Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Walk Through the Vegetable Garden

I find myself wanting to share my garden with each and everyone of you.  I look forward to my visits with you to share the events of our little farm.  I want you to enjoy our garden as we do.  We take a walk through with a favorite beverage, be it a glass of iced tea with lime, a cold beer, a glass of wine or my summertime favorite a snow cone.  Today, I am taking a few pictures, this way you can get a feel for the garden.

Our vegetable garden was cut out of the woods, the felled trees were used for the borders and then filled with compost.  I, also, do some container gardening.  There were so many trees, which were large, the ground was loaded with roots.  The decision to go on top was a good one because we did not have the equipment to remove the roots of  the trees.  We had one load of fill dirt delivered and that was the biggest mistake of my life.  I will never get screened fill dirt again.  If I need to purchase soil it will be compost.  It may cost a little more but it you want vegetables it is worth the difference.  I am still working on the fill dirt to make it productive.

First stop along the way is the turnips.  With all the rain we have received they have beautiful tops and I am going to harvest the greens.  The roots of some have gotten a little large and I will be feeding the compost pile with them.  There are some which are small and I will be enjoying them.  Turnips may be canned for winter storage and it is suggested to freeze, mashed, adding to au gratins.  Fresh,  I add to salads, stir fries,  cook with potatoes, onions and carrots.  They may be roasted in the oven or added to a pot roast of meat.  The greens are cooked, we do enjoy a good pot of salad greens.

 This turnip was just pulled from the soil.

I grow a lot of things in containers,  you will need to feed the containers often to get a good harvest.  One of our favorites is tumbling tom tomatoes with eggplants and basil.  The tomatoes make for a wonderful snack while walking through the garden, eggplants are easier to be seen and the basil is always ready to be picked to add to salads.  Most of my containers are supported to waist high so I do not have to bend over to collect the produce.  This year I am trying some low containers with lettuces and these have been working very good.  I have enough lettuce for us to eat and with feeding more I should have a plenty to last into the summer.

We have been fighting the squash bug for several years.  I am planting some squash which seem to resist the bug. Tromboncino stood up to the squash bugs last year and I am counting on it doing the same this year.  This is a climbing plant and it is planted under a support.   

Another plant I support is the climbing spinach also called malabar spinach.  I enjoy this plant so much in the garden and in the kitchen.  I do not use this for fresh spinach, a lot, but I do use the cooked spinach.  We make quiches with it and spinach pizzas.  It is dried and I add it to a lot of soups.  I freeze this veggie as I do use it all winter.  One thing I like about this plant the bugs really do not bother it.  The more you pick the leaves the more it will grow.  This is one plant I would always try to have in my garden.  It was a find from the old Victory Garden programs and it has become a staple with our family.

Walking onions or Egyptian onions are also a staple in our garden.  I plant some of the walkers as soon as they drop for fall onions, the ones I do not use will winter over.  I do plant in October when the garlic and other onions are planted.  The walkers can be used in salads and cooked.  I pickle a number of these and freeze some to have with peas in the winter.  The bulb is dug and I can them.   I found a bag of sets this spring which looked as if they had gone bad and just threw them in the garden in a bare spot and now I have lots of spring onions to add to salads

I plant some potatoes just to be able to gravel the small potatoes to go with green beans in the early summer.  I enjoy potatoes cooked many ways and plant several types; fingerling, blue, red bliss, russet and several white cooking ones.  I fry the fingerlings, they make the most wonderful fried potatoes with onions.  I always try to plant some of my potatoes in October, any that do not come up can be replanted in the spring.  I learned to do this watching the potatoes come up where they were planted last year and some were missed being harvested.  It does make for less work in the early spring.

We will continue our walk through the garden on another day.  It has been a pleasure sharing what I grow with you.  As the garden changes everyday I make my trip once or twice most days.  I enjoy seeing the plants grow and look forward to the harvest.  There are many things there we did not see today. 

                   I would like to make a toast to
                                          A Wonderful Harvest
                                                         clink, clink, clink!!!

                                          Next time, bring you gathering basket.

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