Friday, June 4, 2010

Bring It On Summer (Part 1)

In order to make up for my lack of blogging, I've come up with a 2-part post (maybe more) to catch you up on the garden activities of late.

Part 1 is about our recent harvests. We've steadily been picking snow peas and shelling peas for just about a month. Snow peas have petered out and shelling peas probably only have 1 more small picking session left. Want to see how we've done this year?

We started picking peas every night before dinner (recall this post) and Bill and I would shell or destring as necessary, blanch, and tray freeze batches of them after Joe went to bed.

Now to compare, last year we harvested exactly these many shelling peas from the garden:

That is approximately HALF of 1/2 cup of peas. Yes, 1/4 cup of peas. Barely a Joe-sized fistful.

We did a little better this year:

Two full gallons, and we're not quite finished yet, though the 100+ temps have mostly halted pea production for good. Now, considering how fast we go through peas--the one vegetable Joe will ALWAYS eat--this will probably last us maybe a month, if I'm lucky. But it still feels nice to have homegrown veggies in the freezer. And speaking of freezer...

This, my friends, is an entire freezer shelf full of snow peas, packaged by the pound and quarter-pound. We hauled in a grand total of 9lbs of snow peas from ONE 25-foot row. This doesn't include what we ate fresh from the garden, either. I think if we had done another row and hadn't gone on vacation in the middle of the harvest, we might have been able to freeze enough to last until winter. Crazy.

While we're in the freezer, might as well show you the first of the carrot harvest:

Just a pint-sized bag of carrot coins, but more than we got last year by a long shot. There are still tons of carrots out in the garden waiting to be picked, but this is what we got while thinning them out.

Next up are taters & onions:

Not a lot of potatoes, considering I dug up 6 plants to get these. The plants were nowhere near mature, but we're in the midst of a full-on war with the potato beetles, and it was either dig or nothing. These I'll mash up and throw on top of a shepherd's pie this weekend.

The onions above are much more exciting. These represent a tiny fraction of what is still waiting out in the garden, and they are nice, large bulbs. Some I will cure and store in the root cellar/storm shelter and some I will chop up and freeze.

All of this is a fairly upbeat and optimistic view of what's going on out there, but trust me, the whole picture ain't pretty. I've mentioned the extreme heat and vacation; both of these resulted in almost all of my flowers dying, hot-weather weeds dominating the garden, and no more lettuce. Those pics are to come in the next part.

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