Friday, July 31, 2009

Garden Blogger's Death Day July 2009

Clank! Bring out your dead! Clank! Bring out your dead! My tomato was seemingly dying. It wasn't the tomatoes fault, it was mine. When the sunny weather hit I didn't know yet that I needed to water the plants in pots every single day. But as I was crying over the poor thing I could hear it squeak, "I'm not dead yet," in a very plaintive voice. So I watered it. It mostly recovered. It lost a lot of leaves, but it is still growing.

Since I hadn't watered them all well enough, blossom end rot took a portion of the harvest. This is is a cruel fate. Death by gardener. It wasn't even mother nature that killed these two or the others that fell not long after and keep falling to this day.

Mother nature is taking its toll on the tomatoes though. Alice is the worst off but others are succumbing to something that is yellowing its leaves. The chronic leaf spot disease is taking its toll too. Still the tomatoes say in their little squeaky voices, "Not dead yet!"

Sadly yesterday I saw this in the garden. Is this the first sign of late blight in my tomatoes? It could well be. If so it hasn't long to live no matter what that little squeaky voice keeps saying. Nor do the rest of the tomatoes. I really hope I'm wrong. I found it on the wilted Miracle of the Market pictured above. So I may have weakened the plant just enough to make it susceptible. Will this also be death by gardener? I'll continue what I always do for my tomatoes. I'll pick of any offending parts and trash them.

My indolence got me in trouble with my chard. They are such nice plants. They pump out leaf after tasty leaf. They don't complain. They require only one thing. They require me to pick off any leaf miner eggs before they hatch. I have to do this every three days. It isn't hard or time consuming, just a little eye straining. I forgot one week. My penance was to see the miners eat the chard that is rightfully mine. Death by gardener again.

Not all the death in my garden is caused by me. Mother nature takes her toll too. When I first saw the above in my garden I wondered what could cause it. Then I remembered seeing a four lined plant bug in my garden for the first time this year. So far it makes some of the plants look a bit ugly, but it hasn't killed a plant yet. A leaf or two has gone down but the pepper is still producing just fine.

When a foul wind blew through the garden last week, it took down my dill. It was a really strong wind that blew them over. Poor things. They had such beautiful flowers. I'm not crying over them however as I have so many dill in bloom right now. Sadly the wind started blowing over my bean poles too. Some other poles caught them. I'm a little worried that the next wind may take them all down. I've got my fingers crossed.

One of the saddest sights of all was my corn. You really don't see much in this photo, but if you really look you can see why I cut it all down. Can't see it yet? Well it is what you don't see that is the telling part. The earwigs cut all the silks off the corn. Without silks the corn can't get fertilized. I figured it wasn't worth them taking up the space the beans could use if they won't set any kernels. Sigh. I've been eating corn from the farmers market. Next year I'll skip planting corn. I'll have a two sisters garden.

If you too have dead to bring out head over to Gardening Without Skills and join Kate in bringing out your dead.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Around the Garden

In the bottom bed the Music Box sunflowers are finally blooming. The single Lemon Queen has buds but isn't quite there yet.

The Sungold F2s keep setting more and more tomatoes. I take more foliage off as it gets diseased. We have a chronic spot disease that we get every year. I'm not sure which one (my money is on Septoria), but it tries defoliating most of the plant. It never succeeds as the tomatoes seem to keep growing.

The potatoes and pineapple tomatillos look happy. I get a few tomatillos every day but they are so tiny I haven't done anything with them yet. The potatoes have put out a few flowers but not many. Waiting for potatoes is an agonizing process for me. The other plants I can pick a little now and more later. The potatoes are just too much waiting with nothing to show for it in the middle of the summer. I guess winter squash is the same, but right now I want potatoes for baked fries.

Near the potatoes are the most beautiful cluster of dill heads. I'll be sad in a way when they finally set seed and get cut down.

In the middle bed the beans are very happy. I'm glad something is happy there as the other plants are struggling.

The cucumbers finally set their first cuke. These are parthenocarpic cucumbers so they don't need to be fertilized. Still the little cukes shrivel up and turn yellow. They didn't like our weather much. The squash isn't much different. I finally got one zucchini last week. I hand fertilized another, but still it shriveled up. The Costata Romenesca zucchini were just putting out female buds that didn't even get a chance to open. The bud would rot away before that. Finally it looks like they are willing to set zucchinis. I see a female blossom about to open on both plants. As to the winter squash, the Neck Pumpkins are just starting to run. The Magdelena Big Cheese has a bit of a jump on them. I even see a tiny female bud.

In the top bed the lettuce is hanging on, but not growing very quickly. I have more seedlings inside to put out soon. The Asian greens are growing. I really need to harvest them, but haven't gotten to it yet. I keep traveling and saying to myself, "I'll wait until I get back to harvest so they don't have to stay in the fridge." Then I get back and pick all the other things. I just don't have time to eat it all. I'm leaving again this weekend for a short trip then again later in the week. Aaarrrrggghh! It is too bad my husband won't eat them. I could set him up with lots of veggies while I'm gone. Instead I went over to my neighbor and gave her all my snow peas.

The snow peas are the only peas left. They look terrible, but they keep producing on pretty new shoots. They take up 2 1/2 sqft of ground space and just keep putting out little bits every couple of days. I'd take them down if I thought they would stop, but they keep going. I'll see how long they last. At some point I may not be able to stand looking at them any more and just take them down to make the garden look prettier. They are such ugly plants right now.

Well that is not quite all the garden, but most of it. I forgot my eggplants which are still sitting there and not doing much. They bloom. Nothing sets. The onions are growing. I don't think they will get as large as they ought to for storage. The leeks keep getting bigger. Hmm I didn't check on the carrots. And the peppers keep producing. The serranos got picked again today. The jalapenos will need to start being picked next week. The chard chugs along as always. And many of my herbs are flowering. The cilantro is setting a lot of seed this year which I hope it keeps. Last year it mostly mildewed before picking time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Food for the Future

Yesterday was a busy day putting up food. The first batch was drying some herbs in the dehydrator. I picked chamomile and rosemary. I need a lot more rosemary if I'm going to be self sufficient in that herb. Having my rosemary plants die every year just doesn't work. I hope I can over winter the one I now have growing in a pot. The chamomile on the other hand is so easy to grow. I will have more than enough for my winter teas. Every week I just pick more and more. Pretty soon my pint jar will be totally filled.

Then it was on to the garlic. I dug it up on July 3rd and put it on screens in my garage to dry. After 24 days it seemed sufficiently dry and this week is supposed to be very hot and humid. I figured it was better to get it inside into the basement where it is a lot cooler and drier. I cut off all the tops. On each variety I left a different length of stem so I could tell them apart. I then peeled off the outer dirty later. Some of the heads had some mildew on the wrappers which was not too surprising considering our weather this year. I peeled off any layer that showed mildew. Mostly the mildew wasn't very bad, but the unknown supermarket variety had quite a bit of mildew and I had to take all the wrappers off some of them. I put them in the fridge to keep. I'll use them up soon. They wouldn't have lasted in storage anyway. That will be the first variety eaten. It was an artichoke garlic and they don't keep as well as the others that are hardnecks.

The heads were small this year due to being dug up early. My unknown supermarket artichoke garlic were fairly large, but since two of the eight cloves rotted out over the winter and one was a tiny little thing, the overall harvest in the same space allotted was not better than the Bogatyr or Gregorian Crystal. They all came in at about 1 oz/head. Bogatyr will still be grown again. The others won't. When the heads for the Bogatyr were sent to me, the heads and cloves were tiny. This year they are larger. I'm thinking they still have more growth to go before they are really full sized.

German Extra Hardy was the biggest of the group. They averaged just over 1.5 oz/head. Their heads were quite a nice size. I'll save half of these to plant again this fall. All the biggest ones will be planted. The smaller ones I'll eat.

After that was done I had to make strawberry sorbet. I had a lot of raspberries to use in the fridge and this week is going to be hot. I'll use that sorbet to cool down. Or at least that will be my excuse to eat it all. The recipe is a take off from the sorbet in Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book. I changed a few things.

Raspberry Sorbet

  • 12 oz fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup of sugar (I think I need to try 3/4 next time, my raspberries are pretty sweet)
  • T Rosie's lime juice
  • 1 c water
  • 1/4 c red wine
  • 1/4 c light corn syrup
I put it all in a blender and pureed it. Then put it in my ice cream maker. It made 4 cups of very yummy sorbet. I think it would have been a touch better if I had strained out the raspberry seeds, but that is a lot of work and probably not worth the effort.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Harvest Monday July 26, 2009

Though it wasn't quite up to the last Monday Harvest, this week at Daphne's Dandelions had a fairly heavy harvest and some nice firsts. The summer crops are starting to finally come in.

By far the best harvest was from the raspberries. I've been harvesting them every other day. Every morning I throw a large handful of berries on my cereal. The photo is a bit misleading since I took it at the beginning of the berry harvest when I wasn't getting a lot. This week was the peak of the summer harvest season (I'll have another peak in the fall when they crop again). I froze quite a bit and hope to make sorbet sometime soon. Last weekend while camping I shared a lot with friends.

The peas were the next largest harvest, but they are at their trail end. The snap peas have all been pulled and only the snow peas are left. They won't produce much anymore, but I'll still get some and since I ran out of Sugar Snax carrot seed, I figure I don't have much else to plant there right now anyway. I'll let them try to keep going for a bit longer.

I had several firsts this week. I had the first beans. There was just a tiny bit but I picked them to keep the vines producing. I'll continue to pick tiny bits over the summer. I don't have a lot of green beans planted. Most of my beans are dried beans, but there will be plenty for me to eat.

The first zucchini was picked yesterday as soon as I got home from my camping trip. It was still way too small when I left. Now it is a touch too big, but not too bad. No baseball bats yet in this garden. I've been picking the male blossoms for my salads and stir fries. I always use them to hand pollinate a female blossom if there is one. There aren't many females yet.

The first pineapple tomatillos came in. Woot! I really wanted to see what they tasted like. They do indeed taste a little like pineapple. They aren't nearly as sweet, but then I tasted the first small one. If they are like tomatoes they will develop a more balanced and stronger taste later on. It is so easy to pick these. They fall off the plant when ripe. I just bring them in. Supposedly they keep quite some time in their husks if they are just left on the counter. I'll wait to collect a bunch and make salsa out of them. I think they will be wonderful if I can ever get enough. They are such tiny little fruit.

The first of the potted tomatoes are starting to ripen. I have a bit of color on Aliana and Black Moor. I picked three Chocolate Cherries. I haven't tasted them yet. I want them in my salad later today. I of course also picked some Sungold F2s. Two of the plants put out reddish cherries and four put out the typical Sungold color. The color in the above photo is a bit off as most of them are golden. A taste test will come in a bit after they start ripening some more.

The serranos gave quite a few this week since I'm collecting seed and stripped one of the plants. I also harvested from a few of the other serrano plants. The harvest was frozen for future salsas. The jalapenos are almost there. Maybe next week. And the first cayenne is starting to turn red, but it isn't ready to harvest quite yet.

I wanted to harvest more herbs than the parsley, but didn't get a chance. The chamomile is way over due to be harvested. Also the first of the rosemary has to be dried. Hopefully this week I will have time.

So here are the tally totals:

  • Beans 0.11 lbs
  • Berries 3.52 lbs
  • Cucurbits 0.61 lbs
  • Greens 0.41 lbs
  • Herbs 0.50 lbs
  • Peas 1.13 lbs
  • Peppers 0.59 lbs
  • Tomatillo 0.03
  • Tomatoes 0.77 lbs

Weekly total: 7.81 lbs
Weekly spent: $0
Yearly total: 48.88 lbs
Yearly earned: $87.27

If you would like to join Harvest Monday add your name to Mr. Linky so everyone can see your post. No huge harvests or tallying are requried. You can show us as much or as little as you want.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saving Pepper Seeds

Gratuitous flower photo

I've joined the Seed To Seed Challenge this year, so I'm trying to save as many different kinds of seeds as possible. I grow chili peppers every year and this year I'm growing a new variety, serrano (editor's note: it was an Early Jalapeno, not a serrano). So I'm going to save that seed.

Peppers have perfect flowers (ie have both male and female parts on the same flower) and are self pollinating. However unlike peas, beans and tomatoes, which are also self pollinating they are a bit more promiscuous. The other three don't tend to cross pollinate. They tend to self pollinate before the blossom opens or they hold the stigma where the bees can't get to it easily. Sometimes they will cross, but usually they come true even if you do nothing to separate them. Peppers don't do that and the bees just love them. So to keep them true to type they have to be isolated.

Last year we replaced some of our old windows that were rotting out. I saved all the screens. So I took two of them and took the screening out and made a 1'x1'x2' box with it. My windows were 2'x4' so the size was just right. One full screen made the outside of the box and a bit from another made the top. I sewed it all together with some fishing line I had.

I chose the best pepper plant I had. It produced early and was producing a lot of peppers. I stripped off all of the peppers it had set - even the tiny ones. There were no open blossoms or I would have taken them off too. Then I put the cage over the top. I won't keep it on forever since I think it shades the plant too much. I'll wait until it sets a nice handful of peppers then I'll take it off and mark the peppers it did set. Those peppers I'll let ripen. I've been eating my serranos green but these have to get red and start to dry out. So they will be on there for a long time. I hope I didn't start too late, but I think I'm OK. I waited this long because I wanted to have some warm weather to make sure the seed was the best it could be.

Friday, July 24, 2009

No More Limbo

Overview photo because Toni asked.

The other day I was lamenting not being able to get out into the garden to pull my snap peas and get the snow peas back onto the trellis. If you look at the above photo you will see them getting out of control (left most bed). It is hard to tell in the photo but the peas have leaned all the way over the path and are shading the squash in the next bed. Plus I can't walk down the path anymore without contortions.

I finally got time to pull the snap peas out. Then I pulled the trellis of the snow peas back to where it was supposed to be. I'm using a string attached to my fence for this task. Then I tied up the stray peas that were reaching over. Finally I have a path again - at least that one. If you notice the next path to the right, it is pretty blocked now too, but mostly I can step over it all.

Better than just a path I had more room to plant. The Komatsuna and Mizuna has been in the bed for a while, but I planed out 3 broccoli, 2 Chinese cabbage and 1 kale. Now all my fall seedlings are in. I will start more Komatsuna when I'm back from camping this weekend (don't expect any replies before then, all posts have been scheduled), but the longer to mature brassicas are done.

On the other end of the pea bed I planted carrots. I hadn't double dug this bed and I wanted the long pretty Sugar Snax so I dug this 1' x 2 1/2" section out about a foot deep and sieved the soil using 1/4" mesh. I didn't get out the tiny rocks, but I got a nice pile out. I didn't have much seed left so I carefully placed the seed 1" apart being sure not to have more than one seed. I still didn't have enough so some I made 2" apart. If they all germinate this will be no issues. I always thin them to 3-4" apart. I made the three rows 4" apart for a total of 7 1/2' of row. It seems all my carrot plantings now are tiny, but hopefully they will add up nicely.

Rocks dug out of my tiny plot.

I thought about fall peas for this section. It is what I did last year, but I've had so many peas this year I'm pretty sick of them at this point. Plus my snow peas are still producing. Fall peas don't produce that well anyway. They do best as a spring crop. Watch me regret my decision when I do fall stir frys and have no peas.

And don't forget that Monday is Harvest Monday. I'm hoping to get more people to join up this time. Blooms get their own day. Surely harvests are worthy too. BTW any harvest counts so long as someone eats it. Big or small doesn't matter. I'm just hoping to see what people pull out of their gardens.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tomato News

I've updated you on my Sungold experimental tomatoes in the past, but I barely talk at all about my potted tomatoes. Today I'll talk about all my 'maters.

A couple of my Miracle of the Market tomatoes look like they may start to turn soon. The big one on the bottom hasn't changed color so much as it has started to change in texture. I have two pails of these tomatoes. They seem to be very prolific. Each spray only sets two or three tomatoes, but they keep sending out more blooms. I have over 10 tomatoes set on each plant with lots of flowers still blooming. It grows very weirdly. When a spray of flowers comes out of the stem, it ends the stem. The sucker down below at the last branch starts up just like it was the original stem. So it doesn't grow tall very quickly like most inderterminants do, but it doesn't stop either like determinants.

So far none of my small black tomatoes (Black Cherry- above, Chocolate Cherry and Black Moor) are ripe. The first two are rather disappointing in fruit set. Not many sprays have set. The plants are big, but they aren't doing much. I'll get some, but not an abundance of tomatoes.

Black Moor is much more prolific. It was described as a small 1" elongated cherry. These are almost 2" long and pear shaped. They are not the bite sized little tomatoes I thought I was trialing. I would have to cut them in two to put them in my salads. Then I found my problem. They are 1" across, not 1" long. That makes more sense. I hope they taste good though since there are a lot of sprays of fruit and lots of tomatoes on this plant. The one drawback has been some blossom end rot. I have had problems watering my potted plants. If I don't do it on time they droop rather sadly. So I can't say the BER is really their fault. I'm just as much to blame. However the other plants are getting the same treatment and I've only had one tomato with BER on my other plants (Miracle of the Market). I picked off about six tomatoes that had started rotting. I think I'll still get more before it is all over. Even with that, I think these will be much more prolific than the other small blacks.

Early Ssubakus Aliana is the last of my potted tomatoes. She was described as being a yellow egg shaped tomato. She is a bit rounder and shorter than I expected. But she is putting on a lot of fruit in huge clusters.

I so can't wait to taste them all. Tomatoes are one of my biggest joys in the summer. Now on to my Sungold F2s.

It is official. The Sungolds really are hybrids. I have two plants (Gabrielle and Debra) that have reddish tomatoes. The other four are all the typical Sungold color. So one of its parents had red tomatoes. The size and shape of the tomatoes don't vary much from plant to plant, so both of its parents were probably cherries. I only have six plants so it really isn't a good statistical sample. If my math is correct I have about an 18% chance that any particular recessive trait doesn't show up in my plants. The best part about a Sungold and even an F2 Sungold is that they are prolific. The photo above really doesn't do the plants justice. You can't really see the haze of flowers and fruit in that photo. The fruit especially blends in. It does give you an idea of their prolific nature though. The fruit is everywhere. I hope it ripens fast or it is going to take down their cages. And yes there are cages somewhere inside all that foliage. They have been overrun.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chores Delayed

I couldn't get out into the garden yesterday. I just kept raining. I have things to do, but I'm afraid of transmitting all those fungal diseases around the garden. Don't get me wrong. I liked the inch of rain we got, but now I need it to to clear up and get sunny so my leaves will dry. The slugs however think this weather is the best. This hefty two inch slug has a lot of friends hiding in that crack. You know it is a bad slug day when they are just going into their hiding places at 9:30am.

The biggest chore I have is to deal with my peas. The Super Sugar Snaps need to be pulled. Yesterday I picked off all the seed peas to dry with the garlic in the garage. the rest of the plants are done. One last picking then pull the plants. The Mammoth Melting snow peas (above) just keep putting new pods out. I can't pull them yet, but they are totally infringing on the squash in the next row over. I have to do the limbo anytime I need to get by. This isn't working out well. I need to find a way to pull them upright and keep them restrained to their trellis if I want them to stay. They can't shade my squash plants.

I also need to get into pick the raspberries. There is a ton of ripe fruit on the bushes right now. I prefer to pick the fruit when the fruit is dry. It freezes and stores in the fridge better that way. I don't wash my berries after I pick them. I don't see a great need to water them down. If it doesn't clear up soon though I'll be out in my rain gear picking. Better that than letting the fruit rot.

The rain has knocked some of my dill down that is flowering. I love the dill heads. I think they are one of the prettiest and most interesting flowers in the garden. Luckily my best plants are still upright. Those are the plants my seed will come from. Strong stems in dill is a very useful trait especially since I have some that are 6' tall.

My beans are starting to come in. I won't pick these yet. They are dried beans - Ottawa Cranberry. These are the least aggressive plants of all the pole beans. Some have made it to the top of the poles, but not all of them. The Trail of Tears dried beans are the most aggressive. I have to keep them from traveling to all the other poles and mixing up the beans. They are allowed to travel from pole to pole in their own section, but they aren't allowed to invade their neighbors. Ribbit was thinking they we cute and cuddly ET beans trying to reach to the sky, but I think they are alien invasion beans. They grow up tall so they can reach down from above and take over. The Kentucky Wonder beans, my only green bean, are much more sedate though they too are reaching at this point. They have the smallest beans right now. They are cute little things at about an inch long. I can't wait for my first bean harvest. I'm getting sick of snow peas at dinner.

I was going to do a little tomato news, but gee this post is too long already I do love to ramble on. I'll put that in its own post.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fall Garden Is Started

The first eggplant bloom!

Last week we finally had a return to our normal temperatures for the year. We had several days in the 80s. It finally feels like summer - hot, sunny, and humid - so ironically it means it is time to plant the fall garden. Last year I started too late and only one broccoli barely made it to heading and it was small. I figured I'd start earlier this year. I started the seedlings on the 10th of June and potted them up at the start of July. I planted the first of them out today. They were a bit big, but I've been lazy so they are just now getting in.

I put three Chinese cabbage, three broccoli and one kale in the bed. I amended the soil with some compost and just a little fertilizer. This bed used to have my garlic in it. It looks so pretty.

Then because the slugs are hungry and keep coming in from the lawn. I put down a thin layer of used coffee grounds and covered that with a lot of crushed egg shells. I'd been accumulating them for quite a while. Now the bed looks pretty bad.

Luckily it all gets hidden behind a row cover so I won't have to see it. I row cover all my brassicas. It is that or spray because of these pretty butterflies. All the flowers I have blooming to attract my beneficials also attracts butterflies. They seem to love the lavender.

I have more transplants of the same plants to go in when my Super Sugar Snaps get pulled. I'm spreading them out just in case there is an issue with a pest overtaking one area. Yes they are covered, but that doesn't mean pests don't get in. Slugs and earwigs have no issue crawling in under the cover and both can decimate my Chinese cabbage.

All last week I was drying herbs. I'm continuing this week with parsley. This little patch of weeds is by my compost pile. It is mostly clover and parsley. It has a bit of my other self seeding plants like coriander and chamomile. Most of the true weeds (the ones I don't eat) are shaded out by the heavy foliage, but a few of them come up too. I really need to get in and take it all out. But for now I'll just pick out the best of the parsley. I also have some in the herb garden.

It made for quite a nice little haul and I feel like I barely touched it. Last year was the year without much parsley. This year I'm innundated. I don't need more to dry for winter though. This was sufficient to fill up my jar with fresh dried herbs. It was washed and went into the dehydrator. Now it is all packed up.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday Harvest - 20 July 2009

Wow where to begin? It has been a really good harvest this week. When I left for the July 4th weekend, I told my friend taking care of the garden that he would have a ton of raspberries coming in. Historically - and I put these raspberries in 17 years ago - July 4th is what I think of as the start of raspberry season. Well I checked last years records and nope I picked my first berries on July 7th (3 of them) and on July 16th I showed the huge bowl of raspberries. I wonder why I think of July 4th as raspberry season? I'm thinking it is the Latham raspberries I used to have, but pulled out over a year ago. I used to use my Heritage raspberries as only fall bearing raspberries (technically they are called everbearers, but in reality they fruit in the fall on new wood and in the summer on old wood and there is a break in between) and would cut all the canes out in the winter. Now without my summer bearers I let them fruit twice. And they are fruiting like crazy. I pick them every two days and they fill up a large container. I eat them every morning on my cereal and I'm starting to freeze the excess. I just toss them into a bag and add more as I get more. I'm thinking raspberry sorbet or maybe jam.

Another wonderful new fruit coming in are my peppers. I've picked one or two before, but there were so many hanging off the plants I decided to pick them so they could set even more. I picked the oldest fruit so none would get ripe and stop production. Some are large and some are small, but they are all so tasty. I expected them to be hot. They are supposed to be twice as hot as jalapenos, but not this year. I think the cold weather has turned them sweet. They were sweet as candy with just a touch of spice. Quite tasty, but they will have to heat up a bit if I want them to spice up my salsas later in the summer. I diced them up and tossed them in the freezer. I'll keep saving them. They freeze fine. When defrosted they get a bit mushy, but for making salsa this isn't an issue.

The earliest spring carrots were pulled. They will keep me supplied for the next month until the next set comes in. As you can see I pulled the last of my cabbage too. These are all trimmed and washed and ready to be weighed.

It was a big herb week and I have more today to get dehydrated. I picked chamomile, sage, and mint (chocolate mint and candy mint). I had given all my dried sage to my son last time he was here. Now I have some again. My mint and chamomile is for tea in the winter time.

The peas are still producing. I think the Super Sugar Snaps have about had it. I have one more picking of them then they will be pulled. I'm saving seed on them and am a bit worried that the covings all have holes in them. Is this normal? The Cascadia are putting out more side shoots. The foliage on them is a bit wonky. It is thick and tough. The peas seem fine though. There are more blossoms starting so they will stay in for a while. The Mammoth Melting are still going strong. They may catch up in production to my snap peas if they keep this up. I wish I could pull them now. They are leaning in the paths so I have trouble walking by. They shade the squash a bit too.

The chard is still doing its thing every week. It is like clockwork. One picking a week at about half a pound. They have about four square feet (3' x 16") of space and this year have produced 4.7lbs of chard. I usually think the plants are doing well if I get a pound per square foot. These little troupers have already given me more than that. BTW I have about hmm maybe 400 sqft of bed maybe. I haven't really measured. But if I get a pound for each sqft of bed then I'd have 400lbs of food for the year. Somehow I don't think 400lbs is in my future, but I can dream.

Another good producer is my zucchini, but not yet. So far I have a few squash blossoms. The squash blossoms bring me to a dilemma. Which is the same dilemma I have with my cutting flowers (which I didn't do this week) and if I ever counted them my nasturium and borage flowers. I found out they sell for somewhere between $1-3 a blossom! I couldn't find them in my area so called it $1. Really? I would never in my life pay $1 for a single squash blossom. I understand why they cost that much. They are very perishable. I eat them the same day I pick them. They are good and are tasty in salads and stirfries, but really I wouldn't buy them at that price. I really think at the end of the year I'm going to put up two tallies - one that has my flowers in the total and one that doesn't. For now you are stuck with the tally that has flowers.

As to little bit of other non photographed items. I'm still picking lettuce. It is bolting faster so the heads are smaller, but it is still producing. I pick my Tropea and bunching onions when I need them. I have picked some tomatoes. The first one was abnormally large, but the last couple have been normal sized and smaller. Tomatoes are an issue though and to a smaller aspect my raspberries. I'm having shrinkage problems in my garden. No not the chipmunks stealing the fruit (yet), but the gardener is eating things out of hand. They get eaten right there. They don't get weighed. It is hard to resist a sun warmed cherry tomato. The raspberries are an issue too, but only when I drive somewhere. Luckily I don't drive much. Usually once or twice a week. The raspberries line the driveway. The drivers side opens right up onto the berries. You can't resist berries just staring you in the face. Really it is impossible. Some herbs miss the scale too. I picked a couple of basil leavess for a salad. Really a couple of leaves aren't worth weighing. They add up over time, but it is too hard to keep micro weights.

So here are the totals:

  • Alliums 0.28 lbs
  • Berries 1.64 lbs
  • Carrots 2.34 lbs
  • Greens 3.52 lbs
  • Herbs 0.55 lbs
  • Peas 1.44 lbs
  • Peppers 0.34 lbs
  • Tomatoes 0.19 lbs

Weekly total: 10.37 lbs
Weekly spent: $0
Yearly total: 41.2 lbs
Yearly earned: $33.33

Whoohoo! On the positive side. Finally. Of course without the cutting flowers I'm still quite negative, but for now I'll celebrate.

If anyone else is doing harvest posts, add your latest harvest to Mr. Linky. I hope it works. It is the first time using it. If not well put the link in the comments. Last year the Ottawa Gardener was trying to start up a harvest meme, but ended. Then Tessa was thinking of it, but didn't start. I was really hoping someone else would do the work because I just love seeing other people's harvests. Hopefully you will join me. Tallies are totally optional.