There was every intention of keeping a date with Veggie Day on the twentieth of each month with friend and fellow blogger Tina of In The Garden. A day late but still wanting to participate, here is the roundup of food grown in the Fairegarden for 2009. This also fits into Daphne’s Dandelions Harvest Monday. This, the second serious veggie growing year held great promise with seeds started on heat mats and grown under lights in the sunroom/greenhouse to have nice large healthy specimens to plant out at the proper time. Seeds sown directly into the soil were expected to perform well. The pole beans, this is the second sowing and well past picking for young tender pods, have fed us several meals.
The bush beans were disappointing, although a small mess o’ beans was prepared from this sowing.
Last year the cucumber harvest was so plentiful that we invested in the whole kit and kaboodle of canning equipment and jars. The product was delicious and well received when given as gifts. This year actual pickling cucumbers were sown rather than salad ones. None, zero, nada were eaten. They were not properly pollinated it seems and some turned into large yellow footballs. Next year it will be back to the Straight Eights.
Even before the official veggie bed was created last year, peppers have been grown with good results. Jalapenos continue to perform well and the cuban type Aruba is having an on season after an off season last year. These are a thin skinned fruit that make a mean chile rellenos without having to peel them before stuffing. They are parboiled in salted water for about three to five minutes, split and seeded and stuffed with a mixture of feta, grated cheddar, seasoning and an egg. Roll them up, place seam side down in a casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. I serve with green salsa.
It was a good tomato year. Our own seedlings were zapped by a late frost but a local small grower supplied us with many varieties. The best performing was the old timer Mortgage Lifter, best tasting was Beefsteak. We were spared the heartbreak of late blight that others suffered.
While there are a few Amish Paste tomatoes still ripening, they are not tasty and the plants should be pulled. The last real harvest was at the end of August. The peppers will keep going and the green beans will be picked and the plants composted.
The few late strawberries are meeting the same fate as the early ones. Where once rabbits were blamed, and they still may be sampling our wares, the resident turtle has a mouth that matches this bite. To see his mouth in action, click here.
Neither rabbits nor turtles have been raiding the golden Anne raspberries for they are growing several feet off the ground on wires, but we believe squirrels are the culprits. At first the birds were blamed, but after covering the berries with chickenwire on the advice of Kim of Instrument Of Grace, the damage has greatly lessened.
Given up for dead, the site of the dwarf fig tree, Negronne, is now home to the blue bottle tree. What a surprise to see these little fig leaves cropping up next to the copper pipes of Manny’s home. Click here to hear about Manny and his bottle tree home.
Holding great promise are the sugar snap peas sown early August. By the end of that month they were up well and now are sending out tendrils to grab the wire supports. Whether there will be time enough for flowers and pea pods to form is an unknown, but there will be watchful eyes for such things.
The garlic is in and up already. We saved the largest heads from last year’s planting rather than order new. Garlic is a very easy crop and does best planted now in our area. Inchilium Red, originally ordered from Seed Savers Exchange is the soft neck type that we have been growing and it is delicious. Other successes were red skinned potatoes, yellow cherry tomatoes, lettuces, basil, parsley, and one melon, the other two rotted and fell off the vines. A composted pumpkin has sported a vine under the arbor and a growing cucurbit is showing promise for use in a fall vignette. Overall, this should be considered a successful year of food growing.