Saturday, July 18, 2009

July Rains = Harvest Gains

July has brought much needed rain, resulting in swiss chard, spinach, rhubarb, oregano, lovage and kale harvest nearly faster than we can keep up! Most is eaten fresh and maybe 30% frozen for use in winter. Bolted spinach harvest has involved chopping entire plants and stripping leaves, leaving most in garden to go to seed.

Most plants in photos are likely obvious, except maybe the Chervil at the bottom center of the above photo. Chervil is a yummy herb with liquorish-like flavouring. Note Lovage behind Brussels Sprouts at nearly 6 feet high (even after I chopped some down)!

The Blue Curled Kale, transplanted outside May 5, was ready to start harvesting the first week of July (left of Brussels Sprouts in above photo). The Dwarf Green Curled Kale (center of above photo) planted directly outdoors from seed (Apr. 11) is not ready yet for harvest, maybe by the end of the month.

The feathery looking plants in above photo is Dill, planted directly outdoors May 28. The large leafy looking thing at center right in above photo is a volunteer poppy from the neighbours yard, left to grow.

Should have allowed more spacing for the Bubbles Brussels Sprouts! The sprouts are just starting to form along the stems and branches. This is fascinating for us since we have never grown these before.

Potatoes (between strawberries and tomatoes above), planted June 21, came up July 8! These potatoes were thought to be a one-of-a-kind breed (by myself) since they were re-planted at the grandparents farm for nearly a half century. However, I have been corrected and need a crash course on potato breeding. More to come.

Delphinium is blooming (blue), between peas and strawberries (above). Pea pods are forming. Snap peas ready for picking and shelling peas in process. Snow Peas are near the top of the 5 foot fence, beyond the chicken wire. Homesteader/Lincoln Peas are about half the height of the fence. I have read these are a dwarf variety of shelling pea that came out in 1908.