Veggie Day Roundup 2009

September 16, 2009 037 (2)
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.

July 16, 2009 027 (2)
The bush beans were disappointing, although a small mess o’ beans was prepared from this sowing.

August 31, 2009 074 (2)
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.

July 16, 2009 036 (2)
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.

July 11, 2009 062 (2)
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.

August 31, 2009 102 (2)
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.

August 31, 2009 081 (2)
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.

September 16, 2009 040 (2)
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.

July 16, 2009 041 (2)
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.

August 31, 2009 057 (2)
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.

Frances

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28 Responses to Veggie Day Roundup 2009

  1. Frances, give yourself a huge pat on the back for a job well done. I am not planning on planting any veggies until we move up to Kilbourne Grove full time, but I did put in a few tomato plants. My first tomato was the end of August, no hot weather until then. But there was a very light frost Saturday night, tomatos not effected, but it won’t be long!

    Thanks Deborah. Oh my, frost already? That makes it hard to grow some of these things that take forever to get going, doesn’t it? Tomatoes are something we have always grown too, no matter where we have lived, nothing beats that taste of the very first one picked. Hope you get to sample it! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  2. tina says:

    I am so glad your veggies have done well, not so here. Nothing will be put up for winter use:( I love your recipe for those stuffed peppers-yum!

    Thanks, Tina. We put nothing up either, not even tomato sauce, but feel it was a good learning experience. The green beans were our best veggie performer and we did eat lots of tomatoes. The basil plants are like trees, I don’t know if we can freeze anymore pesto, there is a limit you know. Our standards for success are quite low. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  3. Nice to see new shoots coming up at this time of year – your sugar snap peas look like a bit of spring on this first day of autumn.

    Hi Heather, thanks. Seeing those peas up does seem like spring, even if we don’t get any peas. Last year they were planted in September and barely were going when they just quit, probably lack of daylight hours. It is hard to know when the best time to plant them for the fall crop, just keep trying different dates until one works. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What you have in your garden looks yummy Frances. I dream of a small veggie plot. I guess I am just too lazy to have one. I will just be an admirer of veggie plots.

    Thanks Lisa. Maybe someday your dream will come true, thanks to the prince, or make that king at your house. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  5. ourfriendben says:

    Loved your veggie and fruit tour, Frances! We have to grow our figs in pots up here and haul them in and out of the greenhouse for winter (but it’s worth it!). Lucky you to have yours in the ground! And thanks so much for the tip about ‘Aruba’ and the recipe. You can bet we’ll be planting that one next year!

    Hi OFB, thanks. Figs here are tricky. My neighbor Mickey had a large tree that totally died and did not come back. He dug it out. Just on the next street is a huge tree out by the road, not protected that was loaded with fruit this summer, even after a harsh winter last year. I thought the dwarf tree could be covered in some kind of contraption for protection better than a larger tree. The Arubas are really tasty. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  6. I’m thinking of adding a raspberry next year… For the first time in about 15 years of growing tomatoes, I had that end-season blight. Boo!!!! I like your bean-growing method.

    Oh Monica, I am so sorry about your blight. Many folks around here had it too, we were fortunate. It is so much easier to see the beans on those reinforcing wire fences, no bending! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  7. Rose says:

    I would say your veggie garden was a definite success this year, Frances! The green beans and tomatoes, despite the leaf blight, have done exceptionally well for me, too. I didn’t grow any cucumbers this year, but I’ve had those yellow footballs before, too:) Good luck with the sugar snap peas; they will definitely make a tasty fall crop.

    Thanks Rose, I’m glad you had a good year as well. Glad too to hear you had the crazy yellow footballs. It happened while we were at the beach. Something always gets out of hand while we are away for a week mid summer. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  8. Dave says:

    I was just out in the garden this morning planting a few more seeds for lettuce and chard. I was a bit disappointed with the bush beans too, just not as good of a crop as other years. I need to get out there and pick as we have quite a few on the plants still.

    Hi Dave, if it would stop raining those beans could get picked before they grow to be a foot long. Many will have to be shelled as it is. I have a place ready for lettuce, but again, the rain prevents anything getting done. Not complaining though. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  9. Sunita says:

    Would you believe I’ve never seen raspberries? But from what I’ve read about them Ihave a pretty good idea how they must taste … maybe just one step from heaven?

    Hi Sunita, no raspberries? Theses are sweet and seedy and very perishable. We just eat them while standing in the garden, a hard task, but someone has to do it. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  10. Looks like a very satisfying harvest. Congratulations!

    Thanks Helen, satisfying is the perfect term. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  11. Janet says:

    What a wonderful harvest you have had this summer. I am surprised that the Amish Paste are not tasty, one would think….. I was tickled to see your fig giving it another go. We keep kicking around the thought of putting in a fig tree.

    Thanks Janet. The Amish Paste were good earlier, I think they have to sit on the vine too long to ripen and have gotten tough. A fig tree is just so gardenesque, don’t you think? If you have room, let it be a prized specimen! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  12. dawn says:

    Hi Frances, All your veggies look wonderful and you are the first person I’ve heard of having success with your tomatoes! Besides me. My daughter is handing them out at school, to the teachers that is, no student takers as of yet.

    Hi Dawn, thanks. I am so glad to hear your tomatoes were successful too. Tomatoes were not a fave for me until I was an adult. Something about those seeds and slimy insides were unappealing until I was old enough to get past that. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  13. Racquel says:

    I didn’t have much luck with the Heirloom tomatoes I grew other than the Romas. Looks like you had a good crop and avoided the dreaded blight too. My cukes, squash & beans produced my best harvest of the season. Can’t wait to do it all again next year. πŸ™‚

    Hi Racquel, yes, I was lucky. The heirlooms were a total disappointment and will no longer take up valuable space. I love planning for next year too, everything is always a success in those plans. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  14. Gail says:

    Hi Frances, It’s always education for a non vegie gardener to read the round-up posts. I’ve had lettuces, tomatoes and beans from friends’ gardens and they are SO much better then even the farmers’ market produce. But, I’ve not had home grown garlic~~How does it compare to store bought garlic heads? Your pickles were delicious and we very much appreciated the kind gift. As you can see the electricity finally came back on! The rain is playing havoc with everything. Sigh;-) gail

    Oh good Gail, you have power again! The home grown garlic is so amazing, very much more flavor. I think it is the freshness factor. This Inchilium Red was voted best tasting by the panel, that’s why I bought it and was not disappointed. You could grow some in a raised bed. It doesn’t take much space and even will take a little shade too, like all the alliums. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  15. Catherine says:

    Well it looks like you’ve had a pretty good year with your veggies. Ours did okay, but not as good as I would’ve thought with the nice hot weather we had. One pepper is all that grew, other years we get tons.
    My oldest daughter replanted some peas off her dried vines (from earlier this summer) and they’ve already sprouted, she’s doing better than me!

    Thanks Catherine. It’s funny how one year something will do quite well, then the next year it won’t, but something else will. Same with the flowers. How wonderful for your daughter and the peas. I am never sure when to plant for fall. These may have been too late too. Must make notes about it. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  16. nancybond says:

    We’ll have to dub you Farmer Frances, I think! You certainly had a great crop, despite the occasional disappointment. Those little disappointments are the way we learn what performs well, and what doesn’t, right? And…
    there’s always next year. πŸ™‚

    HA Nancy, that’s a good one! I would blend right in with the local folks around here, this is a farming/dairy community. Life is full of disappointments, all the time without fail. Seeing past them is the way to go, IMHO. I love thinking about next year too. So full of ideas and promise. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  17. Jenny B says:

    Ha! Ha! I love the last post–Farmer Frances! Your veggies all look great! At the end of the growing season, I always say, “No more tomatoes!”

    We’ll see…hope springs eternal in a gardener’s heart. Come Spring, the siren song of fresh “real” tasting tomatoes usually wins out. I’m glad you had such a good growing season.

    That is funny, isn’t it Jenny! We do get tired of the tomatoes and they end up falling to the ground overripe and split every year. But I don’t care, early in the season while the plants are still lovely there is no better taste in the whole wide world. Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  18. Phillip says:

    It looks like your vegetable garden was indeed a big success. You are the first person I’ve heard say that it was a good year for tomatoes! With the exception of our Roma tomato plant, the others were all duds. I just need more room and more sun to grow vegetables.

    Thanks Phillip. Maybe I am too good at glossing over the bad stuff, but figure we got plenty of them to eat even if not enough to make sauce to freeze. They do need sun, you might have to take down some trees! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  19. What a good harvest you have, Frances. It’s good to see someone succeeding with tomatoes this year πŸ™‚

    Hi Happy, thanks. If we get food to eat from the garden, it is considered a success, whether more or less than other years. We did not have the late blight, that I know of. Our foliage is always awful by late in the season, I ignore it. The fruit is the important thing and we do try to rotate the crops. Our plants came from a very small scale local grower, not the big box store where so many got blighted crops. Such a sad thing.
    Frances

  20. Carol says:

    Great harvest Frances… you manage to make veggies look like works of art! I love the cucumber shot. Seeing your Jalapenos makes me long to slice them and add a bit of mayo and mustard and just eat them raw (after removing the seeds of course)… yummy with a very quick bit of bread and cheese then wash it all down with a sip of wine. Between the rabbit (eating 50 Kale plants) and a shoulder and knee injury … I am without my veggie garden and it is sorely missed. Great to see yours! Thank goodness for farmers markets!

    Thanks Carol. We think the veggies to be every bit as attractive as the flowers, if not more so. Your way of eating the peppers sounds delicious! I do hope you will recover quickly for a full return to gardening. Our new farmer’s market is a godsend as well. I am not going to fool with squash or cukes ever again, instead helping out our local farmers who have loads of room to grow such things.
    Frances

  21. Lola says:

    You have a lot of veggies there Frances. Mine of course have been gone a long time ago. Fall planting is now. Bush beans from 2 weeks ago planting is up & doing good. I noticed my beets are a little less for the wear from too much rain. I hope they make some regardless. Still too hot for most Fall veggies so will wait a little longer.

    Hi Lola, thanks. It sounds like your fall will provide some tasty tidbits! We don’t seem to have the hang of the fall veggie garden just yet, but the sugar snap peas hold promise. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  22. Mary Delle says:

    Really enjoyed a visit to your veggie garden. Fruit still coming along. It all looks so good.

    Thanks Mary, glad you like it. The raspberries and strawberries want to rule to roost out in the veggie garden it seems. The strawberries have taken over every section, they may need to be moved to a place of their own, safe from the critters! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  23. autumnbelle says:

    I can’t help thinking about your chilli pepper dish. Sounds good. I use the leaves of my pepper plant to make soup or stir fry them. However, too bad for me, my plant has grown too old and died. The pot has been planted with lemon grass now.

    Hi Autumn Belle, thanks for stopping by. Our peppers seem to do well as the temps turn cooler and the days shorten, when most other things have given up growing. I bet that lemon grass makes it into many of your dishes though. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  24. Alice Joyce says:

    Frances,
    Oh la la….raspberries! And turtles and rabbits?
    There was a rather long grass snake in the parking lot at my doctor’s office the other day. On the asphalt, lurking, going to be run over if it didn’t skedaddle. That’s my big wildlife sighting for the week.
    I’m rooting for your little fig tree. Sweet fresh figs are heavenly. Send some peppers this way
    if you have too many πŸ˜‰
    Alice

    Hi Alice, thanks. The raspberries are a big fave here and we hope to manage the growing bushes properly for maximum enjoyment. Snakes are my least favorite wildlife, and we do have them, but I keep my distance. That tiny fig tree has our heart as well, might have to relocate the bottle tree though. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  25. If your raspberries are being eaten little by little (in “rows,” kind of) from the top of the berry… I would suspect the birdies instead of the squirrels. I caught many on my raspberries this year, and that was the kind of damage they would leave behind! πŸ™‚

    Hi Kim, so nice to see you and thanks for that. I at first thought it was birds too, the little rounds are carefully selected, leaving the seeds still on the fruit even. These bushes will have to be covered in the future it looks like, we don’t feel like sharing them.
    Frances

  26. Charlotte says:

    It all looks so delicious – makes me want to start growing fruit and vegetables myself.

    Thanks Charlotte. Growing your own is a very satisfying endeavor, even if it is just a couple of things.
    Frances

  27. Jen says:

    Excellent Frances- glad to hear your tomatoes did well since so many seemed to lose them. Also, I get the weirdest looks when I tell people I’m sowing peas in August. Nice to know there is someone out there as “crazy” as I am. Hope you get some peas!

    Hi Jen, thanks for that support. Looking at the photos of other peoples tomatoes, we might have had blighty leaves and not known it. Our leaves always look terrible but as long as we get decent fruit I ignore it. I still am not sure when the best time to sow the peas for fall is, we’ll see how these work out. Hope your peas give you some food too! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  28. TC says:

    Even though most of our heirloom tomatoes were lost due to late blight, other things made up for the loss. All in all, I’d say we had a successful year too. Garlic will be planted after a frost or two.

    Good to hear it, TC. I believe those heirlooms have some drawbacks about disease resistance even if they taste good and come true from seed. Our garlic date to plant is September 15, I was a little ahead of time but glad to have it in the ground and already showing. Ready for next year! πŸ™‚
    Frances

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