Thursday, August 28, 2014

Patience in the Gardens Yields Bounty

~ winter squash ~
 This has been an interesting summer for gardening. The early part of the season was rather cool & dry. Great for growing greens, but everything else seemed to take forever to get going.

Now that we've had a bit of sunshine & a wee bit of rain, things have taken off!

My winter squash is a rambling monster - partly due to all the pig manure that was thrown into the bed in the fall. The vines are growing up & over & through my Marionberry fence & over the lawn & through the flower bed. It's great fun to watch the duck munch on the leaves, knowing they aren't really harming the plants because they are so huge.

Look what I found just hanging in mid-air!! Can't wait to see how big this squash gets -  I can't remember the variety, but the flavour is great & the meat is nice & dense. Perfect for winter comfort food recipes.

~ pole beans taking over Marionberry bed ~
I'm experimenting with beans. Bush beans are 'out' for me for a while - but I'm working on my system of growing beans vertically - pole beans & runner beans.

This photo is of the pole beans (can't remember which variety) that are growing up & through the Marionberry fence. (NOTE to self: Marionberries are blackberries & hence are prickly - not fun for harvesting beans...)
~ pole beans ~

I should probably start harvesting them while they are still small & tender - treat them more like a bush bean in order to enjoy their flavour before they get too big & plump.

The trick is to remember to check the lower part of the vine - that's where I found a large number of large beans. Will be interesting to see how long I can pick from these plants.

The more you harvest, the more the plant will produce. It will also depend on the weather too...
~ Scarlet runner beans ~

The Scarlet runners are producing a huge amount right now too! It's a bit like a scavenger hunt to find all the beans in amongst the leaves. The ducks have been watching me closely these last few weeks & know that there is something possibly tasty growing here.

I caught them jumping up & grabbing a couple of the bean pods today - only Horatio was able to munch on them & eat them - the rest would prefer to rip the leaves off & run away when I squawk at them.

I would like to do a bit of research to see about pickling some of the beans - the pole beans would be lovely, but I'm not too sure about the runner beans... I might just have to French cut them & blanch them for freezing & eating later in the winter... If I can find the time to do that!!

~ yellow zucchini ~

 I am finally harvesting yellow zucchini this year! It must be that pig manure that was thrown in the bed last fall...

Remembering to harvest these when they are small is easy - they are yellow & show up very well amongst the leaves & other greens growing in the bed.

It's nice to have a bit of variety now to add to the the greens I've been munching on all summer.

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