Thursday, June 26, 2014

Hello Summer Garden - I Love You

Beautiful blueberries with a backdrop of wet sawdust after yesterday's much-needed rain.
Right on cue with the summer solstice, the spring garden has launched its robust push into summer. The full-tilt flower-filled version will appear in another month, and then we'll be in harvest heaven with August's tomatoes, peppers, melons, cucumbers, beans, eggplants etc. 

I'm all excited now because last night's dinner was the first of the year to feature (!) zucchini. 
Last night's stir fry ingredients, peas sauteed separately with a bit of lemon juice.
We eat this, or a version thereof, several times a week as long as the zucchini lasts. 
From now until late October we'll be feasting, straight from the garden, on a progression of organic produce True, we've been enjoying greens from our cold frame since February, but now it is finally I-can-skip-going-to-the-market time. Well, not entirely. But it will not be for fruits or veggies.

Our blueberries, planted three or four years ago, are at last bearing enough fruit to see us through our winter smoothies. The birds, mostly pesky little finches, are feasting on berries, too, including the raspberries. Still, our freezer is filling with brightness that will cheer us during cold, dank, rainy months. 

Yum. Yogurt and just-picked berries for breakfast.
I know, I know. I said we were cutting back on gardening. And we are. We've planted about a third less than last year. Although it still looks pretty daunting out there.

First row: cucumbers, beets, peppers. Second row: tomatoes. Third, potatoes and melons (a third of the row fallow. )Fourth, basil, eggplants, a friend's peppers, and about a third as many pole beans as we've ever planted. Row five: garlic (harvested already) and lots of onions. Row six, nothing but volunteer sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias, and a few volunteer tomatoes. In other words, we've cut back!

The blueberries are along the fence on the left, and raspberries along the other fence. A couple of modest zucchini plants are sizing up near the raspberries.  

A four-year-old strawberry bed in front, with a newer bed on the right. The old bed will be retired after this season. The other raised bed is overgrown with chives, oregano, and rosemary with snap dragons, sunflowers, zinnias and coneflowers coming on. A bed of zinnias is growing up on the left, with the asparagus bed doing its summer fern thing in the background 
In other garden areas not pictured, we have a couple spaghetti squash and a two butternuts, a short row of sweet corn, and a lot of bird, bee, and butterfly attracting flowers, not yet in bloom. Watch for a garden update in late July, when it will be in full flower and at its delicious and beautiful peak.