Saturday, August 5, 2017

Annual innudation of cucumbers

Initially, it was all about the peas.  Three quarts of unshelled peas, that shelled down to about two cups.  The peas are about done now.  The zucchini are pretty steady, never overwhelming; I've just got the three plants.


The peppers are a bit random, and the tomatoes, while trickling in at the grape size, aren't ready yet.


But the cucumbers.

 

This summer has been frequently unusually cool, but give them a week at 80+ degrees, and...


Tiny snail gave me an excuse to toss this one in the compost.  It was probably fine, but I picked seven others that day, and tiny snail.  (You may have to zoom in to see it.)


So I went out to check the cucumbers again this morning, and this is what I came back in with.


I've got what will be three quarts of pickle relish brining on the stove now, but I also have a baker's dozen more cucumbers on the counter still.  I may have to make some other kind of pickles in addition.

Why plant so many cucumbers, you might ask.  I have one row, six plants, partly trellised.  I thought backing it off (I've planted three times that many before) would be enough.  Nope.  I like cucumbers, but unlike zucchini, which is easy enough to turn into lasagna or zucchini bread or some chop up into stir fry and keep up with it, the cucumbers produce in volume enough to make it difficult to keep on top of.

So there will probably be more pickles.

At least it's not cherry tomatoes again!  (Yet.)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

(Updated Garden Pictures)

Since I realized all my garden pictures were a month or more old, here's some updated ones:

I think one of these is not actually a Brussels Sprout

Looking across the whole garden

Gigantic zucchinis

Tomatoes

This is the first year it's made raspberries

Compared to the blackberry bush

Picked today, 7/23 (zucchini, cucumbers, peas, first tomato, 5 Hungarian peppers)

This is the prettiest cucumber I've ever grown

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Garden, Round... 7?

So this is apparently Year Seven in the garden, although we haven't been in the house seven years yet, since we moved in during the winter.  I didn't expand it this year, but I did buy some garden soil to mix into the extant dirt to try to improve the nutrients in it.

The setup this year has brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli) and cucumbers on the right side of the walk; I put the fencing in for trellis shortly after I turned it over to get them out of the way, and I'm using hay for mulch again since that seems to distract the rabbits.


On the left, following my brassica/nightshade rotation, I've got tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and peas.  (A rogue potato from last year came up, as well.


I put onions and carrots around the whole edge, although the onions are doing much better than the carrots.  Some carrots did come up, so at some point I'll hopefully get at least enough for one meal.

As usual, the peas took off first.  This is from four weeks ago, and I've picked about six quarts of pea pods since then.  They've grown about two feet taller than the  fence and are now cascading down the other side.  (If I remember (unlikely), I'll get another shot at this angle, because the zucchini plants cover the whole space in front of the peas now.)


Gratuitous shot of the overflowing blackberry bush from a few weeks ago - they're just starting to turn mauve now:


I've picked five zucchini, two cucumbers, the aforementioned 6 quarts of peas, and I pulled up four onions for dinner tonight.


Since my goal for the garden this year was to be able to make sides for dinner in-season, I think it's going pretty well.


The tomatoes are still green, but the grape tomatoes are just starting to turn.  In another couple weeks, I'll probably be inundated with them.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Upgrades

So we've lived in this house for about six and a half years, which is long enough that I know like 80% of what I want to change about it.

Number one on the practical list right now is kitchen storage.  We've got cabinets along one wall of the kitchen, and it's a decently sized kitchen, so it's not like that's nothing, but I've still got a set of shelves and a cabinet in the dining room with kitchen appliances.  The kitchen table is serving as supplemental storage, and we've got a dining room (/library/craft room), so we don't need the kitchen table for dining space.

So I'm planning an island.  I've been mapping out possible layouts, what kind of storage options we want, footprints.  Electrical is pretty much out - that would be an electrician and permits and inspections, or even just repurposing the deck line we're not using would require cutting through tile.  Overall it wouldn't be worth it for the work involved.

Once it's done, I should be able to move all the kitchen stuff from the dining room into the kitchen, repurpose the cabinet in the dining room for a bathroom closet (towels, etc.) that the bathroom currently lacks, and possible consolidate two small shelf units in the living room into the larger one... after we get rid of the couch.

I may need a flowchart.