Monday, August 29, 2011

And then There's the Garden

22 Aug 2011: Our tomato plants

This year's garden has been a mixture of success and, well, not exactly failure, but less than successful success.  Many of our seeds never sprouted.  Some of our plants, like all our strawberries, inexplicably died.  Some, like the lettuce pictured above with the tomatoes, produced only a limited number of plants.  Others, like our peas, started strong but failed to thrive (although we sure enjoyed those sweet peas while they lasted!).  At times it seemed we were growing more weeds and rocks than vegetables!

Ed is already envisioning the changes and improvements he will make to our garden plot next year to ensure greater success! 

22 Aug 2011: Ripening tomatoes.

Probably our greatest success is our tomato plants.  For a while there we didn't think they would make it at all, with 2 weeks of strong, nonstop winds that kept blowing them over and crushing them.  Yet when the rainy monsoon season began at the end of June, they began growing like crazy, overrunning their wire cages and putting out hundreds of green tomatoes, which are now beginning to ripen.  We've already enjoyed 10 delicious tomatoes, making our gardening neighbors envious.

22 Aug 2011: Cucumber plants

Ed started the cucumbers indoors from tiny seeds.  They looked very pathetic for a very long time, and Ed wasn't sure it would be worth transplanting them to the garden.  Thank goodness he did!  They took off as soon as they hit the dirt, and are now putting out many little cucumbers.

27 Aug 2011: A baby cucumber, about the size of a large pickle so far.

27 Aug 2011: Two cabbage plants beginning to curl.

Out of a whole row of cabbage seeds, we only got 4 cabbages, but they are huge.  They are finally starting to curl their leaves around budding heads of cabbages.

22 Aug 2011: Six bean plants on a teepee-shaped wooden frame

Now I understand why the storyteller chose a beanstalk for the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.  I've never seen a seedling grow so fast or so tall.  I'm not kidding when I say you can almost see them moving as they break through the earth and stretch upward, putting out delicate tendrils seeking for something to grab on to.  If you stand still long enough, it will grab you and hold on! 

20 Aug 2011: Newly washed beans from our garden.

In the 10 days since Ed has been in Colorado, I've picked a plate full of beans every single day.  I have two quarts of beans bagged and frozen in the freezer already.  They'll be perfect for green bean casserole come Thanksgiving!

Tending the chickens and the garden is always a great adventure, but I'm ready for my sweetheart to come home and take over their care again.  I miss you, my prince.  I can't wait to hold you in my arms tomorrow night!

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