Saturday, August 6, 2016

July garden recap

Lettuce variety: rheines des glaces? not positive
I wanted to update how my new-to-me gardening method, a la John Seymour, is going.  As July is the designated month for ceasing vegetable purchases, how did things go--and more importantly, what did we eat?

Roots

I harvested my garlic and put it to cure in my garage.  Smells good in there!  We had a few heads fresh.

We had a few carrots here and there from the planters.  They don't get much bigger than about 3-4 inches as the planters aren't too deep.  Still, small carrots are better than none and they taste wonderful, especially raw.

A few green onions have found their way into salads and stir fries.  I don't have many, as the slugs seem to like the seedlings a lot (and every other root crop, to be honest).

Maincrop onions are still growing, as are beets and celeriac:  three baby beets, a couple onions (but no celeriac) eaten in July.
Lord Leicester peas
Peas and Beans

The peas were good and we had a few meals off them.  I left about half the pods to dry for winter use.  Next year I hope to grow an early variety for eating fresh, and the maincrop for mostly drying.  The variety I grew this year, Lord Leicester, was entirely from my own saved seed.  I would like to try a sugar snap variety too, but maybe that's too many peas for my small garden?  Can we have too many peas?

Our first three runner beans came in July.  They also grew from my own collected seed.  We definitely can't have too many runner beans.

Broad beans still growing for saving seed:  none eaten.

Brassicas

Well, the main vegetable for July was kale (and chard--see Miscellaneous).  We ate it pretty much every other day!  Generally chopped up into a casserole or similar one-pot meal (curry, stir fry, stew, etc).

I also picked a few newly sprouted Brussels sprouts leaves, from last year's plants gone to seed.  I cut down the biggest plants but left the two smaller ones, as they had a lot of good regrowth.  I don't know if they'll make new sprouts, but the leaves are like cabbage, which is good enough for me.

Cabbages, broccoli, and pak choi growing well:  none eaten yet.  I went out every evening to rub off small caterpillars and eggs.  Hope those cabbage butterflies are done laying them now...

Miscellaneous

The chard has been outstanding and on days we didn't eat kale, we ate chard--cooked exactly the same.  I also dried chard leaves on trays on top of my fridge, and both pickled and fermented chard stems with garlic. 

We had some good lettuces in July;  the variety I've grown is an iceberg type.  I think a stray rabbit snitched one, but we had several salads off the rest, and even had full regrowth from one. 

We also had a couple of random potatoes, accidently dug up with the garlic:  good sized and tasty.

Tomatoes growing and setting a few fruits.  Remaining pumpkin and squash plants (one each) flowering.  Zuccini flowering, but still small and sad from early slug damage, so my hopes are not high.  Chicory seedlings keep disappearing in not-so-mysterious circumstances.  None of these eaten in July.

Fruit

I picked a lot of cherries for the freezer from my small morello tree, but didn't get a single one off the sweet cherry tree:  the birds got them all, even after netting it.  There were only a few cherries to begin with, but still!  We got a handful of berries from our other soft fruit:  raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, strawberries, blueberries.  Our six year old ate most of them.

Plums still small and green but apples growing well and coloring up:  none of these eaten yet.

Perennials and Herbs

I only picked a few stems of rhubarb in July and have finished harvesting for the year.  The six year old still eats a fresh sorrel leaf here and there, but nobody else does (sour!).

I dried a batch of mint, a few stems of oregano, and have used both rosemary and tarragon liberally.  We also had chopped nasturtium leaves a few times in stews, which make a nice flavor;  I dried a bunch too, as an experiment.

The newly planted asparagus and artichokes are mostly not dead yet (that's my measure of success);  chives and garlic chives small but growing:  none of these eaten in July.

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