Sunday, August 9, 2009

Garden Update and First Two Harvests!

The garden has really taken off in the past few weeks, even though we've been pretty much ignoring it except to water every other evening. We've got tons of tomatoes growing, though they're still small, at least five little watermelons, several bell peppers, some swiss chard, and a ton of cucumbers. We're still waiting on the carrots and the string beans, though we're not expecting many since most of the bean seeds didn't even sprout.

Baby watermelons in the patch on the hill.

Baby cucumber and some marigolds finally coming up (under the cucumber plants...naturally.)

String bean row and fetus.

Carrots, coming along nicely.

On a bike ride with the DBS last week, I found these four seedlings just hanging out in their plastic container in the middle of nowhere, so I stuck them in my basket and planted them the next morning. My dad thinks they're either brussels sprouts or broccoli.

Brussels sprout (maybe.)

Row of bell pepper plants.

Swiss chard. I thought they'd have pink stems, but they don't. Hm.

Tomatoes galore. Still unripe.

Marigolds, pansies, and zinnias we planted (late) around the birch tree in the front yard.

The wild mint that grows along the house foundation. Great for mojitos and mint juleps.

Even the cilantro is doing better. Not great, but better.

We also got the pond filled (finally) and a new pump for the waterfall. I put a couple of water plants in, a water hibiscus, which you can see floating on the left in front of the bench, and some water grasses. Now we just need some fish!

The pond (and strawberry patch, which we neglected to mow and thin this year).

Also, last weekend we got our first harvest from the garden. Four large cucumbers, one medium-small green pepper, and several large leaves of swiss chard, which, sadly, cooked down to roughly a cup. A delicious cup, though. I don't know many recipes involving swiss chard, but I like it sauteed with a bit of olive oil and lemon pepper.

First harvest! With keys for size reference.

This second harvest came a few days ago, and we picked four more cucumbers today! We're going to have to start giving some to the neighbors.

Second harvest!

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Kittye said...

Congratulations! Perhaps we'll see a post on canning in the fall?

Wren Caulfield said...

Perhaps. I'm not sure I'll have enough of anything to can, though. We'll see.

KellyK said...

Re your 'pink stems' comment - you were confusing swiss chard with rhubarb. They do resemble one another, but it's only superficial...the leaves of rhubarb are toxic, whereas the chard leaves and stems are delicious!

Also... I think of chard and spinach as the 'cotton candy' of the leafy-greens world. You really have to pick about 3 cups to get a cup of cooked product. (Try it steamed!)

The Prudent Homemaker said...

Some chard stems are colored pink or yellow, like the "Neon Lights" variety. It just depends on what you buy. I grow Burpee's Fordhook giant (a hybrid) and the leaves are HUGE (the length of my arm). The stems are white. I steam it and put lemon juice, salt, and pepper on it. My husband likes it with mayo. I will also throw some into soups sometimes as well. A friend of mine eats the raw stems like celery, and I know some people who like it raw in a salad. I fill a giant pot with it when I cook it, and it cooks down to just enough for my family.

Your pepper plants look nice and healthy!

Your pond is really lovely! I love all the shade in your garden! Shade is a rare thing where I live.

Steph @ Greening Families said...

Your pond is beautiful!

Kim said...

Nice blog, and I thought this type of gardening was deemed obsolete in the affluent West since Reagan ruled the "free world". You're right about the wild mint, they tend to taste better than their corporately-farmed counterparts.

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