Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Growing Challenge: Pluck. Cook. Eat.

Have you ever noticed that food you have to wait for tastes so much better than readily available food? Is it the anticipation? Is it the sweet taste of success? Is it all in my head?

I may not know the answer to those questions, but without a doubt the 16 French green beans I harvested and ate on Sunday night were some of the best green beans I've ever had.
Haricot vert!

Boiled for just a few minutes and then basted with butter, minced basil, sea salt and black pepper, my eight (I had to give Eric his fair share.) beans were simply divine. And they squeaked as we chewed them! Now I just have to wait for more to ripen for harvest since Caitlin and the twins might want us to share next time.

Sixteen beans. A short walk into the garden. Careful foot placement to avoid crushing vines that have escaped the beds and are running rampant in the aisles.




I now find myself wondering how much more I can grow in pots on the deck. It's becoming a jungle out there!
Top row from left: Purple Petra basil, French tarragon, holy basil
Bottom row: French thyme, rosemary, stevia

Maybe instead of more ornamental plants in the back border I should consider giving over space to food plants? Decisions...decisions!

I've started thinking about fall crops, which seems bizarre considering that it's late July. Fall seems so very far away and yet if I don't start seeds now for carrots, parsley, peas and lettuce, they won't be ripe before frost comes and kills everything D-E-A-D. Is there room on my deck for yet another pot? There certainly is none left in the raised beds.
Overflowing squash bed.

View back the other way. Note that the aisles have been over run by squash and melon vines.

They're so full they're shading out the potatoes I jammed in between the squashes and melons, poor things! Next year I think I'm going to try them in trash bins or big pots. I want to try out succession planting, too, but I'm afraid my beds aren't big enough. Maybe I won't want as many squash next year and then the beds will be big enough?

Who knows?!

I harvest a zucchini or two every day now and we eat them most every night.
Unfertilized zukes. Note the female flower attached to the future zuke is not open yet.

I almost want them to go insane with the zuke production just so I can try out some recipes I've found, although they have been fabulous just sauteed with butter, homemade Italian seasoning, garlic and sea salt. Then again, isn't everything better with those four ingredients?

I'm enjoying watching the watermelons,
Check this watermelon out just one week ago.
winter squash
Spaghetti squash.
and pumpkins
Pie pumpkin. Mmmm! Pie!

get bigger every day. I like to tiptoe through the garden and peek under the leaves just to see what I can find. I hope I'll be able to find the cucumbers when they're ripe!

I'm still waiting impatiently for the tomato harvest to come in.
Caspian pink.

Volunteer 'Pop-In' tomato growing in a pot on the deck.

Tiny harvest: zucchini and Stupice (red), Snow White (yellow), Sun Gold (orange) tomatoes.

They're so tall now that they're over my head!
Tomatoes looming overhead.

Tying them up is getting harder and harder. I am longing for a caprese salad of my own making. I still haven't made any pesto yet, but that may be something I do tomorrow.
Basil: pre-pesto.

Tiger swallowtail butterfly enjoying the 'Heather Queen' agastache.

"Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I will plant it, pick it, weed it (Add pictures to this post...) tomorrow!"
-- Scarlett O'Hatchet


Jennifer H said...

You amaze me. I don't know how you do it all.

I just wish I were your neighbor!

ellen said...

Wow, your garden looks so lush and beautiful. How do you do it? I can't even seem to keep potted plants happy. Maybe it's because I forget to water them...

I wish I could garden like you do.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I'm sorry to say this, but I think I hate you. And you know why...

Madge said...

i really hope i plant a garden next year. i really do.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Jennifer: You could move to CO...! Of course, it's pretty hot at the moment, so it may not be a big change from AZ. Nice folks here, though!

Ellen: Yup, watering is key. Especially in the Land Where Water Does NOT Fall From The Sky. I go through a lot of water in the summer. I make up for it by using very little in the winter. I bet you could garden like I do, you'd just have to trade it for quilting!

SC: I'm so sorry! But you have an incredible talent: Zuke Killer! : )

Madge: Gardening is so awesome you can do it even just in pots. Give it a whirl!

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