Summer is in full swing here in South Carolina. That means hot, humid days where venturing out of the house between 11 am and 4 pm results in instant sweat and don't even think about trying to wear glasses outside! The great thing about summer is the garden is plentiful, productive and colorful:
I picked the first large tomatoes this week. They are Cherokee Purples, which is one of my favorite tomatoes for fresh eating even if they don't win any beauty contests. I went from wishing the tomatoes would hurry up to having a parade of tomatoes on the window sill!
For those delicious tomatoes I had to have the official salad of summer: tomatoes, cucumbers and onions with olive oil and a bit of red wine vinegar. I, of course, had to eat this salad on the porch swing. I would say with a big glass of sweet tea because it fits the image, but I'm not much of a sweet tea drinker. I had water.
Also this week I pulled most of the beets. I love the colors of beets and they are one of J's favorite veggies, so I will definitely be planting more in the fall.
There have been plenty of cucumbers this week as well, especially the lemon cucumbers. That giant cucumber was hiding out under a leaf and went undetected for who knows how long:
With all the cucumbers I made another batch of pickles. I now do my canning on the back porch on a camping stove. At the new house we have a glass top stove and supposedly you shouldn't can on them. I guess the weight of the pot with all the water and jars can actually crack the glass. Plus and some of the stoves have heat sensors that prevent the water from getting hot enough for canning. It's nice to keep the heat outside and the porch is shaded and screened in, so no battling mosquitoes or the sun.
Everything isn't growing perfectly in the garden. There is the corn. I don't know what my problem is with growing corn. This is my third year of short corn with small ears. Last year I blamed the weather and that was likely the cause because all the corn I saw growing in the area looked as short and sad as mine. However, this year I can't use the weather as an excuse. When I drive around, I check out people's corn. It seems to have become an obsession of mine! Other people's corn have grown tall with nice, dark green leaves. Mine, however, are short and pale green with small ears. The only other pathetic looking corn I've seen is my neighbor's corn. My guess is that our soil doesn't have enough nitrogen. I really need to get a soil test in the fall.
The good news is that the corn still tastes good even if it is small.
The sunflowers have begun to flower and it appears that I'm not the only one that enjoys their blooms. They have been covered with bees of all sizes.
My summer squash this year has done better than ever before, despite the squash vine borers and squash bugs. I am up to 25 lbs of summer squash this year! I'm actually to the point of wondering what to do with all the squash, which never happens.
And finally, it wouldn't be summer with a juicy melon. I have successfully grown melons in the past, but they never had a great taste. However, the first melon of this year was delicious! It was juicy and sweet. I hope they all turn out like that this year. So the corn may not be doing great, but I can live with delicious melons and lots of squash and tomatoes!
Harvests this week:
Lettuce 0.01 (thinned some of the Nevada lettuce and so far it isn't bitter)
Summer squash 7.39
Dried beans 0.14
Weekly total: 37.4 lbs
Yearly total: 111.75 lbs (over the 100 lb mark this week!)
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.