Thursday, February 3, 2011

an evening ritual in the garden

During the summer and fall when the garden is overflowing with abundance, I have an evening ritual of going out to the garden to pick our dinner.  Depending on the time of year I harvest many different fruits and vegetables, looking at this picture tells me it's late summer, the beets, potatoes, blackberries and blueberries are ripe.  The rhubarb and strawberries don't give it away, because I have them all season here.  I have early strawberries called "Benton" and later strawberries that go until frost called "Tri Star" we have a lot of strawberry plants,  plus I have given away as many as I have.  That tells you how fast strawberries multiply, it's amazing.

I took this picture one evening after I had leisurely strolled through the garden picking as I walked, deciding what to make for dinner.  I might have made stir fry with the small zucchini's, sunburst patty pan squash, baby carrots, and broccoli.  I usually have a salad picked along with root vegetables, and whatever else I can find that's ripe.  I bring pounds and pounds of produce out of my garden all summer and fall. 
 
Rhubarb does well in our climate all summer long because we're so mild.  It's one of the first to start producing  something edible from the garden, and it's a perennial.  I make lots of pies with rhubarb, which is also called the "pie plant".  One of my favorite pies is strawberry rhubarb.  I have good success in our climate with broccoli, kale, cabbage, peas, potatoes, and all the cool season crops.  I can actually grow many things, just not the heat loving ones like melons, tomatoes, eggplant.  

Beets do well in our climate, last year I planted 4 different types, they are a true dual purpose vegetable, and one of my most valuable.  I love the greens while they're young, and the beet roots when they're mature, they last well into the fall and early winter, and some last through winter and are a pleasant surprise to find in the spring.  Today I actually harvested a few vegetables for dinner, salsify, parsley, and a few beets and turnips that I found while digging, it was nothing major, but I am thankful. 

Broccoli is harvested all the way to Thanksgiving, and it is also one of my most faithful crops, along with tomatillos (which come up like weeds everywhere in my garden). Salsa verde is what I make with tomatillos, lots of it.  Some years I can grow tomatoes, not the big ones mind you, but cherry and plum tomatoes will usually ripen.  I can grow basil if started indoors early, and still have pesto in the freezer, one of my favorite breakfasts is sauteed vegetables fresh from the garden with pesto, feta, and a couple poached eggs.

I'm starting to get back in the garden mode, and am looking forward to painting the empty canvas once more with radiant colors and vitality.  I love to eat rainbow foods from the garden, and have been missing them.  Today as I spent several hours digging, weeding, and helping my garden look more orderly, it felt good to get my heartrate up and see the results of my work.  The temperature was around 45 degrees, and a little windy, but I bundled warm with a hat and gloves, and with my faithful dog Summer by my side, we happily worked away. 

2 comments:

bluetick said...

Jewell,

We just need to find a way to combine our growing temps to make the perfect growing conditions. It gets so hot here fast that I grow wonderful melons and tomato but the cool weather veggies have to be planted early so they get done before May. I just started some cool weather vegetables in the green house that should be ready in April.

My goal is to figure it all out so I always have fresh vegetables year around and not have to buy any.

Tracy

Jewel said...

Tracy,

I see on your post that you have a new greenhouse, and it looks nice, you did a good job building it. That would probably solve my problem for tomatoes, along with a heat pad on the bottom. Last summer was so cool we didn't get one ripe tomato.

My goal also is to have produce year round. It's a worthy goal, and is attainable.