Thursday, July 31, 2014

Feeding Frenzy

Yesterday I happened to be looking out the kitchen window during the few moments of the day when all of the hummingbirds head to the feeder for a final snack before bed time. I grabbed my phone and shot the video through the spotty kitchen window so the quality isn't great, but the antics are fun.

If the embedded video doesn't work you can see it here.

I can't even count the number of birds buzzing around. They sit on the perches, sometimes two at a time, while other birds dive in and poke around trying to angle in for a sip, other birds buzz in and around trying to push others off the perches. It's just crazy.

This is one of three feeders that I have around the garden. I have to refill this one every day, usually at the end of the day so the birds can enjoy their bed time snack. Another less crazy feeding frenzy starts at first light and the feeder is usually empty before noon. The other two feeders are more zealously guarded by other hummers, one of them takes about two days to be emptied and the other feeder only gets half filled and takes about 4 or 5 days to be emptied.

Summer is high time for hummers in my garden, come winter the population decreases, for a number of reasons I suppose but I really can't say why.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Harvest Monday - July 28, 2014

A couple of new items hit the harvest basket this week. First up is Golden Gate pole beans which are new to my garden. They are sharing space on a trellis with my old favorite Musica beans. Musica is a bean of similar shape and size but it's green. Golden Gate seems to be running about a week ahead of Musica.

Golden Gate pole beans

The other new veggie this week is my first ever successful attempt at growing cauliflower. I probably should have wrapped the outer leaves over the head as it matured to keep it from yellowing a bit, but there were aphids in the leaves and I didn't want to give them a cozier spot to proliferate and I didn't want to spray them either. A quick blanch and shock treatment got rid of the aphids and then I braised the cauliflower in a tomato sauce with sweet onions and capers and I don't remember what else, I neglected to take notes. Dave declared it to be delicious.

Amazing Taste cauliflower
The cauliflower was part of a harvest that included a Tasty Treat cucumber, Royal Burgundy and Slenderette bush beans, and of course zucchini. The bush beans have turned out to be more productive than I had anticipated since they got off to a rather weak start but after a while they recovered and grew well.

The cucumbers come in a few at a time, just enough to keep us in salads of various sorts. Here's the first sizable harvest of Pimento de Padrons. Let the pepper season begin!

Yet more beans, another cucumber, and strawberries. The strawberry harvest has peaked for now but I see more blossoms forming so I anticipate a few more harvests.

I've been weighing the onions as I use them. Here's one of the few Candy onions that didn't throw up a flower stalk.

The broccoli is rolling in now, these are all side shoots.

This was the final main head of broccoli accompanying another basketful of zucchini. This head of broccoli and one other head went into a salad with Royal Corona beans (from Rancho Gordo), dried cherry tomatoes, roasted sweet peppers (last year's from the freezer) and sweet onions. Yum.

And more zucchini.

And here's what happens when you don't get around to harvesting the zucchini one day. This was the harvest in the morning and I harvested another 3 zucchini at the end of the day and then another 3 zucchini the next day. I know, you all must be getting tired of reading about my prolific zucchini monster, but at least you just have to read about it...

That basket above had some big batons that were perfect for turning into what Dave likes to call Zucchini boats, or stuffed zucchinis. So yesterday I developed my own recipe for zucchini stuffed with lamb and rice. Dave loved it and demanded that it be included in the Zucchini Top Ten. I did take notes for that dish so I'll be posting the recipe later.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

Speedy arugula - 9.3 oz.
Golden Gate beans - 4.5 oz.
Royal Burgundy beans - 10.7 oz.
Slenderette beans - 12.8 oz.
Di Ciccio broccoli - 1 lb., 10.6 oz.
Tokyo Bekana - 12.7 oz.
Amazing Taste cauliflower - 2 lb., 4.1 oz.
Garden Oasis cucumbers - 1 lb., 1.9 oz.
Tasty Treat cucumbers - 1 lb., .2 oz.
Baby Portuguese kale - 2.9 oz.
Ruby Streaks mizuna - 1.4 oz.
Candy onion - 14.4 oz.
Purple pac choi - 4.7 oz.
Padron peppers - 4.6 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 10 lb., 8.6 oz.

The total harvests for the past week were - 21 lb., 7.4 oz.
Which brings the total harvests for 2014 up to - 394 lb., 7.1 oz.

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Audrey III in The Little Garden of....

I do believe that Audrey II must have gotten kinky with a squash plant and that one of their offspring is my Romanesco zucchini. It was such a pretty plant last month, and so well behaved.

June 11
By July it started having designs on its neighbors, but fortunately I had some barriers in place and it has respected them.

July 2

But now it has decided that the paths are fair game and it is moving right on in. Before long I won't be able to take the path between the two beds.

July 26

Fortunately, Audrey III didn't inherit one of its parents' taste for Homo sapiens. But it is a good idea to wear long sleeves when harvesting the zucchinis, Audrey III is bristly and does like to scratch. My Audrey started producing back on June 4 and since then it has given me over 41 pounds of zucchinis.

Next year I think I'm going to give the Romanesco zucchini one entire end of a bed instead of just a corner (last year it had to share a corner and the other plant got smothered). Who would have thought this little thing could get to be so HUGE.

Friday, July 25, 2014

I ❤️ Canning Jars

I'm always finding new uses for canning jars. My zucchini piles runneth over lately, so with a few days of warm weather in store I decided to use some of them to make another batch of Zucchini Gazpacho. The problem with that is that it doesn't make room in the zucchini stuffed fridge, it requires more room! It's impossible to wedge a big bowl of gazpacho into the crisper drawer but there just so happened to be space on the door. And it just so happens that a 2-quart canning jar fits there. And it just so happens that I have an empty 2-quart canning jar available. And lo and behold, one batch of gazpacho fits in a 2-quart jar.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Harvest Monday - July 21, 2014

There were plenty of harvests this past week, but I didn't take a lot of photos. The beau coup zucchini harvests weren't photographed. Neither were the big bunches of greens that were harvested. I had just enough energy on Thursday to hover while my garden angel Jamaica trimmed and cleared and harvested. She volunteered to help out when she learned that my gardening activities were going to be very restricted for a few weeks. She came by on Thursday morning and trimmed back the tomato shoots that were out of my reach. Then she pulled out the San Pasquale zucchini. The nit picky task of plucking bunches of baby greens fell to her also. The chard was tamed and the bush beans were plucked. It was a very productive morning and I had a lot of fun with her in the garden. But I didn't take my camera into the garden and when it came time to tally the haul all I had the energy for was to weigh it, forget the photos. Jamaica got a bag of green beans, a couple of big bunches of chard, and some zucchini for her efforts (I hope that was enough).

My energy level is increasing day by day so I'm back to taking a few photos. The first lovely cucumbers were photographed. These were the first Tasty Treat cucumbers that looked as they should. The first Garden Oasis cucumbers were harvested also, but not photographed.

The Di Ciccio broccoli is starting to produce in earnest. Here's the third main head and a bunch of beautiful side shoots from the first plant that produced a main head last week. The first two heads were cut into florets and slow cooked with some pancetta and garlic, that was easy and tasty.

I trimmed and weighed the Inchelium Red garlic. I probably should have dug it sooner. Some of the heads are huge and they should have a few more layers of enclosing skin for longest term storage, but I think they will do ok. I also trimmed and weighed the few Lorz Italian heads of garlic that developed. They are small but good and will be gone in no time.

And I tackled the task of cleaning the wheat. First I plucked all the heads off of the stalks.

Next I put them in a tatty old pillow case and then lightly pounded the contents, pillow case closed, with the flat side of my meat pounder. The pounder is not very heavy as it is made of aluminum.

Then I winnowed it clean by pouring it from a bowl into a large basket numerous times on a breezy afternoon. I ended up with enough wheat berries to fill a 1 liter jar, just over 2 pounds.

The Red Candy Apple onions are being plucked from their drying screen one by one and used in various dishes. One of my tasks for this week is to get those all trimmed and weighed and brought inside. And the Padron peppers are just barely starting to produce, a week of harvesting netted 1.5 ounces.

Once again, there wasn't much adventure going on in the kitchen, Dave tackled grilled chicken and grill basket zucchini & beans on Saturday. We had friends who dropped by complete meals on two occasions (incredible friends, we're so lucky!), and we ate a lot of leftovers.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

Speedy Arugula - 1 lb., 1 oz.
Royal Burgundy beans - 12.1 oz.
Slenderette beans - 1 lb., 11 oz.
Di Ciccio broccoli - 1 lb., 15 oz.
Tokyo Bekana napa cabbage - 1 lb., 4.8 oz.
Flamingo chard - 15.1 oz.
Golden chard - 1 lb., 4.8 oz.
Italian Silver Rib chard - 1 lb., 12.8 oz.
Peppermint Stick chard - 1 lb., 8.4 oz.
Garden Oasis cucumbers - 9.3 oz.
Tasty Treat cucumbers - 1 lb., 9.6 oz.
Inchelium Red garlic - 5 lb., 7.8 oz.
Lorz Italian garlic - 7.1 oz.
Portuguese kale (baby) - 3.3 oz.
Ruby Streaks mizuna - 4.2 oz.
Red Candy Apple onions - 3 lb., 1.3 oz.
Purple Pac Choi - 2.9 oz.
Padron Peppers - 1.5 oz.
Sonora Wheat - 2 lb., 2.1 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 6 lb., 5.8 oz.
San Pasquale zucchini - 9.4 oz.

The total harvests for the past week were - 34 lb., 11. oz. (15.8 kg.)
Which brings the total harvests for 2014 up to - 372 lb., 15.7 oz. (169.2 kg.)

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Crazy Corn

Just because I can't work in the garden at the moment doesn't mean I have to stay out of it. Actually, I'm supposed to get off my butt and take a stroll now and then, so I walk to the garden, walk around the garden, walk around the house, walk to the garden, walk around the garden, walk around the house... And I resist the temptation to pull weeds, or pick up the hose, or bend down to take a closer look - I'm being a good girl and following doctor's orders. But my camera weighs less than 5 pounds so it can come along for the stroll. 

I was busy admiring the stand of Cascade Ruby Gold flint corn this morning. It started tasseling a couple of weeks ago. Look at that pretty boy, just loaded with pollen and shedding like crazy well ahead of the arrival of...

the pretty girls. This girl has a particularly luxuriant silky mane.

I'm thrilled to see that there are ears developing and a number of the stalks have at least 2 ears and there's a few stalks with 3 ears. Good Girls. They've been helped along by the mild temperatures and persistent breeze that we've been experiencing lately. Did you know that corn "flowers", i.e. tassels and silks, both start as perfect flowers. Perfect flowers have both male and female parts. But at some point in their development the male parts abort in what will become the ears and the female parts abort in what will become the tassels.

Usually. Every once in a while they both develop and the plant produces a tassel-ear. Crazy.

I had to look this one up, I've never seen such a thing before. The ear is growing at the tip of the main tassel stem and the weight of it is pulling it down. Tassel-ears usually develop at the tip of a tiller (side shoot) along the edge of the corn patch and indeed this is on one of the tillers on the plant that is in the corner of the patch. There's another tassel-ear on a tiller of a plant in another corner of the patch but it is too high on the plant for me to be able to photograph it. My understanding is that the tassel ear kernels can become fully developed but since they have no protective husk they usually get munched before they mature. I'm going to keep an eye on this oddball.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Harvest Monday - July 14, 2014

There's something, actually someone new in the garden this week - my husband Dave! Well, it's not his first time in the garden, he requests a "state of the garden" tour occasionally, but it is the first time that he has been harvesting in the garden.

No BLT's for me for the next few weeks, which has nothing to do with tomatoes and everything to do with my back, you don't realize how often you bend, twist, and lift until you can't do it. So my honey is stepping in to help with the harvests. Here he is yesterday showing off the Romanesco zucchini that hid from him on Saturday. When he arrived to spring me from the hospital on Saturday the first news he had for me was that he had harvested a BIG basket of zucchini - his first zucchini harvest - ever. He did a great job. (For the curious I had a left L4/5 laminotomy and resection of a synovial cyst).

Here he is with a perfect sized San Pasquale zucchini. That one didn't get away.

He also got to harvest the first head of Di Ciccio broccoli from the new planting. Who says you can't teach an old(ish) dog new tricks!

Earlier in the week I whacked back most of the prolific chard plants.

And I cut the Speedy Arugula down to the nubs again. That stuff lives up to its name, it's in need of another trim already. The strawberries keep producing too. Dave harvested a like amount of Sunday. It's such a treat to be eating only homegrown strawberries, I haven't had to buy any for a couple of weeks. Ssshh, keep it down, I don't want the rats to hear...

The Tokyo Bekana, Ruby Streaks mizuna, Purple Pac Choi, and baby Portuguese kale keep popping out quantities of new growth also. And yes, there's another zucchini in that basket.

Yet more zucchini, another good harvest of Royal Burgundy and Slenderette beans, and on the right is the first Tasty Treat cucumber.

I also harvested the only other head of butterhead lettuce that I managed to get started for summer harvesting. And other than the Chard Ravioli Nudi that I posted about on Thursday there wasn't anything new from the kitchen last week. No wait, I take that back, Dave made dinner last night, grilled sausages and zucchini, that's an old trick that had nearly been forgotten, Dave generally cooks with a credit card. My honey is really stepping up to the plate while I'm on the DL. He's even managing to deal with the prolific zucchini, he went on a zucchini run yesterday to foist some off on give some away to friends.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

Speedy Arugula - 9.7 oz.
Royal Burgundy beans - 6.4 oz.
Slenderette beans - 11.1 oz.
Beet Greens - 16.6 oz.
Di Ciccio broccoli - 6.8 oz.
Tokyo Bekana napa cabbage - 1 lb.
Flamingo chard - 1 lb., 2.8 oz.
Golden chard - 2 lb., 10.7 oz.
Peppermint Stick chard - 3 lb., 3.6 oz.
Tasty Treat cucumber - 4 oz.
Baby Portuguese kale - 3.4 oz.
Kagraner Sommer butterhead lettuce - 10.8 oz.
Ruby Streaks mizuna - 3.1 oz.
Red Candy Apple onion - 15 oz.
Purple pac choi - 2.3 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 6 lb., 12.6 oz.
San Pasquale zucchini - 1 lb., 4.7 oz.

The total harvests for the past week were - 21 lb., 11.6 oz.
Which brings the total harvests for 2014 up to - 338 lb., 4.1 oz.

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nudi Success!

Um, no, this isn't about gardening in the buff, it's about finally making Ravioli Nudi (aka Gnudi) without having them fall apart when I cook them. There's all sorts of recipes for Ravioli Nudi to be found online and in books, but according to Giuliano Bugialli the authentic ones come from Florence and to be authentic they must have no flour in the filling. The nudi part of the name comes from the fact that these are ravioli in the buff, completely uncloaked by pasta dough, although they do have a dusting of flour on the exterior. My starting point for the Nudi is Bugialli's recipe in his book The Fine Art of Italian Cooking. I veer from his recipe in a few respects, such as substituting chard for spinach, using a higher proportion of ricotta, and using sage brown butter, but I've stayed true to his instruction that the filling must not contain flour. That's why these are Nudi and not Gnocchi, that absence of flour. The secret to success is to remove as much water from the greens as possible, and I've also learned to remove as much water from the ricotta as well. I've tried making these in the past and have always had problems with the Nudis disintegrating when I cook them, so this time I took a few extra measures to assure a less moist "filling", and ta da, it worked!

Secret #1 - The Chard or Spinach. My hands must not be as strong as Giuliano's because I can never manually squeeze out enough moisture either by the fistful or by twisting in a towel. This time I start with squeezing as much moisture out by the fistful, but then I take the wads of squeezed greens and lay them out on a surface that's covered with a few layers of toweling, lay a few more layers of toweling over them, place a baking sheet on top of that and then weigh it all down with a heavy weight such as a cast iron pot or a big bowl of water. Sort of like pressing water out of tofu. The 2 pounds of leaves (no stems) was reduced to just 12.8 ounces, yes, they lost more than a pound but that also included cutting out the mid-ribs.

Secret #2 - The Ricotta. Forget draining the ricotta in a strainer or coffee filter, it takes forever to drain and doesn't really lose that much moisture. I've found the most efficient way to suck out the moisture is to spread the ricotta out on a few layers of paper towels. The towels soak up the water and the drained ricotta just peels right off.

Here's why I made this batch with chard. I tried to clean out the chard patch a bit the other day and ended up with this. When I cut the stems off of the Golden chard I ended up with 2 pounds of greens and that was the starting point for the recipe.

Peppermint Stick, Golden, and Flamingo chard

So here's my version of:

Chard Ravioli Nudi

2 pounds chard leaves, weighed without stems (drained weight was 12.8 oz.)
1 pound ricotta, well drained (see Secret #2 above) (drained weight was 13.6 oz.)
About 16 fresh sage leaves
1/3 cup sweet butter
1 extra large egg* (see note below)
2 extra-large egg yolks
1 1/3 cups (about 4 oz.) grated Parmigiano
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)
About 1 cup whole wheat soft flour (I used Sonora wheat but pastry flour should work) or unbleached all-purpose flour
Parmigiano for finishing the dish

Rinse the spinach or chard very well and remove the mid-ribs. Wilt the greens in a large sauté pan, in batches, drain in a colander and allow to cool. Squeeze the excess moisture from the greens. Remove more moisture by pressing between layers of toweling under a weight (see Secret #1 above).

While the greens are cooling, fry the sage leaves in the butter in a small pan over low heat. When the leaves are crisp and the butter browned (don't let it burn!) drain the leaves, reserving the butter. Chop the leaves and set aside.

Chop the greens very fine, then place in a bowl, along with the ricotta, egg, egg yolks, 1 1/3 cups Parmigiano, salt, pepper, nutmeg and sage. Mix together until thoroughly combined (use your hands, it's more fun and works better than a spoon). Fill a stockpot with a large quantity of cold water and set on high heat. Alternatively, at this point you can refrigerate the mixture and continue the recipe later.

Place a sheet of wax paper on a work surface or use a baking sheet and spread the flour over it. Take 1 tablespoon of the mixture from the bowl (I use a scoop) and roll it on the floured  surface into a little ball. Be sure the ball is uniformly compact, with no empty spaces inside, the outside should be uniformly floured. Don't roll all of them yet, start with one and test it first to see if it holds together.

When the water comes to a strong simmer, add coarse salt to taste, then drop the first ball in, to test it. It should retain its shape and rise to the top, cooked, after a minute or two. If it falls apart, you have allowed too much liquid to remain in the greens or ricotta. To save the dish, you can add 2 tablespoons of flour to the mixture. However, (according to Giuliano) this is a compromise and should not be done regularly; even that little flour will make the taste inauthentic. After testing, as described above, continue to make ravioli, rolling them in flour, until all the contents of the bowl have been used up. At this point the ravioli can be refrigerated and cooked later.

Put the reserved sage butter in a warmed oven-proof serving dish; place the serving dish close to the stockpot. Drop the ravioli into the simmering water (don't let it come to a strong boil, it can cause the ravioli to fall apart), five or six at a time, and as they rise to the surface, remove them with a skimmer or slotted spoon, transferring them directly onto the serving dish. They should be placed in one layer, not one on top of another.

Grate more fresh Parmigiano over the ravioli and serve immediately or they can be warmed in a 350ºF oven until the cheese melts and the butter bubbles.

Serves 4 generously - they are rich.

I froze half of the rolled but uncooked Nudis. I placed them on a baking sheet, making sure that they didn't touch and allowed them to freeze and then packed them in a bag. They don't need to be thawed before cooking, just bring the water to a simmer and drop the frozen Nudi in and continue the recipe as above.

* Note about the egg, I scaled the recipe down from using 3 pounds of greens to using 2 pounds of greens. The original recipe calls for 5 egg yolks and rather than trying to split yolks I used 1 whole egg and 2 yolks. If you scale up the recipe to 3 pounds of greens use 5 egg yolks and omit the whole egg.

If you want to see Bugialli's original recipe it can be found on Food & Wine Magazines website here. The book version is a bit more helpful, the instructions have been edited for the magazine.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Harvest Monday - July 7, 2014

It was another big week for zucchini but I only took one photo of them. Just how many zucchini porn shots does one need? And this time they had to share the limelight with Kagraner butterhead lettuce and Royal Burgundy and Slenderette beans.

The beans produced twice last week. Yesterday I tried something a little different with the Royal Burgundy beans, rather than cooking them and losing that velvety purple I used my Benriner slicer to thinly slice a few of them on the diagonal and then I added them to a salad with the butterhead lettuce, some shaved fennel, toasted slivered almonds, and bacon. That was tasty and the flashes of purple from the beans was quite pretty and the crunch of the raw beans was good too. The baby Portuguese kale also went into a salad with bacon and sunflower seeds and something else which I've forgotten - I have to take better notes - but I remember it was tasty also. (Psst, look, the rats aren't destroying the strawberries).

Speedy Arugula is living up to its name. One day it's little wispy leaves and the next it's a forest. I used the most mature leaves from this bunch to make Arugula Pesto (I use my basil pesto recipe with modifications) which was a delicious compliment to pan roasted local King Salmon and butter steamed snap beans.

I haven't gotten around to using the baby Tokyo Bekana napa cabbage, Ruby Streaks mizuna, and Purple pac choi. I think I'll do a quick saute with the Tokyo Bekana tonight and the other greens (purples?) are destined for a lunch salad today.

Other harvests included a few more capers (the production is quickly dwindling now) and a big Red Candy Apple sweet onion which went into a grill basket stir fry with the last of the asparagus from the farmers market and of course a bunch of zucchini.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

Speedy Arugula - 12.6 oz.
Royal Burgundy beans - 9.7 oz.
Slenderette beans - 1 lb., 4.7 oz.
Tokyo Bekana napa cabbage - 15.4 oz.
Capers - 3.4 oz.
Baby Portuguese kale - 3.7 oz.
Kagraner Sommer butterhead lettuce - 9 oz.
Ruby Streaks mizuna - 2.5 oz.
Red Candy Apple onion - 13.2 oz.
Purple pac choi - 3.5 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 5 lb., 11 oz.
San Pasquale zucchini - 3.5 oz.
Zucchini blossoms - 6.1 oz.

The total harvests for the past week were - 12 lb., 2.3 oz. (4.8 kg)
Which brings the total harvests for 2014 up to - 316 lb., 8.5 oz. (143.6 kg)

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

What A Difference A Month Makes - The Garden In June

July has taken me by surprise, it's here already! Looking back at the June garden I can see how things grew like gangbusters. It's amazing what long days and mild weather can do. Here's a few selected shots of the garden showing the garden on June 3 and July 2 for the most part.

Romanesco Zucchini, June 3 and July 2
I'm afraid the Rampant Romanesco may engulf the garden paths before the end of July. I harvested the first zucchini on June 4 and by the end of the month I had harvested over 13 pounds. That's just one plant.

San Pasquale zucchini and corn and beans, June 3 and July 2
The San Pasquale zucchini at the other end of the bed is a much more modest plant. It didn't start producing until June 12 and only put out 12 ounces of zucchini by the end of the month. I harvest more Romanesco zucchinis in one day than what San Pasquale produces in 2 1/2 weeks. The Cascade Ruby Gold corn seen on the left is already tasseling and some ears are pushing out silk.

Peppers and tomatoes - June 3 and July 2
The peppers are growing quickly in spite of being infected by some sort of virus which happens every year when the aphids find them. The virus doesn't affect the quality of the peppers, but it frustrates me that it happens every year. Some day I would love to grow healthy looking peppers. The tomatoes are trying to bust out of their cages. It seems like they push shoots out of the cages every night and every day I have to push them back in.

Eggplant, June 3 and July 2
The eggplants are happy and blooming.

The Wheat Patches, June 3 and July 2
I tore out all of the Red Fife wheat and composted it and that area is now planted with seedlings of Honey Nut butter nut squash and Tromba D'Albegna squash. The butternut will be allowed to grow out of the bed and into the path and I'm going to try to train the Tromba squash up the trellis to show off the long squashes. I pulled half of the Sonora wheat and hope that the grains matured enough. It needs to dry more before I try to thresh it. That area is ready to be planted and I've got it shown covered with some Remay to conserve soil moisture until I had the time to plant my melon seedlings which got planted yesterday. The melons will be allowed to sprawl down the sides of the bed and into the paths where it will be nice and warm. It's too cool around here to train them up a trellis and expect them to ripen properly, the paths are much more warm and cozy.

Cauliflower and Broccoli and alliums, June 3 and July 2
The cauliflower and broccoli seedlings have grown like crazy, the shallots are still struggling along, and the Inchelium Red garlic has gone from healthy and green to infested with rust. Fortunately, the garlic developed some good heads before the rust settled in. I'm in the process of pulling it all and curing it.

Onions and Garlic on June 3, Beans on July 2
The onions and the rest of the garlic have been pulled and are curing even now. The area where the garlic was growing is now occupied by Petaluma Gold Rush beans. And the empty spot previously occupied by the onions is a handy temporary resting spot for some drying coriander seeds. I have to get that area and get the rest of the old stuff out of this bed and prepped and ready for more brassicas before the 11th, after that it's no bending, twisting, or heavy lifting for me for I don't know how many weeks. It's going to be torture to not be able to work in the garden.

Lettuce and Beets, June 11 and July 2
The lettuce and beets have grown quickly! I keep the lettuce shaded with some remay which seems to help it through the warm afternoons. I've got some spots in the tunnel all prepped and ready to be planted which I'm going to do next week in hopes of being able to harvest it in August.

Cutting Greens, June 11 and July 2
The cutting greens were just emerging on June 11 and since then I've been able to cut baby greens twice. I'll probably get to cut another bunch next week. After that I'll need some help harvesting them or I'll just get to watch them bolt.

Chard, June 11 and July 2
The chard doesn't seem to change, it's always in need of a big trim. But you can see that there's only one Peppermint Stick plant growing where there were two before and the Golden Chard is down to just the main stem. I'm going to have to train Dave to do some harvesting otherwise some of the garden is going to be an overgrown disaster before I can give it my full attention again. I hope I can at least get him to harvest the zucchini, I can't even imagine what that would look like if it doesn't get harvested for a few weeks....

That's the highlights of the June Garden, what a difference a month makes!