Saturday, June 16, 2012

The vegetable dream

If cucumbers had been my main vegetable goal, I would be over the moon right now.
In actuality, they were an afterthought; a productive one, but only an afterthought.
I seem to find at least 4 every time I go check, and I don't know that many recipes for using up cucumbers ( we will have no carrot sticks this summer, only cuke-sticks)......any suggestions would be helpful. Especially if mint is included. I have that in copious amounts too ( although I love putting mint in vases around the house.....smells delicious).
Abigail's favorite part of the cucumber overproduction is when we miss one for a couple of days and she gets to find something like this:

Although, it is nice to have lots of something edible. Last year the only thing we succeeded at growing well were rotten watermelons. Rotten because they got lost under the crabgrass that exceeded a foot in most parts of the garden. Crab grass does not count as a vegetable.

So being able to actually harvest edible produce has been fun.

 Things we have eaten/are hoping to eat:

Snap Peas: Abigail was fantastic at finding the pods. Problems arose as she would always take a bite out of the top before we could get hers inside. Then she would spit the top out after chewing on it for a bit. I think she'll have gum figured out no problem. She's good at not swallowing things.

Tomatoes: They're all green, mind you, so this is enjoying in advance and with the hope that we can save some from the birds. (any tips on encouraging good tomato growth?)

Squash: Even if we never get tons, I love seeing the yellow blossoms from the house, and the leaves are scratchy enough that Abigail isn't tempted to pick all the flowers off. Double bonus.

Bush Beans: I would have had fun growing these if the rabbits weren't topping all of them. Beans are a bit of a wash unless I get this  (the best picture by far is the 6th one).

Strawberries:  These were designated, unwillingly, as the rabbit's personal property. It was too hard to protect them. Next year maybe.

Asparagus:  Mmm, mmm I'm excited about these.

They look cool don't they? Maybe even romantic with they're wavy stems ( I now know why Asparagus Fern is so designated). 

I won't see anything edible for another year or so, but the satisfaction alone of growing a perennial  vegetable ( as in, I don't have to plant it each year) has already earned me back my money. The only thing dampening my spirits with perennials is the fact that John and my father (who only has raised beds) went in on a BCS 712 Tiller  (Italian-made btw. I can read him the directions if he needs) new price of $1900, auction price of $278....and I'm nervous about the success of transplanting everything so the "tiller-thirst" can be satisfied.  It's even designed so you have to buy........attachments.......that's what has me really worried.

Corn:  I was excited about this, and then really confused when my ears never filled out fully
(although Abigail thought they were just her size). A nice friend at church clued me in last week that I needed at least 2 rows so they could cross-pollinate. Apparently only east-west winds work for corn. So maybe I'll tear all the peas and corn out and give it another shot. We all like watching how fast they grow.

It's been fun though. As opposed to last summer when it was really just a looming chore. Abigail is big enough to entertain herself and even help some ( she's good at pulling peach seedlings out); I'm actually weeding and, when I get behind, John comes through with round-up and nukes the paths; and we're even seeing some of the 'fruit of our labors' as long as, for the moment anyway, we confine our definition of 'fruit' to 'cucumbers'. :o)


As in "cool as a cucumber"

much love, 

PS- maybe next year we'll be ready for this

Friday, June 8, 2012


She helped me wash dishes today.
Standing in a chair on one side of our sink,
The water was excessively filled with bubbles.
I did the washing and rinsing;
She did the bubble-eating,counter-scrubbing, and floor-soaking.
It was fun.

Helping me put up winter clothes