Saturday, August 08, 2009

Garden update

Tonight I went, alone, to watch Julie & Julia movie. I read the book a few years ago, and posted on Mary Jane's Farmgirl connection about it, and the movie moved me as much, or more, than the book.

After reading the book I was inspired enough to buy a Julia Child cookbook, but after seeing the movie, maybe I should have gotten Julia's biography instead.

I was definitely moved to tears while reading both the book and watching the movie. I find parallels in the lives of both characters with my own. I was surprised to feel the emotions when Julia and her husband were talking about having to leave Paris - very similar to my own emotions right now when anticipating having to leave Ohio due to my husband's job change.

I haven't posted much lately, that is because of my guilt complex about not choosing a winner for the zucchini recipe contest...

Now that that is over with, I can tell you my gardening experiences in the last few weeks. Since my knee has been recovering, I've been limiting my gardening to just picking the ripe (or overripe) vegetables and letting the weeds go. Bad mistake!

Earlier this week I pulled a full row of beets. Using a seed tape for the beets was definitely a good decision this year, and I will do it again. My daughters came over and helped me can pickled beets and garlic dills.

I've been a little disappointed with the cucumbers, I noticed I have some cucumber beetles and many of the leaves are turning yellow and drying up. I did have a rather large harvest the night the girls came over, and the ghostly white cukes are the most productive of all. The lemon yellow round cukes (what was the name of that variety?) haven't done so well this year, I think I planted them too close together. I did pickle seven pints of dill pickles, and still have several left to make another batch.

As usual, the zucchinis are quite prolific, all varieties, and because of my neglect due to the surgery, many are as big as baseball bats. I've made zucchini bread, stuffed zucchini, grilled zucchini, the recipes posted on the contest blog entry, canned zucchini salsa (10 pints) and made deep-fried zucchini. It is an ongoing battle with DH to keep them out of the compost pile.

I've been picking green beans (and wax beans, and purple beans) for several weeks. Last night I pulled up all the plants and took them to the patio to sit in a chair and pull off the mature beans. It is much easier on my knee to sit than to stand in the garden on the uneven ground and pick them, and I felt that there wouldn't be many more anyway.

After pulling the beans, I found that I had a huge harvest of green peppers that I hadn't even seen because of the bean foliage. That is a crop to harvest tomorrow.

My tomatoes are FINALLY starting to turn color. I have one Celebrity that is slightly orange, and the plum tomatoes are looking a little bit yellow. I believe they are delayed because the weather has been so cold this year. I am afriad that all will ripen on the same day and I won't be able to keep up with the harvest.

I am still harvesting the Bibb lettuce variety (?) from Territorial that claims it is slow to bolt. Since we've had an unusually cool summer, the claim has held true, and it has been delightful in salads.

Two nights ago we picked the first ears of sweet corn. They were just a little bit under-ripe, so hopefully the rest will come (if I can keep the raccoons out) to enjoy with the tomatoes.

I am trying to clear the garden of weeds this weekend so that I can plant some cabbage, some cultivated arugula, some more beets, and perhaps some cauliflower. This is just about the outer limit for planting the fall garden, except for perhaps some radishes. That is my plan for Saturday, on Sunday I will be working and babysitting my newest little grandchild, he is just adorable!

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