Greens and Veggies

Everything has grown so quickly in the last week.

Lacinto, Curly and Red Russian kale

Less than ten days ago I had trimmed back all the greens to harvest but look at them now. They’re ready to harvest again and this is just one bed. I have two others.

In another part of the garden the blueberries are ripening. I’ve been using Espoma cottonseed meal and acidifier mixed with peat moss or coco coir before they blossom in the spring and in late fall. I use only about two tablespoons per bush.

Blueberries adapt easily for many uses – blueberry crisp, quick breads, pie, ice cream and yogurt or make a syrup for waffles or pancakes. Other good things to eat are the melons.

Early Moonbeam watermelon

These little watermelons doubled in size in a week. Early Moonbeam is a deliciously pale yellow I’ve grown before and love the taste. Janosik looks like this on the outside, but more yellow and even sweeter.

Blacktail Mountain watermelon

And I have more than one Blacktail Mountain watermelon. This is one of the sweetest northern watermelons that I have grown. But now to the other side of the

Polaris butternut squash

garden a butternut squash has appeared with several others. I’m only growing Polaris this year since it is nearly as large as the big Waltham with more production.

Melon developing

Cantaloupes doubled in size too. Minnesota midget, Sheila’s Missouri Cantaloupe and Anansas d’Amerique are growing and loving this hot weather. All of these I have grown successfully in other years. ( Thanks Bob and Sheila for encouraging me!) Other garden veggies include the sweet peppers which are in the green stage but very edible.

Jalapeno pepper.

But it’s the jalapeno that gives my hummus a tangy accent with one jalapeno pepper per batch. I have two varieties – one an heirloom that cracks easily but has great taste, good heat and Jedi which packs a little more heat.

Dave’s Hungarian peppers

Dave’s Hungarian wax peppers are multiplying rapidly.( Thanks Dave) Soon I’ll have some with a Beans and Greens meal. Maybe I’ll stuff a few and freeze some too. As usual they are very prolific at production.

Freshly harvested garlic

On the other side of the Hilltop garden garlic was harvested recently. Generally I let them cure for about two or three weeks. Some I’ll keep the heads, but most of them I’ll process with olive oil in the food processor and freeze the cubes to use in soup, stir-fries and sauces.

Chesnock Red garlic

I have many favorites but the Chesnock Red variety is a thing of beauty with their red sheaths. I grow many types – German White, Dave’s Cleanslate Farm, Purple Glazer, Music, Bogatyr, Armenian and I think some are a combination with characteristics from all of them. I think they’re excellent, but I’m unabashedly a garlic fan.

Over at the greenhouse the Genovese basil and purple are large enough to use frequently in many dishes. I tend to use more Genovese basil than the others. One note is that I have some in the Hilltop garden besides the greenhouse.

Genovese basil

But the basil in the greenhouse underneath the shade cloth produces for the longest period of time. The greenhouse is ventilated on all sides including the roof but the temperature reads higher than the outside on a full sun day. With the shade cloth the plants aren’t stressed by the heat and don’t flower as quickly as those out in the garden.

Red Wing onion

Onions are bulbing and I could pick a leek if I wanted. I have several. I’ve entertained preparing leek , potato, beans or spicy sausage for Potato Leek soup. It’s one of my favorites even at this time of year.Carrots are swelling in size. It looks like Miami variety is first to the harvest. Swiss chard sparkling in their varied colors I’ve been using in salads, plus in a Beans and Greens dish.

The tomatoes are still forming and I’m waiting on the eggplants. Blossoms are there in abundance. Beans are climbing to make their way to the top of the trellis.

Acadia broccoli freshly harvested

Let’s not forget the broccoli. Two of them! I nearly missed the heads underneath shade cloth and tulle to keep out the bad bugs. Last time I had investigated they were barely the size of a small orange. That was a week ago. Dinner was sauteed thinly sliced chicken for the hubs ,

Freshly steamed Acadia broccoli

and broccoli steamed in the instant pot one minute (seasoned with lemon and salt before serving) and yummy grilled zucchini ribbons with white beans for me. The broccoli was so good! So tender!

All of the flowers are in their prime. Not all are pictured .

Asian lily
Velvet Queen sunflower

Exquisite Four O’Clocks are happily poisoning Japanese beetles with their toxic leaves.

Japanese Beetles eating their last meal on Four O’Clock leaves.

They seem to prefer the yellow flowers over the rose flowered plants.

Rose Four O’Clock

Asian lilies, zinnias, balloon flowers (campenula), snapdragons, celosias, Irish Poet, dahlias,calendula, blackberry lily, chinese forget-me-nots, yarrow, bachelor buttons and morning glory are some of the other flowers throughout my gardens. Plus the heady fragrance of Sweet Annie artemisia just off my patio is a special treat. I always have to brush my hand through its fragrant leaves (Thanks Bean for introducing me to this fragrant plant years ago). Oh let’s not leave out the mints – peppermint, pineapple and lemon balm. I still have more garden moments to share but this is enough for today. Until next time.

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