Garden Update

I’m glad I didn’t commit to any sort of schedule for posting about the garden. It really is true that the more there is to report, the less time there is to write. Over the last week or so I’ve gathered a few images of the more interesting–to me, at least–developments in the garden.

The collards are getting huge so I think I’ll cook some this week. I’m planning on cooking some of the Jacob’s Cattle Gasless (!) beans I grew last year to go with them. I don’t feel like having black-eyed peas this time.

And speaking of beans there are about a half dozen bush varieties coming along nicely. Some will be consumed as green beans (even the purple ones), some will be shelled and some will be dried.

I took that picture only a week or so ago and they are probably twice as big now. A few have been nibbled by beetles but they look great and most are starting to flower. The White Dixie butter beans I planted later when the Red Calypso failed are really taking it in the shorts, though.

Again, in relation to beans in general, I tried escarole for the first time this year. I make the bean connection because the only recipe I’ve tried with it so far paired it with canellini. This is the second of two plants. It’s gotten huge since I took this picture last week so I hope it’s still good when I cook it this Thursday.

On the other sided of the garden the garlic has got me really excited. Last year since it was the first time we had the plot we spring planted the garlic. Consequently it didn’t have as long to grow. The resulting bulbs were tasty but probably on the small side. Gambling on getting the same plot this year, we planted this crop of garlic last fall. The plants are huge and robust. I hope that’s reflected in the harvest!

Another exciting new plant in the garden is the fava bean. I had them for the first time at the co-conspirator’s cousin’s house in Portland last year and decided I’d try growing them. I planted them first thing this spring since they’re supposed to be a cold weather crop. They came up and then stalled for about a month. Then they bloomed, the flowers turned a disturbing wilted black color and I worried. It turns out that’s just what they do. Now pods are forming and some are already quite big. Unfortunately I did what I usually do. I planted all the seeds at once and then stood back and thought “It might have been a good idea to plant those at intervals.” I’ll soon be researching what to do with excess favas.

Like most everything else, the tomatoes hit their stride this week and doubled in size. This year I’m going to try pruning and staking them. I’ve got some varieties I’m really excited to try–‘San Marzano,’ ‘Tasty Evergreen,’ ‘Hillbilly Potato Leaf,’ ‘Silvery Fir Tree,’ and ‘Cherokee Purple’ among them.

The garden’s looking great right now. We’ve got the weeds under control, everything that can be mulched is mulched, and some things are being harvested even as others are just coming up. We’re off to a good start and the Solstice is upon us. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season shapes up, especially a couple of “spicy” experiments I’m trying!

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