Sunday, July 22, 2012

Lowered Expectations

Who among us hasn't lowered their expectations for garden vegetable production this year? I know I have, yet a couple of things have surprised me. I've tried to grow onions for the last 4-5 years, and finally this year the soil has been amended enough that I actually grew a few! (Not enough, but it's a start.)

I already posted my garlic and shallot harvests; both produced enough to see me through the winter.

Lemon Squash

I harvested quite a few Costata Romanesco zucchini (now finished, many used in frozen quiche for winter meals) but the lemon squash continue to proliferate. I'm amazed at the insect resistance. I've given some away, shredded and frozen some, but most have been sliced half an inch thick, steamed for 3 minutes, and dehydrated. I'm out of freezer space!

Red Kuri winter squash

My biggest disappointment is in the winter squash, planted on my new hugelkultur berm. Some of it is due to hot and dry weather, but the rest is because I didn't get the berm well-covered with soil, and it dries out quickly even with daily watering. I'll add more soil and mulch this fall after the squash are finished and it should be more productive next year... plus the logs will be decomposing and hold more water. I do have a few Red Kuri growing, just not enough to feed me all winter.

I still have hopes for a few pole beans. The photo above is the Cherokee "Trail of Tears" which is an unassuming black bean that I grew just for the name, and to save some heritage seeds. I don't have pods yet on my Kentucky Wonder Beans... danged rabbits keep eating the plants!

I have a few tomato and pepper plants scattered around the garden, but zero hopes of any of them fruiting.

Now that I've collected (and caused the demise of) about 10,000 Japanese Beetles, I should have a few filberts and some fall rhubarb. Plus, I have enough dandelion greens for a soup kitchen!

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