I’ll admit it, Saturday, I slept in, and really didn’t do much of anything other then take pictures for my sister. So when I awoke Sunday, I was rearing to go, and not in the mood to sit around. I got up and out early enough to catch the morning sun, finishing up with it’s daily burn off of the nights fog. You can still see some of the once all-encompassing cloud by the foot of the hills.
In the afternoon Sandy and Davie came over, and we finished harvesting the onions, and learned it’s a bit late in the season for them. Some of the Onion bulbs had begun to rot. Next year I’ll make it a point to finish picking them by the beginning or middle of August.
The string beans have collapsed half of the stick constructed trellis I made for them, and the beans shown are only about a third of the crop. Also shown are Okra, my least favorite garden food. The plants grew very well, and produced a healthy offering of seed pods.
The little Gardener’s Watermelons are just starting to ripen up. My sister Sandy discovered a great rule of thumb to tell when a melon is ripe: It’s ripe when the little worms and bugs just start to nibble a bit at the outer shell. Once they know it’s ripe, we should know it’s ripe. I also made it a point to show the 4 year old gardener that started these plants what he accomplished. When I asked him if he would do it again next year he said “No”, I replied “Why not ?”, to which he said “It takes tooooo long”. I guess the lack of instant gratification is a symbol of ones age.
At the end of the day, I decided to plant the Garlic a few weeks early. Garlic should be started early enough to give the plants time to build a basic set of roots before freezing temps set in. I’m hoping the early planting helps them grow nice big cloves. I’ve added several things to this soil to help out the plants, including bio-char and peat moss.
The time is finally here, the Okra is fully grown and ready to taste. This vegetable can be eaten raw, or cooked into a “slime” that is used for various culinary purposes. I opted for the raw taste. I sliced it up, and took a bit. I think my sister Sandy said it best when she described the taste as “a cross between a cucumber, pepper and zucchini”. I think the best way to describe what this veggy did to my taste bads can be summed up with one word: Yuck ! I did not like it at all, but if you never try anything new, you’ll never learn.
This weekend, I’ve also finished up some upgrades to my seedling room. I use this room heavily for a month or so to start my seedlings indoors, before moving them out to the greenhouse. The center header of the trim still needs a coat of paint, but I have more work to do with it. There is a vine carved into the wood, and I plan to stain it, and paint the rest of the piece white.
After many other projects, I grew tired of cutting trim into square boxy frames, and got a little creative with this frame. I had planned to place candles into the holders until I imagined the final result, curtains included. Instead, I found some plants that I’ve recently rooted in small pots, which fit perfectly. The plants should grow long vines, which will hang down from the pots. This is going to look amazing by next year, as the vines will be about 10 inches long by then.
I’m trying a second planting of Cucumbers, as the plants that went in from seed this spring have stopped growing, and the vines are dying. I have way too many cucumbers at this point, but soon, they will either be pickled, eaten or they will wither away. In the past I’ve mainly tried to extend the season by starting early, but this year I am trying to build on my skills by pressing the boundaries of fall. I’m hoping the plants will grow cucumbers up until the fall frost takes them away.
Here is an Okra plant, complete with the potential for three vegetables. I have learned that Okra originated from Africa, and is grown in three major areas: South Asia, Central Africa, and to a lesser extent, Europe. I was a bit disappointed to find out that Okra cooks into a slimy texture, but I’m still eager to try it out. Here’s some more information for those interested.
While picking myself a salad last night, I observed my first Okra Bloom. The flowers are quite festive. As I’ve mentioned before, Okra is new to me, and I get pretty excited each and every time it grows. The watermelon vines are beginning to threaten these odd plants thought, after nearly burying the Endive to the right. I’m trying to train the vines to grow back from were they came. It’s a daily battle with one of my favorite salad greens at stake, and soon, my Okra could be in danger as well. I may just start snipping the vines off !
The sun flowers in the late garden are just now beginning to grow taller then my shoulders. I can’t wait to upload the picture of these plants, each with multiple flowers. Unlike traditional sunflowers, this type forms many smaller heads of seeds, rather then the style of other sunflowers. In the background is a tiny little car, playfully nicknamed “Grandma’s Go-Cart”. It gets amazing gas mileage, and is surely better for the enviroment than most cars.
In the past when I planted beets, they never did too well. It may be because I never weeded past gardens nearly as well as this one.
Swiss chard is something I’ve only heard about in the past. I haven’t tried to eat it yet. A quick google search has informed me that the leaves of this plant are the portion that should be eaten. I had no idea. The small plant in the bottom right is pig weed, a nastily invasive garden weed. Of all the weeds I’ve ripped out, I would image 9 out of 10 were pig weed.
Kohlrabi I have tried in the past, and although I didn’t really enjoy it as I do tomatoes or strawberries, it wasn’t offensive to my taste buds. I imagine if I find the right way to cook it, it should taste fairly good. It is an odd plant to see fully grown, with a large ball at the base, and leaves poking out like a vegetable from another planet.
Okra is a wild card of newness to me. I’m not sure if it will even grow to fruition, as it’s a generally a southern crop.
All in all, I’m on pursuit of new crops with new tastes. In the past, I’ve grown Chinese Red Lightning Tomatoes, Mexican Husk Tomatillos, and even odd cucumber from Asia similar to Dosakai. If you have a suggestion for other new crops which may grow in the area, please let me know.