Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 6/22/15

Good morning from a melted gardener. Yes, folks, it’s STILL in the 100s. Eight days and counting with no relief in sight for another week, at least. I’ve not been able to get into the garden for more than 15 minutes at a time due to the heat. That leaves out any gardening chores other than a quick harvest at the end of the day. And even then, it’s unbearably hot. Example? The other night at midnight, it was 89 degrees with a heat index of 94. At midnight! And remember I planned to get up at sunrise to try to get some gardening done? Well, yesterday morning, at 5:30 a.m. it was 80 degrees with 70%+ humidity! Please let a cold front come through with some rain to water my garden and cool things off, and soon! That said, most of the pictures I’m sharing today are of harvests and kitchen cooking.

IN THE GARDEN:

Sorry for the paucity of garden pics. I’ll have you know, I probably dripped a gallon of sweat just taking these! LOL

My okra is starting to produce bunches of pods.

Star of David okra pods growing

Star of David okra pods growing

My large Black Krim tomato (on one of the cutting/transplants) is starting to turn red. I’m salivating already!

Black Krim tomato ripening

Black Krim tomato ripening

My Garden Wilson happened to catch this Garden Finch at my birdbath. The birds are really needing this water lately!

House finch on my bird bath

House finch on my bird bath

GARDEN BOUNTY:

In this heat, my plants’ production is starting to decrease. The plants are spending most of their energy trying to bear with the stress caused by the heat. However, even with that, I think I harvested a decent amount of produce this week. I harvested a half pound of cherry tomatoes, a pound of snap beans, 3/4 pound of peppers, 3/4 pound of raspberries, 5 pounds of cucumbers, 2 1/4 pounds of eggplant, 1/4 pound of okra, and 1/2 pound of mini melons.

I also harvested my entire bed of garlic – well over 100 heads – but I haven’t weighed them yet as they’re drying in my shed. I think today I’ll clean them up and braid them. I’ll let you know next week how much I actually harvested.

Garlic harvest

Garlic harvest drying

In the pictures below, the produce is identified from the top, clockwise.

Harvest on June 15:

Rosa Bianca eggplant, Edirne Striped eggplant,

Rosa Bianca eggplant, Edirne Striped eggplant,jalapenos, Tiny Tim tomatoes, Filius Blue peppers, Beit Alpha cucumbers, pepperoncini. Center: Black Hungarian pepper & Boston pickling cucumber

Harvest June 16:

Boston pickling cucumber, Star of David okra, Beit Alpha cucumbers

Boston pickling cucumber, Star of David okra, Beit Alpha cucumbers

Harvest June 18:

My raspberry harvest is winding down. I’m hoping to get a second crop in the fall. We’ll see.

Caroline raspberries

Caroline raspberries

My snap beans are winding down, as well. And it’s been too hot to plant the next batch.

Beurre de Rocquencourt wax beans & Black Valentine green beans

Beurre de Rocquencourt wax beans & Black Valentine green beans

My first melons and sweet pepper. The melons are supposed to grow small, but not this small. The green pepper should be bigger, too. I blame the heat.

Tiny Tim tomatoes, Star of David okra, Rich Sweetness melon, Black Hungarian peppers, Beit Alpha cucumbers, Golden Midget watermelon. Center: Emerald Giant bell pepper

Tiny Tim tomatoes, Star of David okra, Rich Sweetness melon, Black Hungarian peppers, Beit Alpha cucumbers, Golden Midget watermelon. Center: Emerald Giant bell pepper

Harvest June 20:

Cayenne peppers, Riesentraube tomato, Beit Alpha cucumbers, Tiny Tim tomatoes, Boston pickling cucumbers, Star of David okra

Cayenne peppers, Riesentraube tomato, Beit Alpha cucumbers, Tiny Tim tomatoes, Boston pickling cucumbers, Star of David okra

Harvest June 21:

Rosa Bianca eggplant, Beit Alpha cucumbers, Tiny Tim tomatoes

Rosa Bianca eggplant, Beit Alpha cucumbers, Tiny Tim tomatoes

IN THE KITCHEN:

For breakfast the other day, I ate the melons. Here’s the Golden Midget watermelon cut open. It was small, but ripe. The seeds were black and the flesh light pink. I love this variety because it turns golden yellow when it’s time to pick it.

Golden Midget watermelon

Golden Midget watermelon

Earlier in the week, I made a huge batch of Italian Bean Salad. It’s been great having a delicious cold salad to grab after coming in from the heat!

On Wednesday night, my Garden Wilson and I decided we should cook a garden supper. (He’s a great cook as well as a wonderful garden helper!) He marinated beef in Guiness beer then sauteed it with garlic. We also made a batch of Eggplant Fries and Fried Jalapenos. (We fried some pepperoncini with it, and that was good, too!) We also had some of the bean salad I made before. It took us a couple of hours to prepare supper, but it was well worth it! (Excuse the blurry picture. I was hungry and my hands must not have been steady.)

Garden supper of fried jalapenos & pepperoncini, eggplant fries, beef, and Italian bean salad

Garden supper of fried jalapenos & pepperoncini, eggplant fries, beef, and Italian bean salad

Yesterday, despite the heat, I was craving vegetable soup. (Thank goodness for air conditioning!) I still have quite a bit of root vegetables left in the fridge from the April harvest, so I made a batch of soup with onions, carrots, turnips, and radishes. I also added some Filius Blue peppers for spice, and the okra I’d harvested. Here’s what my okra looks like cut up. I think I need to harvest it a bit smaller though, because it was a little tough in the soup. Sure looks pretty, doesn’t it?

Star of David okra

Star of David okra

In addition to my garden veggies, I added store bought celery, canned tomatoes, and canned great northern and pinto beans. I then seasoned it with salt and pepper, dried parsley, and my own dried spicy oregano. Finally, I added mini shell pasta. It was delicious!

Vegetable soup

Vegetable soup

What’s happening in your garden this week?

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4 comments on “Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 6/22/15

  1. I know what you mean about the heat! My serrano pepper plant looks horrible!!!! It is still producing, but looks so sad! I’m still getting some pear tomatoes and cucumbers, but you are right – you melt as soon as you go out! Unfortunately, this is normal, with the exception of not getting rain showers in the afternoon!

    I noticed someone else asked about the “poor people… without air conditioning.” I had a friend who lived here without air conditioning for YEARS. Bsically you grow accustomed to it! And drink lots of water! It has always been this hot and humid here, and people just do without. She did have a house fan that she used. Personally, I am a wimp, especially being pregnant again, and prefer my air conditioning!

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