Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WEEKEND HARVEST GARDEN UPDATE

The garden is going so great this season!

Herb bed
The herbs I cut and harvest and then come back the next week and there they are again ready and waiting.  They sit there, perfectly neat little plants saying "harvest me" week after week.  We have basil, flat leaf parsley, oregano, chives, and lemon thyme.

Zucchini in raised bed
This is the zucchini.  It's H-U-G-E!  That's a 4x4 bed and it's almost filled up.  And COVERED in small zucchinis and blossoms.  We're going to have a LOT of zucchini.  I told 2nd Man to get some recipes for zucchini bread and whatever else we can find. 


Tomatoes!!  
We have several nice, large tomatoes, about six on this plant and four on the other.  And so far they are perfect and round.  


The cucumbers...
Have...
Exploded...
I thought I saw all of them last week when I harvested a bunch.


But apparently, I missed a few!  Oops, these are really big ones!  Any suggestions?  I'm sure these won't be the first I miss.  They are like hunting Easter eggs in that vine!


In addition to the large cucumbers on the porch railing in the previous picture, here is the rest of this weekend's harvest basket.  More cukes (normal sized), jalapeños, eggplant and even a few okra.  

 I'm not sure what we did right this year, but I literally stand in the gate of the garden and stare in hopeful wonder.  I just don't have to do much.  The automatic watering is working.  There are no weeds in the straw covered beds (and what few there are are pulled up in just moments).  The weedblock fabric is keeping the ground weed free as well. 
And, this time around at least, no bugs.


After a couple of hit and miss seasons, problems and changes, we finally have something that is working.  If it keeps up like this, we'll open up the other side next year.  OK, maybe too early to think ahead.

I'll catch up comments tonight!


19 comments:

Anne in the kitchen said...

Fantastic! Everything looks lush!

kymber said...

congratulations! i know a lot of who say that you just can't throw seeds in the ground and somehow become a gardener. and it's the truth. it takes time, it takes patience, it takes trying things this way and that...and then at some point you kind of get to a place where you know what things should be where and how to take care of it all...i think you are at that place right now. so from here on in - expect that you're going to get better and better at this. congratulations!

sending much love to you both! your friend,
kymber

Mum said...

Too large cucumbers tend to be rather bitter. I'm afraid I compost mine. They're much better smaller. More abundance to come. Great stuff.
xx

Elephant's Child said...

Your hard work is being generously rewarded.
I always thought that zuchinni were the camoflague masters. It seems that they have a rival in cucumbers.
And yes, when they reach giant proportions, I compost them. Or feed them to the worm farm.

kymber said...

there is no such thing as "too big anything"...ferment your cucumbers and zucchini and enjoy their beautiful nutrition throughout the winter! xoxox

Texas Rose said...

Your garden looks gorgeous - so healthy and bountiful! Your thumb is glowing green!

I'm with Kymber - make good use of the biggies.
I slice the larger ones to make Bread & Butter Pickles.
I use my regular canning recipes to make regular B&B and also dill. But this quick recipe is perfect for 1 or 2 that hide from you or if you're just in a hurry to get some B&B:

Microwave Bread and Butter Pickles
2 cups sliced cucumbers
1 cup sliced onions
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1 cup sugar
Mix all ingredients together, then cover with plastic wrap.
Microwave on high for 10 -11 minutes.
Refrigerate before serving. They are ready to eat in a few hours, better in a day or two.
Makes one pint.


Colleen said...

How Wonderful. Everything is growing by leaps and bounds. Congratulations. Makes life so much easier when you don't have to worry about pulling weeds every weekend.
I have canned some pepper mustard and canned up some zucchini relish. The other day I made some refrigerated cucumber pickles. Won't be long before you will be dusting off your canner from the way it looks. :}
Enjoy your evening

kymber said...

oh i love that recipe by texas rose and can't wait to try it out!

1st Man said...

Thank you!!! It it kind of lush and green.

1st Man said...

LOL, thank you much sweet Kymber! We have had a few years of trial and error for sure. Gosh just two seasons ago, the inside of the garden was so overgrown we couldn't even SEE the raised beds. Things will just keep getting better (we hope!).

1st Man said...

I didn't know that. Now these aren't HUGE but they are bigger than others. We'll try one and see. Thanks for the info!!

1st Man said...

Actually I can see what you mean about the zucchini I was trying to find any that needed to be pulled but they were very hard to distinguish among the stems and leaves and blossoms.

1st Man said...

Ha, so true. I don't know much about fermenting but I guess I need to learn. And I'm sure we will have many more that are big.

1st Man said...

Like Kymber below, yep, DEFINITELY going to try this. Thanks. I love the idea of microwave. Might just do that tomorrow night. Thanks!!!!

1st Man said...

Oh I am already looking up canning recipes and ideas, ha. Yes, without having to pull weeds and fight that, it's much easier to deal with other stuff.

1st Man said...

Doesn't it sound great? And microwave and bread and butter pickles I LOVE. Can't wait to try these. Thanks again Texas Rose!!!!

Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

Your garden looks AMAZING!!! It is trial and error but the end results are worth it!

The bigger cukes can be slightly bitter and watery but you can salvage them. Peel the skin and scoop out the seeds/ pith. Cube and use them in marinated cucumber salads, preferably recipes which use a little sweetener (honey or sugar). You can peel and chunk them and make refrigerator pickles (add a little pickle crisp). And you can peel, deseed and make tzatziki sauce. Don't forget cucumber sandwiches!

I found an interesting recipe from Valerie Bertinelli which is an asian inspired cucumber salad. It sounds delicious and I want to make it...but if you make it before me , I want to know if it is a hit.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/valerie-bertinelli/marinated-cucumber-salad

And apparently you can make cucumber soup. Served chilled with mint. That sounds very refreshing on a hot day!
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/valerie-bertinelli/mint-cucumber-soup


Don't get me started on zucchini recipes. I do suggest getting spiralizer, if you have not done so already.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

wow! time to open a farm stand! time to make pickles too. i have lots of pickle recipes on my blog. and make hungarian cucumber salad!

Practical Parsimony said...

You are the only farmer I know who can leave for a week and have success. I think your watering system and weed barrier makes the difference. I hate cucumbers, so I have no suggestions. As for zucchini, cut out the overly large seeds, peel, and slice and cut the slices in pieces. Heat in mango juice and then dehydrate. They make good snacks--mango flavored zucchini. I can imagine that you could use pineapple juice and still have a delicious snack. I have been thinking these dehydrated snacks could be used in a pie or jelly. With the abundance of zucchini, the choices of ways to use them are endless.