Monday, September 5, 2011

Garden Update.

Yup, here I am ... still alive and kicking despite the long absence.
   I'm sure that it would be much more interesting if I could report that my silence has been the result of an adventure-packed couple of months spent trekking the highways and byways of strange and exotic locales, but the truth, sadly, is far more mundane. This summer ( what little we've actually had ), has been spent in pragmatic pursuits ... topping off our firewood for the coming winter, poking away at various projects on our property, clearing the ever-advancing salmonberries and salal, gardening, etc., etc., etc ... yes, I know, the excitement is overwhelming.
   So ... Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Grudgingly, if you're a West Coast Canadian like myself. To be blunt, it's been a crappy season. Coldest spring in decades, a summer that didn't seem to get off the ground until August, grumpy gardeners grieving over less than stellar plots everywhere.
Ah well. Guess I should be grateful for whatever my poor beleaguered garden manages to produce - and in all fairness we have been eating well from a few crops ... beans, peas, swiss chard, beets, radishes ( after resowing in a different spot - the first crop was riddled with cut worms, but after nestling them in beside the garlic our second harvest was much improved ). Our cucumbers went into a protracted snit due to the unseasonably cold conditions, but they're finally relenting and actually producing cukes that seem to be doubling in size daily. Desperately trying to make up for lost time, I guess. Hopefully the warm weather that we've been enjoying for the last couple of weeks ( better late than never ) will hold for a while longer!

The "Mystery Squash" is a self-seeded interloper that grew from our kitchen
compost. All organic scraps are tossed between two of the garden rows and
allowed to break down ( messy but effective ). This particular veggie decided to reincarnate.

But not to worry ... I kept the pusses in mind ...

Furthermore, our spoiled kitties have not just one catnip patch, 
but TWO ...

Yes. It shames me to admit it, but I'm an enabler.
Moving on ...

Hubby's tomatoes are finally starting to ripen.
We were beginning to despair, but it appears that there's hope yet.

However, since snapping and captioning this shot, we've
discovered a few hardy cukes hiding beneath the leaves.
Come on, little guys, you're in the home stretch now!

 Blackberries - destined for jam! Yum ...

Granny Smiths ... more applesauce sessions on the horizon.
We dry them as well - Chris loves the chewy slices as finger-food, but they're also
 lovely chopped and added to curries.

So, all in all, despite the uncooperative weather we've been fairly lucky. It''s always fun at this time of year to make the daily rounds - checking out the progress of the various crops, eagerly anticipating the sumptuous meals to come ... it's a very satisfying thing to raise your own fruits and vegetables; somehow you appreciate your produce more when you've invested your time and effort in its growth, familiarizing yourself with the individual plants' needs and temperaments ( and yes, I swear they have personalities ... some seem to have more "attitude" than others! ) By the time your crop makes it to the table you've developed a healthy respect for the food in front of you, and each mouthful is correspondingly sweeter.
I wish you all a glorious and mouthwatering bounty - happy eating!

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