I was disappointed that I was unable to find what seeds I ordered last year on the blog so this year I am trying to pay myself forward. Nothing super exciting about this post. I don’t even think I will post a picture. Short, sweet and to the point.
I sorted through the leftover seeds from last year and feel like rolling the dice on many of them again. So, this short list below is just the new seeds I’m buying.
That will do it for now. Hope everyone is enduring the roller coaster winter of cold, snow, rain, warm(ish) then back to cold, snow, rain… Before you know it, we’ll be complaining that it is too hot and not raining enough (or too much)
This past weekend the last two of the original garden beds were replaced. After over twelve years, all of the garden now consists of six garden beds that ‘hopefully’ won’t need to be patched up and repaired each spring.
For anyone interested in building a garden bed like these, check out my earlier posts where I go over more of the details. See Garden Expansion and Out with the old.
The replacement followed the same script as in the spring. I started off by digging out the dirt from around the inside of the beds and piling it into the adjacent beds. With the soil removed, I could start pulling out all of the old side boards.
West garden bed with the soil removed around the original bed and one of the sides removed.
Warning! Garden bed lost containment!
Some of the old bed parts. They held up quite well for being next to soil and out in the weather for so many years.
The two new beds waiting for to be moved to their new forever home.
I am very thankful for my neighbors generosity in lending me his spud bar for use removing all the old posts. Some were so rotten they practically fell out. Others were still very well stuck in the ground.
Second bed missing its walls.
There are some small gaps between the boards and around the bottom. I used some landscape fabric to line the insides of the new beds to help keep the soil inside.
Final two new beds all ready to grow vegetables next year and hopefully for many years to come.
I’ve been meaning to get into the garden for what seems like a month or two now. If it hasn’t been the sweltering heat and humidity, it has been the multi day rain events. Not to mention a big home project and all of the kids and work activities.
Enough of excuses, Sunday I made it out there and harvested the second to last vegetable and cleared out the dying and the dead.
Reach and pull
I always appreciate some help in the garden. Gabrielle was excited to finally get to harvest the last of the carrots.
Gabrielle with the prize
Posing with the bounty of carrots
This carrot REALLY has to go to the bathroom!
In addition to the carrots, it was a good time to finally clear out the old green beans, tomatoes and decayed spines of the squash and zucchini. I plan to replace the remaining two garden beds yet this fall and having all the old plants cleared out is a good first step.
All the garden structures removed and ready for transport to the garage
Mostly cleaned up. Except for the green mass of sweet potatoes in the back corner.
Is there such a thing as a tomato being too big for your hamburger?
Is there a hamburger there somewhere?
Believe it or not, there is a whole hamburger, slice of provolone cheese and bottom bun being hidden underneath that slice of tomato. As you can probably imagine, it was also a giant mess of a burger to eat but it sure did taste good.
Third time is the charm. After three years of trying to grow sweet corn in the garden, I finally had enough to eat and freeze. I picked eight ears for dinner last night and decided to pick the rest and freeze it today. I wasn’t sure how much I would actually get, so I stopped by the farmers market today and picked up an additional dozen and a half. If I’m going through the trouble, I might as well do a few more.
I recruited/conscripted two of the kids to help with the job. Gabrielle helped pick the corn from the garden and Ethan helped with the husking. Karen helped cutting the corn from the cob.
Gabrielle helping pick the corn from the garden
Bushel basket of corn – 33 ears.
Carrying the harvest to the garage.
Husking station. Garden corn plus 18 ears from the farmers market.
Gabrielle helping to husk the corn.
I even managed to get Ethan to come out and help
Stacks of corn waiting to be blanched
Fire and Ice. One pot boiling water to blanch and another bowl of ice water to cool.
Cutting and collecting
Plenty of work to do. Karen helped cut the corn.
I ended up putting about 3 cups of corn in a quart sized freezer bag. Once I removed as much air as possible, it flattened out fairly well and was sort of stackable.
Poor mans vacuum sealer. A straw and two lungs.
Healthy fresh corn on the bottom. Tasty and not so healthy ice cram on top.
I have two activities I try to do each summer in the kitchen, both of which are pretty time consuming. One is to can some green beans and the other is to make some zucchini crisp. For some dumb/smart reason, this year I decided to do both in the same afternoon/evening/night. Needless to say, I am looking forward to going to bed tonight. On the plus side, I got them both out of the way.
Making use of the giant zucchini
Final product being sliced up and made ready to take to work
Fat chef supervising the loading of the mason jars
Stupid Japanese beetles. They are attacking the sweet corn this year. I’m finding them burrowing into the silk and making a mess. Tonight I decided to take a bucket of soapy water and see how many I could collect. By the time I got out to the garden, there weren’t as many in the corn as there were earlier. I did find a pocket of them on the pole beans and another 10 were in the marigold flowers by the deck. Side note, don’t people plant marigolds to keep insects away? Anyway, the mother load of the pests were in the weeping cherry tree. All I had to do was hold the bucket under a branch and tap it to have them all dive for the ground only to be plunged into the “Beetle Bucket O’Death”.
Unfortunately, I know that I have barely scratched the surface of the total number of beetles out there. I imagine I could do this every day for the rest of summer and still not make a real difference. I did try to offer the kids a job. A nickle a beetle in the bucket. So far, no takers.