June 6, 2016

And the busy season begins again

I haven't written anything in a while because the busyness has begun.  

The garden is lush and growing more and more day by day.  As my garden plants grow, so do the weeds!  I spent most of Saturday afternoon weeding, thinning. and adding some more seedlings.  My dad came over and worked with me in the yard, which was both a great help and a nice chance to catch up as we worked.  

Here's a view into the most active side of the garden now: asparagus, radishes and broccoli in the front; then sweet potatoes, lettuce, beans and beets; followed by garlic and kale at the back.  I also planted my cucumbers a couple weeks ago and they are starting to come up.  I've been planting a couple rows of corn every two weeks so we will have a continuous crop once it starts to produce.  The rest of the garden is filled with tomatoes, peppers, squash, okra, and eggplant.  Still to plant: melons and pumpkins.

I put dad in charge of thinning radishes and beets, since he has become an expert at that working the CSA garden at Grailville.  Some kind of bug had eaten away at the radish greens, so we gave those to the chickens to enjoy, but the roots are for me!  Here's what he got from the baby radishes he yanked.

The beet greens, however, were in good shape so they went into the kitchen whole - two buckets of them just from thinning the rows!  I chopped and blanched most of the leaves so that I could freeze them for later use.  The beets I'll probably use for a nice beet and tomato salad.  This was my first chance to try my new Food Saver so I was excited.  It is soooo much easier and more effective than my poor man's version sucking the air out with a straw. 

My kale is lush and full and needed to be cut back some.  So I plucked a tray full of the Curly Leaf variety to start.  I had to be careful to check the leaves because the cabbage moths are beginning their onslaught.  I picked off a handful of them and fed them to the chickens before I brought my tray of leaves in for another round of blanching and freezing.  I still have to tackle the Lacinato plants.  I'll have frozen chopped kale for a year's worth of recipes in no time at all!  So many things to look forward to: quiches, pastas, "spinach" artichoke dip, soups...

Here you can see my process.  I have to cut the stems out and trim any brown pieces off  (these go to the chickens).  Then I chop the leaves.  Next they get blanched and laid out to dry.  Finally, I package them up in recipe size parcels and store them away in the freezer.

Earlier this spring, I began planting the beds around our pool with berries.  I put in about six blueberry bushes, five raspberries and a couple blackberries.  As I passed by them this weekend I caught a glimpse of a first red ripe raspberry.  I, of course, immediately devoured it.  It was so perfectly delicious!

The blackberry plants are loaded with fruit.  I can't wait for them to ripen up.

In the front yard, my lavender is profuse.  I love to walk by the front of the house and take in that smell.  It is so intensely sweet; it's hard not to be happy when you smell it.  I think I may start harvesting and drying some bouquets of lavender soon.  I also want to learn some new recipes to use it in the kitchen.

My flower beds are filling with color as things come into bloom.  It's a struggle to keep up with the weeding, but it does look so nice when I get everything in order.

I'll try to keep you posted so you too can share in the joy of things growing again.  I hope you'll forgive me if I lose track of time!

What's your favorite thing that's growing now?

No comments:

Post a Comment