Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our Vegetable Gardens

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!


Granny J said...

Bless you for growing food to share with others. Your garden looks wonderful. I do a weekly blog post called "Favorite posts of the past week". I'd like to showcase this post on Sunday the 18th.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Hi Granny J! I would be honoured! Thank you so much!

The Japanese Redneck said...

What a wonderful thing to do Sheryl. It really is a great thing that ya'll are doing helping people.

Your garden is huge. A lot of time and effort has gone into it too!

~Tonia said...

Our Zucchini and Squash are right on the verge of producing a lot! We have had a bunch of rain in the last few days so its going to pushthem over the edge!Lol

Mr. H. said...

Everything is looking so good in your garden....especially those tomatoes. I think we will be doing some hand pollinating of cucurbits this year as well due to our late gardening start. I loved your pollination/recipe post.:)

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Thanks everyone! Mr. H, that squash pie recipe is used often here. I have changed it and added an extra egg per pie. Sometimes I add 1.5 eggs per pie, just to make it more hearty. (It often gets wolfed down for breakfast around here.)

I wonder how it would taste with some other healthy things added for breakfast, like nuts and seeds...

dilli said...

oh boy you will have enough tomatillos to feed the county.:) if you do not want them growing back in the spot they are planted forever more be sure to collect all the fall off fruits.. :D

Wills Kitchen said...

Wow my puny attempt to grow tomatoes pale next to yours. Wish I lived closer what a beautiful garden!

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

You grow a lot of great looking tomatoes, Will, and more variety than I grow.

cindy said...

What a sweet spirit to be giving your goods from your garden to the needy. How special.

I'm joining your blog-- we are first year farmers although we are both in our late 40's. I think you can teach me much over the blog.


Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Welcome Cindy! You will have a lot of land to work for the first time with 200 acres! You can do almost anything with that amount of land!

We increased our farm/garden area a little at a time each year, rather than be overwhelmed with the entire thing the first year here.

Kate said...

That's pretty great that you are giving away so much food. I, too, have always wished there was a way to preserve lettuce. We can put a man on the moon but we can't freeze lettuce? C'mon!

I have to say I'm jealous of your rain and sun. Mostly we have just rain this year in Oregon. Hopefully next year will be a little less challenging!

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K said...

Two words for all that mint:

Mint Julep.

Yum!!! I've made a couple from our patches of wild mint this year. I'd never had one before, but holy cow, they're delicious. I've never had a cocktail that was quite so summery or refreshing!

Now I've got myself craving! Oh, if only it weren't 8:30 in the morning!

Thanks for checking out the little farm blog :) :)

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

I looked up a recipe for mint julip (being raised, originally, in Tennessee). Its easy and sounds delicious! I might just make one soon.