it and it really needs the room to grow now. I also have some Blue Lake bush beans behind it that have been lacking for sunshine and space and are already producing some beans. I hope that once we get the bok choy out the beans will shoot up and produce like mad. I have some beans there I need to pick soon, and hopefully I will be able to get a taste this time.
The squash and zucchini have been really odd lately, lots of female flowers and I have to hunt for male flowers. And there has been some cross-pollinating so the females will develop. I figure that is ok since I am not saving them for seed and really just want them to eat.