What’s growing on…

Good morning blogosphere!
In the first place I must apologize.
I stated “oh, weed a week!” and let’s be honest here, life got the best of us.   I’m so sorry for letting you down!

In the past couple weeks we – have been to weddings, a new baby has been born in our immediate family, two of our family members are moving and buying houses(neither of these families have done these recently or often, so it’s stressful!), two are suffering bad breakups, we had a bunch of the youth group girls over, trying to re-home my extra rooster, trying to do some important house projects/repairs, my sapling is turning one, throwing my mom a much belated 50th bash (I gave birth a few days later last year…so it’s a year late) and my sister is getting married(of which I’m maid of honor…)that I’m supposed to be designing the floral arrangements for, and organizing the shower. PHEW.

"hmm, this fence is a great place to bloom!"

Thankfully though, its been a banner year for growing things! It hasn’t been too unbearably hot, and we haven’t seem to have gone more than a couple days without a good drenching.

The veggies are really loving it!!!  Check out the vegetable garden this year, below!  I went all heirloom this year – we’ll see how it goes.  So far so good, we’ll know once the yield comes in!

Disregard the weeds in amongst them.  If it wasn’t for my mother in law, I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with the weeds! I need a better solution than calling her when I’m being smothered with weeds…

gettin' weedy out there...Oh yeah, my lawn asparagus.  Someone planted asparagus here once.  In my lawn.  And it keeps coming back…

pick before you mow...

In the vegetable garden, one of my new favorites, I’m growing an heirloom cantaloupe, called “Minnesota Midget” this year. I planted it, it sprouted faster than anything else.   seriously melon, you have lots of space to sprawl... 
And then SOMETHING ate it!!! NOOO…
But I planted more, and of course it’s now two weeks late, but still it popped up yet again, and is hardly a foot long WITH ITTY BITTY FLOWERS.  WHAT?!?
Midget melon indeed!  I gave it space that it doesn’t seem to want.
Let’s see if it holds up to it’s claims of being awesome.
Most of my family are from Minnesota, so I think I had a soft spot for it based on the name…

We’re also growing “Golden Giant” grain amaranth. We tried some this winter and liked it, and after paying $8 for a POUND of the thing… I figured hey, if I can grow at least a pound, (they claim a pound per plant at most!) it’ll make up for the seeds!  It looks like a weed. looks like a weed.  Its not.
We’ll see. It was definitely a slow starter, and I probably weeded some of the seedlings out. However, it seems hardy, as a couple plants sprouted up in the paths from seeds I must’ve shook off my hands.lovely amaranth Of course, I let the random ones grow.  Well, the melon doesn’t seem to want the space!  I should probably stake them, I noticed that one of the plants was clipped over from the downpours last night.   Poor things.

Another experiment is the “brightest brilliant” quinoa. Who knows with this one. I probably weeded out half of the seedlings, they were very slow and nearly decimated by aphids. Apparently they’re really tricky to grow, but they do have a growth spurt towards the end of the year. sad looking weed.  I mean quinoa.Here’s hoping to tasty quinoa!  It also looks like a weed!

The pumpkins are growing well too, creeping tactfully across the fence.  Never grown these before, I can’t wait to see the results, they’re such well behaved vines!!what a well-behaved pumpkin!

The tomatoes are coming into their own. I’m a little disappointed in yield so far, but I am growing only heirlooms this year instead of hybrids. These are “striped roman” plum tomatoes mostly, with some brandywines and “IsisCandy” cherry tomatoes mixed in.
I may decide to go all hybrid next year, for the sake of yield and I depend on this garden for our groceries.  Though if the flavor is that much better… hmm.

stripey already!The zucchini, of course, doesn’t complain. When does it ever?? I’m growing an heirloom, “Costata romanesco”. These were so delicious last time, even my husband who doesn’t like zucchini, ate them!!  The variety does sprawl excessively though! They yield a little less than hybrid ones, but honestly, two still made more than enough zucchinis.bugs LOVE zucchini tooLike the honey badger, zucchini don’t care!

These below are special one to me – ground cherries!  They look like tomatillos, with the little lanterns on the stems.  However, when they’re ripe, they turn yellowy and fall off the plant, hence the “ground cherry”.  These seeds were given to me by my grandfather out in Minnesota; who has been growing them for awhile and is also a gardener-biologist.   These are very dear to me!!or "strawberry husk tomatoes"

I’m also trying celeriac. I bought a root (bulb? Corm?) from the store in March, figuring, “hey, I just planted these seeds, I should probably try this vegetable” logic. Heh.
It was LIFE CHANGING it was just SO GOOD. It was like a potato but with flavor.  BUT at 7$/lb, I’m growing my own from now on!!
Besides having to start the seeds with the onions in February, they’ve been pretty low maintenance since.  They seem really happy and I think they’ll have excellent bulbs.  Bulbs?  Roots?  Corms?  Chunks of rooted vegetables.  That works. looks like celery!

We’re growing some herbs too of course, basil, parsley, and cilantro. The cilantro is already starting to bolt, I’d better pick some of it soon and start freezing! I pick it, wash and dry it, then pulse it in the food processor, then freeze it into one tablespoon cubes.

I can use cilantro all winter in cooked dishes – I do enjoy Indian food and curries so this is a great and inexpensive way to always have it on hand.

I’m so thankful for the bounty already from this garden this year.  At the most, I think I spent $40 on new seeds like lettuce and celeriac and amaranth.  I can save all the seeds from these for next year – since they’re ALL heirlooms!!  And, a relative bought me many seeds that I planted this year, such as the pumpkin and beans.  I’ve already gotten my return from the volume of lettuce harvested once I crunched the numbers (compared to comparable grocery store purchases) of what I spent on the lettuce mix seeds!

Fall will be a welcome break.  After the wedding.  And canning all those tomatoes and ground cherries of course.  And bringing home all that beef.   WOW, busy!!

In Christ,
Lauren

 

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