Well, summer is in full swing now, in fact we’ve swung so far that the nights are getting cooler and it feels like fall is around the corner. Hard to believe. However, we can still squeeze the last few drops out of summer, and squeeze we shall.
I thought I’d give a little overview of our lovely veggies, now that they getting consistent moisture (thank-you rain dancers!) and are really starting to produce. Our last few CSA baskets have been literally overflowing, requiring an engineering degree and a steady hand simply to keep all that goodness in there. Huzzah! So here’s the lowdown on all our little plant babies.
The carrots have finally sized up! It’s a miracle! Really, it is, seeing as a skunk or some other mysterious burrowing animal had a vigilante mission to rid the world of our carrots earlier this year. Every time the tiny little fronds popped up, Mr Skunk came along to wreak havoc. But somehow, they pulled through. We’re actually harvesting mid-sized carrots and we should continue to have them right up the end of the season.
We are harvesting potatoes for the third straight week now. The Onaways are lovely, well sized, and I think we’ll dig the majority of them today. Some of our other varieties had to battle the drought, but are at least still kicking. We planted so very many potatoes that we can’t really have an unsatisfactory harvest. Aaack! I can’t believe I would tempt the harvest gods in that way! Knock on wood one thousand times!
Our parsnips look very parsnippy right now. Not too much to report, seeing as we won’t harvest the majority of them till spring. We’ll throw a thick layer of mulch down and they will sleep cozy until then.
As far as onions go, I only wish I had planted twice as many! Most of them have really pulled along, for that matter so have the leeks and scallions. It’s so difficult to believe, even after doing it for years, that the wee little onion seedlings, much tinier than a blade of grass, could ever amount to anything. But of course, they grow up to become an indispensable vegetable. Life’s little miracles never cease to amaze me.
Yes, Virginia, there is a cucumber. During the drought, our cucumber vines were growing all over the place, but no fruit! When they are on the vine, we call them fruit for some reason, which brings me to any issue I could really only gripe about on this blog. People are always going on about how tomatoes are really a fruit, but we call them a vegetable. Something about the fact that they contain seeds. Last year, my son’s Grade 1 teacher taught him that anything with seeds is really a fruit. Which would mean that beans, peas, zuchinni, eggplants, squash, cucumbers, peppers and countless others are also fruits. You see where I’m going with this? I feel this is food bigotry. Why must we continuously classify and force our plant friends into society’s molds? I, for one, will let my cucumbers grow outside of the box. Which is what they’re doing right now, we’re getting tons of cukes and I couldn’t be happier.
There are straightneck summer squash, along with pattipans, and let me answer this question right up front – what do you do with them? Cook them like zuchinni. They taste exactly the same. Why don’t we just grow zuchinni instead? I have no idea.
And happy, happy day, we have some pumpkin and other winter squash that have set fruit and are sizing up! I was having a sick-to-my-stomach moment not long ago at the thought of not having any pumpkins for fall. What self-respecting gardener can’t produce a pumpkin? None, I tell you, but while I was considering Hari-Kari as my only course of action Mother Nature stepped in to help me both save face and my pumpkin crop. So now we have to wait and see how big they will get before frost comes.
Wait a second… this blog post is getting a little long winded. I don’t want to push the parameters of the public’s interest in our veggies, as earth shattering as they are. So, I think I’ll make this a two part post, and you’ll simply have to wait on the edge of you seat to learn about the brassicas et al. So…
TO BE CONTINUED…