Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Little Bit of Everything

Summer is coming to a close; evenings and mornings are cool and damp, leaving dew on the ground and encouraging powder mildew in the garden. The alder and maple leaves are falling, there are plenty of grasshoppers in the parched clearings and the breeze is cool... although today the thermometer topped 25C. A trip to the garden still brings in a little bit of everything; tiny cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, summer squash, sugar snap peas, scarlet runner beans and kale. A lovely selection to feed a small household and still usually more than we can eat immediately. 
This is the time of year that I make notes of what worked, what didn't and lists of seeds needed for next year, so I am not caught off guard when the seed catalogs show up in the mailbox.
2009 Winter Squash Harvest

 I grew the 'Cool Breeze Cucumbers' (see previous post September 7th, 2014 ~'In a Pickle') next to a fence this year so they would be on a trellis and easier to pick. That may work in cooler years but with our high temperatures and summer drought, I had many dried up, dead little fruits and minimal to harvest. I stopped watering and was going to pull the plants last month but decided to remove the stakes and let them grow on the ground. Today they are thriving even through my neglect... the new growth is green and the six remaining plants produced enough for a small jar of pickles. 
The broccoli I grow is called 'Packman'. Once the main head is harvested the plants continue to produce side shoots well into the early fall. Today's harvest had a few larger shoots, a welcome surprise. The winter squash is not quite ready to bring in but they are looking great with very large, heavy fruits. This year I grew only two varieties; Sunshine and Butternut. 
The tomatoes have produced well so far, nice large fruit. I grew 5 varieties this year; Big Beef, Sweet Million and three Heirlooms; Yellow Hawaiian, Aunt Ruby's German Green and Outdoor Salsa. I will discuss more about my Heirloom varieties next week.
Big Beef greenhouse tomatoes

The Seascape strawberries (see my previous post August 1, 2014 ~'Man, Look at Those Strawberries!) are still producing a small harvest but many of the ripe berries are laying on the straw, half eaten by the time I get to the patch. Hmmm, not wasps, maybe slugs? Anybody else having the same problem? 
I have a lovely fresh assortment of veggies to accompany supper tonight. Time to hit the kitchen. Till next week,
Bon Appetit!

Photos from my garden and greenhouse ~ by Sally Rae

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