Pages

September 02, 2009

What We're Harvesting Right Now

Aside from complaining about four-legged invaders, I haven't really spoken much about the garden this summer so I thought I'd do a brief update.


Our soil is still really awful, so things still aren't doing as well as I would like.  One of our friends described the soil here as "rock flour", and that's exactly what it is (a result of glacier movement over this area during the ice age).  It's extremely fine, but it doesn't clump together like clay, so when you first dig it, it looks deceivingly rich and light, but a few days without rain and it reverts to its powdery form and blows away in the wind.  It drains well enough, but there's almost no organic material in it, so whatever water it absorbs, it doesn't hold on to for very long.  We amended it as much as we could this spring with horse manure, coconut husks, and compost, but it wasn't nearly enough.  I'm madly composting piles of veggie scraps with chicken litter and seaweed that I've collected on the beach, so next year it will get another much-needed boost.


We had the hottest summer on record this year (Vancouver broke its all-time heat record one day [33.8 C]  and then broke that record again the next day [34.4 C]).  We got to 39 degrees celcius (102 F) in the shade here at our place, which is unheard of on the coast (we're higher up and farther from the water than much of the surrounding area, so we tend to get hotter summers and colder winters).  We've also gotten less rainfall since April than ever before - our usually rainy spring was eerily dry.  These extremes hindered many of the plants in the garden, but at least the eggplants are happy:




My favorite Dusky eggplants do well even during a cool summer, so they're going gangbusters with the heat.  I picked the above two on the weekend, and there are 8 more on the the two plants outside.  It's time to grill some eggplant.



The Rosa Bianca eggplants are arriving slightly later, but are also producing like crazy:



The Gold Rush and Romanesco zucchinis are producing well, but not so much that we're getting sick of them.



Bags of whole basil are being frozen for winter use.  I used to turn much of my basil into pesto, but now I prefer to freeze it to use as I would fresh basil.  It tastes as fresh in March as it did in August.



The tomatoes aren't doing very well, but I am getting a few a week.  This is my first year growing the Nebraska Wedding variety, and they seem to be happy.  I'm looking forward to getting my first taste of these orange beauties.


Our peach tree surprised us with over two dozen delicious fruits, even though we moved it from my mom's garden to our own after it had already started blooming this spring.



I had to smile this morning when I went to the garden and saw this fresh pile of deer droppings...on the outside of the garden fence.


The deer aren't taking it lying down, however.  One of the gutsy little suckers actually came up on to the deck the other night and ate the plants that I was saving to plant around the chicken coop.  This involved making the trek up the steps and walking 20 or so feet across the deck to where the plants were sitting - all this while we were sitting in the adjacent living room with the lights on!  We heard a bump at the time, but thought it was the cat.


I hate being outsmarted by things that don't even have opposable thumbs.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think they qualify as cloven hoof, which everyone knows means they are "evil" ;)

Your DH

Carla said...

Your produce seems to be doing quite well despite the poor soil. I know what you mean about having to add a ton of organic material. I'm still working on mine. Better this year, but still not good...unlike my father's garden which has received yearly fresh compost for the past 30 or so years. His veggies are amazing. I can only wish.

Jessica said...

LOL I love the commentary on the deer. Especially being outwitted by a creature without opposable thumbs. I am assuming that was your anonymous husband making the evil joke. I really liked it. He is very funny. :P

Annie said...

Lovely lovely! All but the part with the deer. Those darn gutsy beasts!

Wish we were closer because Oscar would be more than happy to sleep outside and attempt to hunt and kill the deer. At the very least, he'd scare them off. PLUS he's not that barky. He'd be perfect.

Pam said...

Well I think we got all your rain over here on the East Coast... and then some. Your produce looks lovely, though!

Cheryl said...

Anonymous (DH) - I think your opinion might be slightly biased.

Carla - My goal is to have a garden as good as your dad's one day!

Jessica - He likes to think so. ;D

Annie - It sounds like we have to arrange for Oscar to come down for a visit. Princess is pretty good at chasing them away (she does it in stealth mode, which scares me a little bit!), but she we have to work on the whole sleeping outside thing. Her name definitely suits her.

Pam - I heard that it was a rainy summer back east. We're getting it now, though!

dawn said...

We have had a similar spring and summer here, with cold weather in spring and the dryness, things took forever to sprout. I am getting a few things, but this year's garden is a bust. Nice eggplants. The duskys produced for me one year but we haven't had any good summers the last few.

LisaBW said...

Your veggies and peaches look wonderful! We have had a very very wet summer here in Maine but managed to get wonderful green beans. Only a few tomatoes have ripened but they've been delicious!

Do you chop up your basil before freezing or leave it whole? Does it matter?

Cheryl said...

Dawn - Hopefully we'll have better luck next year!

LisaBW - I freeze it whole, on the stems. It's easy to crumble when it's frozen, so there's no real need to chop it first.

inadvertent farmer said...

LOL...I've had elk come right up on the front porch and eat the ivy off the columns! Sneeky buggers. Kim

freelearners said...

I didn't know you could freeze basil like that. I will definitely give that a try!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails