July 23, 2011

Garden Update July

Can you find the bee?

Things have been going along a little slow due to our lack of sunshine in the NW.  We have had some sunshine breaks, but not lasting longer than a couple of days.  The spinach and lettuce plants went to seed very quickly.  But now, we're going out just to weed, thin, and water.  The garden is moving along nicely.  I'm harvesting something every time we go out there now.  Last night I harvested about 30 heads of garlic.  There are three or four varieties of garlic in the garden.  Some of which are elephant garlic.  I am anxious to pull up some of those this weekend.

How do you know when it's time to harvest garlic?  The bottom leaves will begin to turn brown.  Gently dig one up and slice it in half.  If the cloves have filled out, it's ready.  Don't leave it in too long or the cloves will begin to burst out of the skins making them unstorable and open to disease.  They can still be used, but not stored. I planted them in October.  I planted about 60 or more garlic cloves.  I'm looking forward to making some garlic braids. I am so impressed at how one small clove of garlic becomes such a lovely large head over the winter. But then again, the whole garden thing and the production of live food in the dirt from the little bitty seeds fascinates me. 

Last week we also took home about a dozen artichokes, an armload of onions, three nice zucchini, a couple large bowls of peas, stevia, lettuce, a kohlrabi, and of course more herbs to dry:  oregano, thyme, two kinds of mint, basil, and rosemary.  The potatoes are nice and healthy.  Curious, I have three different kinds of potatoes but the bushy leaves all look the same.  It will be interesting to see if the flowers are different colors.

The plan, this weekend, is to get our beautiful scarecrow, Isabelle up in the garden.  This year she gets a friend too, Holly, as she has been named by my granddaughter.

Today we do have a beautiful summer morning.  I'm headed out for a brisk walk, then back home to can and freeze some local organic cherries and apricots.  I have 15 pounds of cherries and about 20 pounds of nice apricots. I already have some eggplant bacon in the dehydrator and a couple trays of the nice Washington apricots.  I'll dry a few pounds of the cherries too.  Sun or no sun, I love this time of year!

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