Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bountiful Harvest

So this was our first year attempting to grow a garden. I have learned several things. First, we have a knack for growing very happy cucumbers.

The cucumber varieties I chose happen to just LOVE living here. Good thing I love eating them!

Another thing I learned, is that weeds grow fast when you're on vacation. See below.

Now a great deal of that green mess is a jungle of tomato plants, backed by a wall of corn but still... I think I could have done better in the weeding department if I'd just stay home once in awhile.

I learned that we need to do something different with the corn next time. It is so small. It was dadgum GOOD though, so who cares. It still has awhile to grow too, so we're giving it another week.

Notice the tiny cantaloupe in my daughter's hand? That was a casualty of Mr Nice Guy weeding the heck out of the melon patch only to fling a baby cantaloupe off into the weeds. Woops!

Speaking of Mr Nice Guy. He is mighty proud of his apples this year - and they are SO tasty!

You can't see the juice running down his chin... but believe me, it was there!
I've already done one batch of applesauce with these Gravensteins, which, I might add, was proclaimed, "The best applesauce in the entire world!" by my oldest child. That - my friends, is success!

I've got another batch of applesauce to do tonight if I get to it, and I need to do something with these pears! These pears... are now all in boxes in a cool room. Waiting... ripening...

And waiting...

For me to do something with them. Or for someone to show me how to can them.

I have jars! I have canner! I no have smarts!

I learned that bees LOVE sunflowers! We have lots of blossoms in our garden, and thousands of bees come to visit every day. It's a wonder none of them have given me a little warning to buzz off... I walk right through them and can feel their wings on my bare legs as I walk through the garden. I am nice to them, so I suppose they are nice to me!

I have learned another thing. Do not pick your watermelon just because Princess D can't stand to wait any longer! This was the first melon we picked, and although it tasted like a watermelon, it didn't look like one on the inside. It was a pretty pale pink, with coordinating white seeds. Cute, but not quite right!
Here's a look at the cleaned up mess of cukes. This was all from one day. The lemon cukes are good, but they sure are a whole lotta plant for a little bitty cucumber. My tomatoes are coming on VERY slowly. I got my first purple tomatoes today, and quite a few cherries.

Tonight Mr Nice Guy will dig a few more potatoes for me so I can make my own potato salad. Our own eggs, our own potatoes - how rewarding! I'm also going to attempt carrot cake with some of our little orange beauties. I'm excited... gardening is FUN!


Toni said...

That is so cool (as a cucumber)!! I am just a little bit jealous. Congratulations on such a beautiful harvest. I think I would enjoy every bit of that potato salad and feel it quite an accomplishment.

When we harvest prickly pears in the desert, maybe I'll send you some cactus jelly, or would you rather jalapeno jam? Maybe you'd like to come to our next rattlesnake barbecue (tastes like chicken).

Sigh. Sometimes living in the desert is a real bummer.

Ricky Danger said...

Oh Lexie, that is certainly one of the things I miss most about Oregon. The gardening... here it's too cold to get into the gardening thing... but my favorite was zuccini... used to make bread for all my neighbors...

Maybe next summer I can talk Momma into planting a garden for the kids and I to enjoy upon our arrival for our next visit. Miss you my friend. Liv

Mokihana said...

We used to have a huge quarter-acre garden, and oh, how I miss it! We even had a bee yard, with five hives of bees. I loved keeping bees! Lots of times I'd just sit out in the bee yard, watching and listening to "the girls" as they worked.

Now I can only garden in containers out on our deck, which isn't nearly as rewarding. But it's better than nothing.

Agent K said...

Well will ya look at the size of those...umm everything!

I am green with envy!

Anonymous said...

Oh Lexie,they all look so tasty!I bet its a joy to eat the food you have grown yourself,and thank you for sharing!!
My Grandpa was like that,he loved to plant everything,but it was always to much so he was always given it away,but it kept him busy and gave him alot of joy!
Love you,