We have had a lot of sun and rain this year so our gardens are growing well! The picture above is a zucchini plant, producing like crazy! We are getting a lot of zucchini right now. These will go into the basement for storge, destined for the Salvation Army soup kitchen.
This is part of our squash bed with a couple of sunflower rows growing behind it. On the other side of the sunflower rows are more squash, sweet baby watermelon and cantaloupe. There are 12 hills of ambercup and 12 hills of turban buttercup pictured here, with 3-4 plants per hill. Also there is one spaghetti squash plant and one 'upper ground sweet potato' squash plant and three giant pink banana squash plants.
I also have two 'sweet mama' squash planted on a trellis with the tomatoes and two acorn squash planted on the fence by the driveway.
On the other side of the sunflower rows are Hopi pale gray and Hopi black squash growing. I planted these mainly for the seed. These Hopi squash have almost dissappeared. They were the original "Three Sisters" squash planted by the Hopi indians. I intend to sell the heirloom seeds next spring. I am also curious about the keeping ability of the gray. I have read that it is one of the best keepers out there.
I like growing squash! I'm obsessed with squash! I could grow nothing but squash and be happy! All in all, we will have a LOT of squash this year. Lots of people to feed!
Right now I am hand pollinating the squash. Since bees are the only insect that pollinates squash and they are dissappearing, we were getting a lot of blooms and very little fruit. I started pollinating them myself last year and we had a bumper crop! It makes a difference! You can read about hand pollinating squash in a previous post entitled "Growing Squash and Recipes".
This is our corn
and our beans.
We also have pole beans planted on one corn row, as an experiment. The pole beans climb the corn stalks and are suppose to help keep it upright in a storm. They add nitrogen to the soil as they grow, giving more to the corn which is a high nitrogen feeder. This is our first year to grow beans on the corn. It seems to be going well.
Our tomatoes are ripening and we have a lot of them! We planted a doz each of extra large Portugal tomatoes and 'San Marzano' plus a few Manitoba tomatoes and 'Keeper' tomatoes. The 'Keeper' tomatoes are an old heirloom reputed to keep well into Feb before ripening, if kept cool and dark, as in a basement. This is our first year for those. We'll see how it goes. There are a few grape and cherry tomatoes too and some that I am growing as a test for a group.
You can read more about our favourite tomatoes in "Our Tomatoes".
The sweet potatoes are growing and look healthy. Whether or not they will have time in our short season to produce much, remains to be seen. I started my own sweet potato slips (cuttings) for planting out this year, see "My Sweet Potato Slips".
We have peppers! I started the bells extra early this year and babied them. I had two trays of my own healthy babies to plant out in May this year. This will be the first year I have successfully grown bell peppers! I am so pleased!
These are our tomatillos. This will be our first year to grow these, as well. We plan to make some salsa with them and the cilantro I have growing in the herb bed. They grow in a husk, like ground cherries and are related to them.
The green onions and lettuce are doing well. A case of salad greens and onions went to the Salvaton Army soup kitchen just a week or so ago. Too bad lettuce doesn't freeze or can! It sure produces a lot!
We also have a double row of cucumbers climbing on a trellis, a row of beets, a row of Spanish onions, two rows of cabbage and three rows of broccoli, not pictured here. All except the cucumbers are buried in grass so I saved you the horror of looking at that :-)
All in all our garden is doing very well, except for the excess grass. The veggies are still growing in the grass, they're just not pretty to look at.
These are our ground cherries and garden huckleberries (chichiquelites). Good fruit for pies, jams and wine making.
The Lord has blessed us with a lot of good food to share with those in need!