Saturday, August 23, 2008

garden work day

Or should I say 'garden fun day'. I love a Saturday when I can recruit help from my family in the garden.

Today's plan:
Pull beets and find a place to store them (I need a root cellar)
Ditto with carrots
Dig potatoes - this will be a big job as there are a lot of spuds down there
Transplant fall greens seedlings into the newly cleared beet, carrot and potato beds
Water the garden (first time in a month!)
Tie up the tomato vines in my home garden
Make a batch of tomato sauce with the pile of ripe ones I have waiting
Grate and freeze the giant summer squashes

Garden notes:
Gourd: The big birdhouse gourd vine that was growing up my window screen fell down today. I guess the gourd got too big for the tendrils to hold it up. Now the sun is pouring in the window and I miss the shade, flowers and bees as I work at my computer. I have another big gourd at the community plot on my fence and this one is able to hold on better.

Pumpkins: I picked my first pumpkin yesterday. A bright orange Baby Pam about 6 inches diameter and perfectly round. It grew in the pumpkin, gourd and sunflower patch next to my house. Maybe 3 lbs or so. The giant pumpkin at my community plot must be 20 lbs by now. It just started to show some orange color yesterday. I have a new giant pumpkin trying to set fruit in my home pumpkin patch. Maybe it will make it. I am watching.

Summer squash: This year I have almost too many summer squash, but so far I'm able to keep up with using them. I give many away to friends, in particular Elaine who often serves dinner to her church group and they seem to love fresh squash. Also, my husband brings them to the office where he says they disappear fast. I have four varieties, two plants each. I will remember not to plant more than this ever.

Kale: I have begun picking my spring planting of kale this past week. Not sure why I waited so long. Wasn't sure I liked it and it is very pretty to look at in the garden. In any case, delicious. I pick the upper young leaves. Lots of them. Excellent sautéed with potatoes, onions and choricho!

Broccoli: I STILL have new heads forming on my spring broccoli plants. The smaller ones that didn't head up earlier are heading now. Nice big heads. A great crop this year.

Lettuce: I resorted to buying a head of a beautiful red Boston lettuce at the store this week. My garden lettuce is still in its summer slump. I have a lot of summer crisp Batavian growing, but it seems to grow slow. I'll have to start this earlier next year. It seems like this holds well in the heat but doesn't necessarily grow well. I also have lots of little seedlings of col weather lettuce and greens ready for transplanting this weekend.


Anonymous said...

What do you do with the grated squash? Do you use it just for bread or do you have other things to do with it?

kathy said...

I have never done this before, but I have read that it is good for adding to red sauce, soups, and zucchini bread in the winter. I'll try this out and see.

Anonymous said...

Great to read about such a successful vegetable garden. We will try grating and freezing squash now!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a lot of work you had on your plate!

Candace said...

Hi Kate,
I just purchased a dehydrator this year and have been making squash "chips" in it. I add a little salt and use a mandolin to slice them evenly. They are delicious.
Some sources say to blanch the grated zucchini first, do you do that?
Love your blog!

Sandra - outrasartes said...

Love your garden, love your dog! I'm "also" from Portugal. Keep on your great blog.

kathy said...

A dehydrator sounds like fun to try with garden vegetables.

I've also read to blanch the squash before freezing, but some sites said its OK not to. Being lazy, I tried the second first. I haven't done this before. I just figured that for bread and sauces it doesn't matter. I will have to thaw some out soon and try it as a test. Maybe in the tomato sauce I'm hopefully making tonight....