September 1, 2010

Vegetables

I'm going to tell it like it is, in that our 12th annual garden was far from fantastic.  Or bountiful.
We've grown a lot of produce in our little garden patch over the years,  and it looks like it's time we give back some key nutrients that have been taken from the soil.   We haven't fertilized in a while.   

I love cucumber vines.  I think the curls & graceful scrolls of their tendrils are beautiful. 
I had great plans for making pickles this year.   
One summer, years & years back, I picked cucumbers daily & soaked & brined & boiled & canned jars & jars of pickles in the sweltery July humidity.    
I should note here, for the record, that Mitch LOVES pickles. He eats jars & jars & jars & jars of them. He thinks they are "the perfect food."  Pickles are a part of his character.
Well, Mitch didn't really think my pickles were that great. (They weren't.) And they went mostly uneaten.
So I never bothered to make pickles again.

But this May, while visiting a friend in California, I attended a fermentation festival and learned all about sour kraut & probiotics & all kinds of things I'd never heard of before, like miso & kefir grains.  And I watched the Veggie Queen do a demonstration on pickles, and she shared her recipe.  
I had come across another recipe for refrigerator pickles that I really wanted to make, too.  
I was inspired & ready to pickle away once more. 

And then.. our cucumbers really never grew that well.  
And when they did grow, they were the strangest forms of cucumbers I've ever seen.

According to wikipedia, regarding cucumbers, "The fruit is roughly cylindrical, elongated, with tapered ends."
Pretty true to every cucumber I've ever seen.

Well, our pickling cucumbers all grew like Christmas tree bulbs.
Our table cucumbers grew in the shape of horseshoes. We never had one cylindrical cucumber in the bunch.
There weren't really bunches, anyway.   So, I didn't get to make pickles. 
But Beau sure loves fresh sliced cucumbers, and has been enjoying the few oddities we were able to grow.

As for our sweet corn,  on June 5th it was sprouting up well.
But it seemed stunted somewhere along the way by August.   We ate 5 ears of corn on the cob. 
And then the coons cleaned us out of any other edible ears.  
(The coon hound had gotten spoiled & started sleeping inside the house at night.)

Carrots: same.   They smell fantastically sweet &a we have been able to eat some.
(Beau is crazy about carrots, too.)   
But they're definitely baby carrots.  
Itty bitty baby carrots.

Our tomatoes never grew into their typical jungle.  They stayed in their cages. 
We've never had our tomatoes not uproot their cages before.  I've never not had to prune them back like crazy until my hands were blackish-green like the Moss Man. 
But we've got a line-up of vine ripened beauties in our kitchen, so I can't complain.   No 50+ pounds of produce like years past, but they're healthy, red, good looking tomatoes.

Potatoes - it looks like that's where it's at for us this year.  We have our rows at Marianne's house across the field.   We've dug a sack full of them up to eat and they're as smooth shaped & consistently sized as you could ask a potato to be.  
We also tried a new space saving potato technique here in our own garden.  
We'll see how it turns out.   I have hope.
And great garden plans for next year.

3 comments:

  1. Ahh I wish you would have posted this earlier I gave away TONS of cucumbers! Your garden is still cute even if it was a little unproductive, it seems like a lot of people had a slow year.

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  2. My grandma had cucumbers that looked like that. I thought that they were the neatest thing.

    By the way, I love the new look of the blog!

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  3. Thanks, Dion. :) Since I was able to make my blog wider to accomodate bigger pictures, I've thought my old narrow header looked silly.
    So I finally put together a new one.
    Change is nice once in a while, anyway. :)

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