Harvest!

22 Jun

Updated at 10:10 am; hopefully the photos are showing up correctly now and not smushing together…  Sorry if it posts twice on your reader!

I harvested my first big haul from our garden this past weekend; I filled up my jumbo 6 quart vintage tupperware bowl to overflowing with lettuce – twice.  Some of our nine heads of Red Leaf Romaine and Black-Seeded Simpson were two feet across!  I also harvested several tiny yellow tomatoes from our Sungold plant and a couple of handfuls of basil.  I’ve previously pulled a few sprigs of parsley and some thyme and chives off their respective plants, and we had a few strawberries (I don’t know that they like their pot very much, unfortunately).

However, yesterday was our first real “harvest”, with a quantity of different yummy produce straight from the back yard.

First, photos of the yard as it is right now.  You’ll remember that this is how my tomatoes used to look:

The tomato bed a MONTH ago

 Today, it looks like this:

This is the same bed, one month later.

 I know it’s from a different angle and you can see the hedge my landlord butchered (and the house next door – oops!) in the lower photo…  But you can see what my neighbor meant about the elves coming in the middle of the night to make things grow.  It’s like a jungle!  The rest of the old photos of the garden can be found here; but there are a few more new ones:

The pepper bed isn't quite as dramatic as the tomato bed, but you can see that there's a ton of fruit on the plants! Pretty soon there will be sunflowers popping up by the fence in back - they're already almost a foot high!

Look at how big those artichokes have gotten! The middle squash is getting pretty huge too, and the spinach in the back is vining up the trellis!

 As you can see, our combination of weed control fabric and wood chip mulch hasn’t worked to completely keep the yard grass-free.  Unfortunately the grass in this yard is just too darn persistent.  But we have far less grass right now than we would have, if we hadn’t prepared the beds as we did.  And since we snaked soaker hoses underneath the fabric, we’re able to water deeply at all hours of the day.  Obviously the plants like the garden setup!

Now, on to my harvest:

Yum!

Yes, that’s all from yesterday.  A huge yellow beet (planted back in April; later this year I plan to plant more for this winter), our first artichoke of the season, another strawberry, one more yellow tomato, some Thai basil, a squash flower, and our first “ripe” pepper (purple bell) and cucumbers (two small pickling-type and one lemon cucumber… mmmm, my favorite!). 

We had a nice salad at dinner and used as much of the produce as we could.  Everything tasted incredible except for the pepper, which must have turned color too early or something.  It tasted really bitter.  I’ve never had the best luck with bell peppers, which is why out of 9 pepper plants I only planted a single bell (the rest are the longer, thinner chile-type peppers, although most of them are very very very mild).

I’m also eagerly anticipating our first okra (already set on the plant), our first beans (the blossoms of which are about to burst open any day), our first squash (hopefully already set) and our first watermelon (growing in the front yard right now!):

This melon is about 3 inches long, definitely long enough for me to know that it's been fertilized, since the first few shriveled up at one inch, but still tiny!

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