Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Grisham Garden, Part 5

"It hasn't rained in a month of Sunday's". This is hardly an exaggeration. With the temps hovering over 100 for the past few weeks, we had to get out the soaker hoses to save our tomato plants. The beets didn't produce at all and we were lucky to find 13 decent ears of corn out of 4 rows. Thank goodness for our local farmer's market! Friday night we received less than 1/4" of rain. We were so excited to see it, we stood at the back door and watched and took in the wonderful smell of rain!

When the potato vines die, usually by July 4th, they are ready to dig up. We only plant a single row.  This year we gathered enough to fill a 5 gallon bucket. Just enough for some baked potato salad, new potatoes and green beans and at least one small shrimp boil. We do it for the fun of it. The heat this year took the fun out of it.

The green beans are gone. A late rain may have rejuvenated them, but I have 13 quarts put up already, so we are good for this year.

Okra is doing well! We are so proud the deer have left it alone. Andy has since gone out and trimmed the bottom "branches." Since okra grows up and you pick from the top, it makes it a lot easier to harvest.

Here's a few of the small sweet onions ready to trim and bag up. These are perfect to chop up in garden salads, chicken salad, pasta salad and even a cold black bean dip.

The one plant I know that LOVES the heat is the pepper plant. They are looking incredible. We bought a pack of sweet peppers from Wal-Mart last winter that included small red, yellow and orange peppers. We picked out a mixture of the seeds, dried them and planted a whole row. Instead of starting them indoors, we took a chance and just dropped them in the ground. Andy did this same thing several years ago. He vacuum sealed and froze so many packs of sliced peppers I think they became a nuisance to him. I can't wait to see what colors will develop over the next few weeks.

The sweet potato vines still have a way to go. This is our first attempt at raising them. I can't wait to eat my first baked sweet potato from the garden!

All of the tomatoes are hanging in there. We are not getting enough Roma tomatoes at one time to can, but I have an alternative...my friend Claudia told me about dehydrating and freezing them. We've frozen several bags already and I'll be sharing how to do that soon. We sampled a fresh batch and Andy is calling them garden candy!! I'll be posting soon!

This Bradley Heirloom tomato is just days away from a "mater sandwich". What? You've never eaten one? No way!! The first one I make; I'll share with you (by photos anyway!)

Can you believe these are "cherry" tomatoes? Some of them have grown to the size of golf balls! We are enjoying eating them as a snack and in our salads.

We're still getting a little squash, zucchini, cucumbers and I gave my daughter-in-law Amanda the first spaghetti squash from the garden. And look! I found a cantaloupe growing when I was checking out the sunflowers the other day!

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