My garden and I survived an entire week separated. I'm sure I had much more anxiety about it than the garden. We went camping in New York and Vermont, which was beautiful and very nice to escape the 90 degree days down south. When we arrived home the first thing I did was to check on the garden. My worst fears about deer taking out the fence and having a feast were not materialized. Everything was fine. The weeds grew and the squash bugs and vine borers had arrived in my absence, but other than that all was fine. Here's the veggies that awaited my return:
That over sized zucchini was stuffed with onion, quinoa, cheese and parsley:
I started digging up the potatoes and they are not very big. I read that some people wait until the entire plant is dead and dried up before harvesting. I'm going to leave the rest of the potatoes to die back and see if it makes a difference in the size. I've never had a great potato harvest. I was excited this year because it was the first time I had a potato plant flower. I'm not sure what the problem is, perhaps it gets too hot for them. I may try a fall crop if I have the room and I probably need to get them planted earlier in the spring.
As I harvested these small potatoes, J said that they would be great for salted potatoes. I thought this was just boiled potatoes with some salt, but it turns out that it is an Upstate New York specialty (where he is from) that involves a ton of salt. I found that the recipe started in Syracuse in the 1800s by salt mine workers. Basically you boil small, whole potatoes in a brine with a ton of salt (1 1/2 cups for 4 lbs of potatoes)! This is the recipe I used and J approved of it: Syracuse Salt Potatoes. I'm not a huge fan of salty foods, but with the butter I have to say they were pretty tasty.
When I left the garden, the broccoli was forming heads and I was concerned that they would be flowering by the time we got back, but they were fine. This is the first year I've grown broccoli under a row cover and now I don't have to meticulous clean them searching for cabbage worms, plus the plants did much better not getting munched on. However, somehow a dove got inside my row cover! I have no clue how it got in there and it was flapping about trying to get out. It appears that my row covers have effectively kept out cabbage moths, but not doves!
My kale continues to survive the heat under the shade cloth. The plants haven't gotten very large, but they have yet to bolt. I've been getting cucumbers and hope to have enough to make the first batch of pickles this week. I also harvested the first banana peppers.
Harvests for this week:
Herbs 1.4 oz
Kale 1.9 oz
Amaranth 0.3 oz
Turnips 5.8 oz
Potatoes 2.8 lbs
Chard 3 oz
Squash 4.9 lbs
Broccoli 1.5 lbs
Peppers 1.8 oz
Cucumber 6.1 lbs
Beans 13 oz
Carrots 0.7 oz (I pulled one carrot to see how big they were. Definitely need to keep waiting on the carrots.)
Weekly total: 17.8 lbs
Yearly total: 41 lbs
That's all the harvests coming from my garden this week. To see what others are harvesting check out Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions.