Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 31, 2010

The garden is in a lull right now.  The crappy summer weather we've had this season has slowed the garden's growth and delayed harvests.  Then, to add insult to injury, the massive heat wave that struck the area while we were on vacation caused all my cool-weather crops to bolt.  So much for the brassicas.  I was really looking forward to the broccoli and cauliflower. 

Yeah, I know I mentioned this in my last post, but it is a pivotal point in this year's garden season.  About the only thing that liked the heat was the tomatoes, which shot up over the last month.  I have hundreds of flowers on my ten tomato plants, but shaking them has not formed any tomatoes.  I fear they either won't be pollinated or not have time for the eventual tomatoes to ripen at all.  What the heck is happening to our weather?  It's insane.

The other reason that the garden is in a lull is that my salad bed that I planted before I left is still not quite at the harvest stage.  I guess I should have immediately replanted the dozens of blank spinach spots from horrible germination, but I don't have the seed to replant. 

Speaking of that. I forgot to mention in my last post that I took a bit of a detour on my trip back from California.  I just happened to read a billboard while driving through central Oregon that Territoral Seed was coming up.  Much to my family's appathy, I stopped at the company store.  For a Pacific Northwest gardener, I was in heaven.  No taxes, no shipping and their entire seed catalog at my fingertips.  Unfortunately, aside from a few salad greens I knew I was out of, I couldn't remember what I needed.  I thought about spinach, but didn't get any.  How was I to know I'd get 3 of 30 plants to germinate.  And we just love adding it to salads and smoothies alike. 

As a tip to parents, you can't taste or see it in smoothies, so kids will drink their veggies. Peas work well too, but broccoli adds a discernable taste in any amount.  I was looking forward to trying cauliflower.  And of course I wont have any for fall harvest since ALL of my cole crop seedlings died over vacation.  Still kicking myself over that one.

Lastly, for those of you posting concern for my carrots, we're eating them daily.  We've eaten about a pound so far, and they're still tasty, though definitely lacking the fresh-from-the-garden sweetness.  Oh well, I do have about 100 carrots almost ready for fall harvest, so I'm not concerned in the slightest.

Finally got my cord back for my phone, so here is a sompling of the semi-processed carrots ready for mid-term storage.  And here is the package ready for the garage fridge crisper.

Come to think of it, we've eaten one and a half of these paper towel bundles.  They may not last a month after all.

Enjoy your garden!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 22, 2010

My oh my.  I want to thank the folks that have come here and left comments of encouragement of late.  They actually got me off my duff and back to the site with the intention to post again.  Unfortunately when I got here the theme had changed.  Not only was it ugly, but it lacked a way to log in to change it or post.  Thankfully I found a way to get to the login page directly, so hopefully all is well again. 

Since my last post, the weather changed here yet again.  We had a week of 90+ degree temperatures, which killed my cold weather crops while we were on vacation.  Not only that, but the fall broccoli and cauliflower that I planted out right before I left didn't make it in the heat.  Too fragile I guess.  Shame, it was yummy what I got to eat. 

So let's see, what else is going on.  The salad greens have all bolted, except the romaine from EG.  It has actually started forming hearts.  I was wondering when that would happen.  I still hope to harvest the outer leaves and keep it producing.  Not sure.  Anyway, before I left late last month, I planted an entire bed of salad greens for fall.  What came up is doing fairly well, but the spinach was a bust.  I think I got 3 plants out of 30 seeds.  Insane.  That's too bad because we were really liking the spinach.  My youngest eats NO veggies so adding spinach to smoothies was a real hit.  Shh, don't tell him. hehe.

What else.  Ah yes, the carrot fiasco.  A week ago my eldest asked to go get a carrot from the garden.  Of course.  Then my yougest wants to do so.  However, he decides he wants the perfect one, so he harvests a dozen, expecting to put them back in the ground like Curious George.  So, when I get out there, I ask my eldest to pick up all the carrots that his brother pulled while I got educate my youngest.  Alas, all he apparently heard was pick all the carrots.  When I got back he'd harvested nearly the entire bed.  I went crazy.   It ended up being 4 pounds of baby carrots.  I couldn't be mad at him for long though, he was heartbroken.  He was only doing what he thought I wanted and truly loves carrots, so he was distraught until we researched and found out how to keep them for a month or more.  We can easily go through them in that. time.  Live and learn.

Well, that's plenty for this post.  Sorry I don't have pics for this one. I can't find my cord to upload photos to my sharing site.  Speaking of pictures, we got a new camera for our trip.  It's a real nice one, so I hope to start using it more for the garden so you get better pics.  Something to look forward to, don't you think?  Hope your weather's better than ours and get out and enjoy your garden!