I did my best to grow things this year. Our biggest crop was little Zélie. Beyond that, I stuck crap in the ground and walked away. Next year, I hope to do a little better. Thankfully, vegetables have a way of finding you. The secret to a successful summer vegetable harvest is popping over for tea at your friend’s house. They will have a garden. They will have too many beans or too many zucchini and cucumbers that they insist you take some home with you. So we managed to enjoy a few fresh summer vegetables thanks to friends and neighbors.
Of the things the kids and I planted, the only vegetable to survive drought and weed were the potatoes. We have a surplus of delicious potatoes. Two varieties. I’ve collected a skirt full, but will need to go back down to the veggie patch with a shovel and sweat out some more. July brought a lot of rain. Now, the ground is very, very hard thanks to a dry August.
The other things that worked were the ‘erbs. I’ve had months and months of fresh basil, thyme and rosemary. The chives hung on for a long time until little teeny, tiny black bugs ate it one morning. The cilantro was spectacular. I was very excited to get my Mexican and Indian cooking going until the rain washed it away. I did manage to squeak out a few curries and some taco meat.
Small tomato plants were given to me by a friend. I was hoping to do tomatoes and was happy to have plants left in my care. They did very, very well. With the stellar basil and the surplus of tomatoes, I managed to crank out some great salads and tasty tomato sauces. If only I could locate some buffalo … There are still many more tomatoes to come. The chickens seem to be eying the red jewels of taste. But believe me, eternity in the company of Beelzebub and all his hellish instruments of death will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this broom.
Brent went over to the neighbor’s house to work out hay bale scheduling and came home with a large bag of green beans. It was when I processed them this morning for the freezer that I noticed the bag they came in. We’ll DEFINITELY have to call him on it. Judging by the surfboard, I’m thinking he will want the handy receptacle returned.
Fruit this year has been surprising. We have so many plums, we don’t know what to do. There are at least three varieties. We found a pear tree that produced gorgeous, big amazing tasting fruit. Our special teenager guest harvested the entire tree with one washing basket. We also found a crazy peach tree that is ready to be picked now … in August. It nestled up very close to one of the cow barns and a large pile of properly aged manure. Our theory is that long ago, somebody working on the farm tossed a peach pit out the back and a well nourished peach tree was born. The kids and I need to get out there and pick the lot before the hornets take hold of the sweet goodness.
Oh yes! And the zucchini! We were given a really large zucchini this year. Last year, Lucy dressed it up and prepared for Zélie’s arrival. This year, I think we’ll skip the formalities and pop that butty in the oven with stuffing.