Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes (In The Garden)

In honor of the recently completed London Olympics I thought this post needed a little nod to a great Brit - hence the Bowie referrence in the title.

One of the wonderful things about a vegetable garden is that it keeps changing as the seasons progress. Here in Northern Virginia we have a pretty long growing season and with the help of a little low level technology, we can make it even longer.

Back when it was still cold we were happily growing things like lettuce, beets, radishes and kale in our simple cold frame. There are few more satisfying things for a gardener than to have to take off winter gloves to harvest some lettuce that you'll wash and eat that day!

As the weather started to warm, our soil amendments made over the winter paid off handsomely in a bumper strawberry crop. Some heavy rains shortened the yield a bit but we really had all we could eat this spring -- and they were delicious. 

Spring and early summer also gave us kale, spinach, swiss chard, garlic (don't forget the scapes), leeks, more lettuces and a pretty wide variety of herbs.I wrote about much of it here.

Then came the tomatoes! And boy did they come -- it's been a really good year.

The zucchini have been prolific and I've written several posts about how we are using them is our Meatless Monday meals.

As we get into the later part of the summer , the garden is changing over once again. We're still getting a good amount of tomatoes and zucchini but several new plants are ready to take center stage. For the 1st time we are growing corn. Admittedly it is a small plot, but it was an experiment to see if we could do it. Well, our tiny little corn "field' seems pretty darn happy.

The stalks are nearly 10 feet high (is that the height of an elephant's eye?) and the ears are forming up nicely. It won't be long before we find out is it tastes as deleicious as it looks.

The hot peppers are ready to pick and the cucumbers seem to be multiplying overnight.

We've picked and eaten our first batch of yellow wax beans (delicious!) and are anxiously awaiting more.

Another first for us is a particularly interesting red variety of okra. They look quite different from the classic green pods I wrote about recently and we'll soon find out if there is any taste difference.

I realize how fortunate we are to have the space to do all of this. I also know that not everyone does.But, don't let that stop you from growing something -- anything. Even if it's just some herbs in a pot in your kitchen window. Or a small patch of tomatoes in that little unused spot in your yard. Once you grow and eat your own produce you'll learn what we did a long time ago -- it is so much better than anyting you can buy at a supermarket.

Happy gardening!


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  2. Wow you are making me envious. Freshly grown vegetables must taste a lot better than the ones at the supermarket!!

    1. I can assure you they do! Thanks for reading my blog and for your comment.


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