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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Friday, August 5, 2011

August 8 Friday Farming

With the arrival of August, it's been interesting to evaluate my plans vs. how that panned out. I'll do a post later this weekend about what's not working, but today's entry is all about the good stuff growing!

First, a recap of the "harvests" I've had in the past week or so. I thought this carrot was a weed, for some reason. Teeny tiny, but smells like a carrot!

I've been checking the raspberries every day for edibles. The stems are not producing enough fruit for, say, homemade raspberry sorbet, but they're fun to pop in your mouth as you walk by! Maybe next year.

I've been curious about our potatoes, so I decided last Sunday to dig one up. This is a "Yukon Gold", and hot damn, there are actually little taters in there!

I've also begun pulling garlic and letting it age in our coat closet- one of the only cool dark rooms in our house. I'll be vampire-free this winter whenever wearing a coat. The far right is one of the red onions which are HUGE as stalks, but disappointingly small in terms of edible portion.

A kind of fun section of how a potato grows.

I also harvested the first ripe "Juliet" tomato on August 2. I sliced it up and ate it before photographing it; delicious!

With the harvest report done, check out the rest of the yard:

The ornamental grasses, daylilly, bee balm and daisies are putting on a show right now.

Bee balm is the coolest plant. The bloom looks like a firework burst.

The sweet peas seem to be kind of struggling in the front yard. They took a while to get growing, though they're making big strides this week. I've already snipped a few of them for inside flower arrangements.

The daisies to the left of the steps are thriving.

Lots going on in this bed.

Including peppers!

See the ecchinacea in that blue pot there? It was started from seed, and I need to figure out where I'll transplant it to this fall. Maybe... Uh. I've got no idea.

The daylilly to the right of the steps is in bloom.

The burning bush is changing color, from the lime green of spring to the more mellow of high summer. Hopefully it'll actually "burn" this fall. Together with the chrysanthemum behind it and the rudebeckia even further back we'd have a very welcoming fall show!

The front yard peppers are doing well too.

I pulled all the garlic out of the herb bed earlier this week. I like this location for growing garlic and will plant more of it here in the fall.

I think that ecchinacea is headed into the right side of the driveway bed. We need some mid summer color in here.


The flower bed along here is kind of past it's prime. The larkspur at the bottom of the photo will come on soon, as will the Autumn Joy sedum, but right now it's very... blah.

The driveway is very lush!

Can I tell you how much I adore hydrangeas. I'm totally putting another one on the other side of the driveway next spring. I love how HUGE the blooms are.

DJ's "fern gully" is loving the cooler temperatures.

The back deck flowers are doing okay. When will the gladiolus bloom?


With the few sweet peas who survived being chomped by gophers at the bottom of the trellis.

This bed is missing some mid-summer context too. Not sure what the answer is. I'd hoped that the hollyhock would be 4 feet tall by now, but that's clearly not the case.

And now on to the farm! Seriously, this is amazing.

I planted sweet peas along the gopher fence earlier this spring. In my mind, it'd be pretty to have a fence of sweet peas. In reality, they were easily-accessible gopher food. A few survived though.


Juliet tomatoes.

Do you see that green tape-y stuff? The juliet tomato plant has gotten so big that I had to tie the support cage back to the chicken wire fence because the plant was pulling the support cage out. Holy big tomato plant.

Early girl tomatoes, which also had to be taped because the stems had outgrown the cage (thus the weird green shadow).

Red onions. So here's the weird thing; the red onions have those huge stems and white tops... but relatively small onions.

I was unimpressed with the Walla Walla sweet onions; the stems are so small, right? But the other day I made salsa and needed more onion, so I went out to the garden and yanked on a Walla Walla... and it was the size of a baseball! So deceiving!

Roma tomatoes.

Zucchini squash!

Summer crookneck squash!

The squash row, with the potatoes and sunflowers in the background.

I've been concerned about why this pepper plant is black at the intersection of the stems. I examined the plant this morning and realized that the plant must be fine, because it'd produced a jalepeno pepper!

The spaghetti squash is trying to stage a break out.

Hey little buddy! Hurry up and ripen so I can combine peppers and tomatoes and summer squashes and oregano and have you all for dinner!

Pumpkin blossom.


So that's what's growing on around my house (pun!)!

Earlier this week I cleaned out our freezer in preparation for... freezing stuff. I've been reading up on how to freeze vegetables, as I'm still intimidated by canning. You know, botulism being what it is... 

I'm hoping to have a chance to try to make fried zucchini blossoms this weekend. I also need to figure out when I'll plant my fall crops of lettuces, spinach and broccoli. spoiler alert: somewhere the gophers can't get to it.

Overall though, things are looking good. I can't wait for squashes to come in!

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