Thursday, July 02, 2015


 This is the only time of year that I believe I could come close to being a vegetarian.  I love me some fresh veggies from the garden!  I will generally serve fresh, raw tomatoes and cukes at every meal also (even breakfast), but I think that's common in the South.  Or at least, it used to be, and still is amongst the older set, which I guess I'm in now.  Ha! 

 The second planting of corn is definitely kicking some butt and making up for the failure of the first planting.  In fact, today we saw where some of it is starting to tassle, so I'm well pleased with how this crop is doing.  I could eat hot, steamed corn on the cob until I just popped!

The tomatoes are still lagging way behind and being puny but virtually every other crop is well taking up the slack.  We should even get some good watermelons this year, something I've never been particularly successful growing.  I have about 6 good size melons on 2 hills now.  Won't be ready for the 4th by any means but they will come in while it's still mighty warm here.
This spring we added the entire contents of our large compost bin to the main garden and that has apparently been a boon for it.  Of course, that contained a large portion of composted chicken poo and that stuff is some great fertilizer.

And the grapes are doing great too!!  I MUST build a better, stronger arbor for them for next year.  What I have now is a true embarrassment, especially for a carpenter and welder. lol!  The dreaded Japanese beetles are hitting the leaves hard but we've been hitting back pretty good.  The chickens have learned to stand right on the other side of the fence as we pick and toss! The beetles that is, not the grapes!  The girls love those little crunchy monsters...kinda like chicken popcorn and I'm happy to fill 'em up!  I wish there was a way to just let the chickens come get them on their own but they could not reach them and they'd tear up the garden trying.

The new bean and pea trellises are working out great.  Not more bending over!  The peas are well on their way of making little pods but I've yet to see many beans yet.  They are blooming however, so it should not be much longer.  I've never grown this variety of beans before so I'm still learning it.  Seems like the Jade bush that I used to grow was a pretty early type.

You can see the blooms all over the peas here and they are much further along now.  It's interesting, in that the garden is growing so well, if I lollygag around about posting pics they are usually outdated within just a couple of days.  And I usually do lollygag.  The peas should be coming in just in time though as I think I only have one more jar of canned peas from last year. 

I've also already canned a dozen half-pints each of strawberry and blueberry jam and started a 2-quart jar of refrigerator pickles tonight.  Hopefully I'll be able to do better on the canning this summer than I did last year.

And the rest is just some gratuitous flower photos. .... Most of my daylilies have pooped out at this point although there are a few still here and there.  

And the Vitex shrub is growing like a weed this year.  It's well over my head and they say these things can get about 20 feet tall.  I love the blooms and it is also medicinal for women.  In fact, I need to gather a fresh batch of the seeds this fall.  I also like having these shrubs because all types of bees love it and anything that encourages those guys (or gals!) is great.
So how does your garden grow this year?


ErinFromIowa said...

Your garden looks amazing! I will keep in mind the vitex shrub for folks who might find it useful.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Mighty good eating in your garden, Annie, but you already know that and now so do we too. And I also really enjoy cold watermelons in the summertime. We have recentky been buying one a week. Hope you get some good earing ones in a few weeks.

JO said...

Beautiful garden. Sure wish I could grown that stuff. I keep thinking about looking for a place up here on the mountain and selling my place in Tucson, I really love it up here.

edifice rex said...

Hey Erin! thanks! yeah, the vitex is quite powerful. Years ago I had been using those Depo-Provera shots for birth control and stopped having a period, even long after I stopped the shots. So, I started taking vitex and within 6 weeks my hormones had straightened out and I was back on a regular cycle. Lost a lot of weight too that I had gained on that hideous drug.

Hey Bea! I hope we do too. Jack really loves watermelon and also buys about 1/ week so I'm hoping some of these do well.

Hey Jo! thanks! well, maybe you should! Jack and I were talking yesterday that we would like to have a place in the mountains. I love this valley but have always loved high elevations.

Ed said...

One of my favorite meals growing up was when we had sweet corn and tomatoes at the same time. We would cut the hot boiled corn off the cob until we had a huge mound on our plate. Then we would top with cold slices of tomatoes and eat that for our entire meal. I just loved the cool/hot and texture combination not to mention taste. Mmmmm. We also made lots of fresh cucumber salad with sliced onions in it. Loved that too!

Hermit's Baby Sis said...

Annie - Like Ed says, we grew up with corn and tomatoes. And okra and cukes and peas and onions. Many a night just fresh veggies for supper, or along side a pot of pinto beans. Made a salsa this weekend with fresh RAW corn cut right off the cob, with green chilies and red bell pepper, little cumin and red onion. Never had eaten raw corn before, but it's really good and sweet. Surprised me, I can tell you.
Your garden is just beautiful!