Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What's on the menu, July 2017

Photo of fresh garden produce:  peas, cabbage greens, multicolored carrots and a tiny artichoke
Dinner, 10 July 2017
At the moment my most abundant garden vegetable is chard--not surprising, seeing as I harvested 371 ounces (approximately 23 pounds) of it in 2016.  This year most of it self-seeded and then I transplanted to the Misc bed;  some of these plants are trying to go to seed themselves.  The ones with this trait I've been pulling up whole to eat, and they usually weigh in at around a pound of leaves and stems per plant.  The rest I treat as "cut and come again", taking the biggest leaves.  All of it is still tender and mild, even the really big leaves.  Yum.
Photo of a collection of plastic containers filled with vegetable plants
Big planters of carrots on the patio table, smaller seed trays in front

We started harvesting the carrots from the planters on the patio recently, too.  They really only get finger size in there, but that's good enough.  I have terrible luck with them in the ground (carrot fly and slugs), but so long as the planters are kept moist, they grow well.  I bought a pack of seeds for multi-colored carrots, and we're thrilled to eat yellow, white and purple carrots as well as the usual orange.

The maincrop peas are hanging in the garage to dry in their pods now, but I picked the second batch of earlies for a (very small) harvest this week.  Enough for a spoonful each--very tasty.  If you look closely in the photo above, you'll see there's also a tiny artichoke in with the peas!  I've read that you're not supposed to let artichokes flower the first year (to encourage root growth), so I picked this one and the seven year old and I ate it between us.  Kind of tasted like the cabbage I cooked it with.

Speaking of cabbage, we're eating the summer cabbages direct from the holding bed.  I'd wanted to transplant them out after the Peas/Beans bed was finished, but ended up not having enough time--the cabbages are too big to transplant now;  they could have moved a month ago, but as the peas were still going strong there was no where to put them.  I transplanted in the smaller winter cabbage seedlings instead.  Some of the summer cabbages are trying to head up, and I've been picking every other one, to give the others a chance.  It's very tender and mild cabbage, almost like lettuce.

Speaking of lettuce, I've got my lettuce patch going at last!  My pots of lettuces are tucked away on their own little table under the big patio table.  They get a bit of shade during the warmest part of the day, but get a bit of late afternoon sun.  It's really too hot on the patio during summer for lettuces, but they seem to be fine in the shade.  I'd have them in the ground (much cooler) if I thought the slugs wouldn't massacre them.

Most of these vegetables, with the exception of lettuce, just get added to casserole/stew/curry/etc.  On Monday we had roast pork and gravy, with a selection of garden vegetables, shown in the first photo, steamed lightly.  We all shared the purple carrot!
Photo of various pots growing lettuces on a patio
Lettuce patch, 2017

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