Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gartenjahr: July update

All of Rob's maintenance has come to an abrupt halt, though he barely makes it to work before noon each day. Instead, you'll always find him out in the garden, trying to convince his plants to grow faster and bigger on the strength of his attention to them. That and digging in the compost take up the lion's share of his time. If I have a cool early morning hour when he's not out there, I pull weeds by the handful; he thought it was just a weedless garden until he caught me at it one day.
The rhubarb is nearly gone, after giving us pudding cakes and pies and muffins and jam. The strawberries have produced perhaps a dozen tiny but flavorful berries. We've eaten salad, chard or spinach nearly every other night, though they're almost all gone or bolted now. In their heyday Joss would rip off leaves and eat them right there in the side yard. Rob also showed him where the peas were and how to harvest them and the rest of us barely saw one -- good thing they were edible pod peas! The cherries have come on and Rob spent the better part of a week picking, pitting, soaking and freezing them in bags for our cherry soup over the winter. We've both decided that the cherry tree in front of our kitchen window has got to go. It has horrible wormridden fruit that we let drop into the grass. It smells of cherry vinegar out there now.
Now we're into pesto season. We've made three batches in the last week. The basil is usually ready every two or three days and Rob hopes to get 20 bags of homemade pesto frozen for the rest of the year. Sebastian calls it "green pasta" and he can eat four servings of it easily. Rob also harvested our first ever homegrown garlic. It looked dirtier than the stuff at the store, but it cleans up great and tastes perfect. We've also harvested bush beans that we planted in the garden when I put the wrong kind of beans in my sprouter!
Just yesterday we finally harvested our first tomatoes (two!): tiny, tiny yellow grape tomatoes, but with as much flavor in one tiny marble as we've been getting from our stripmined storebought kind all winter! It appears that we're still no good at growing tomatoes, but I console myself that Provo has a great farmers' market and that my family will eat zucchini!
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Jessica said...

How did you teach your kids to eat rhubarb? I have a bountifully happy plant, and my kids won't touch the stuff. No use making a rhubarb cake if the only one eating it is Mom. Kinda defeats the purpose of all that exercising I am trying to do.

Curtis said...

Congratulations on a successful Gartenjahr thus far.

Although, I think you've gotten more out of your garden than we've seen at Provo's farmers market lately. We came home again empty handed this week. There were way too many stalls selling stuff I don't need (neckties made from duct tape, giant hair bows, and tie dye shirts).

Have your kids set up a table in front of your house, and we'll come buy your produce.

Zina said...

My pulse actually increased at the thought of fresh pesto. But we are having a decidedly ungartenlikejahr.