July came and went without a garden update and here we are near the end of August. Isn't that how it goes? This morning, my kids and I made a video slideshow for you, this week's free video. We hope you enjoy it! It is short and fun — if you're not normally inclined to stop and watch videos, we invite you to break your rule and watch this one. No? Well, then, this post includes lots of pictures. 😉
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Garden Highlights: August (& July) 2011
A quick recap: our garden is a shared garden on friends' property. Currently, we go out there twice a week. We go on Wednesday afternoons (our errand day) and we work for a few hours and then harvest food to bring home. We also go there on Sundays after church… just to pick!
Here are the climbing miralda vines that I mentioned in last week's green bean salad post/video. They're just about done producing now. Sad, but okay. Truthfully, we're a little sick of green beans. 😉
This is another variety of green beans — we don't know the name because it was given to Beth, our gardening friend, and the original source didn't know the variety. Yet Beth has grown it and seed-saved for a few years because it is a really nice, basic preserving bean. Beth freezes and cans hers. I am freezing some and lacto-fermenting some as dilly beans.
I'm sure we're not alone in having abundant zucchini! Our two plants are more than enough for both families… and then some. We've been grilling it, sauteeing it, and I shred it and add it to almost every main dish I cook. One of the favorite things I've done has been to make lacto-fermented zucchini relishes: ginger-zucchini and spicy zucchini. (Those recipes are included in the eCourse lesson on relishes.)
Every time we're at the garden, I bring home all the pickling cucumbers that are ready. Between Beth and I, we're keeping up with them. I turn mine into the most awesome lacto-fermented garlic-dill pickles (see the eCourse lesson on pickles). I have been able to make 1/2 gallon of pickles each time, though yesterday I had enough for 3/4 gallon. The picture below shows some picklers and some fresh eating cukes.
In addition to the pickles, I made delicious corn relish, a variation of the recipe in Nourishing Traditions on page 100.
Then there are the fresh eating cucumbers, which we love but… way too many. If only the tomatoes would catch up, we'd enjoy them more because we'd have more variety in salads. (The tomatoes are just beginning, so that's good.) The big, big fresh eating cucumbers are going to the animals on both our farms. The sheep, goats, cows and chickens are all happy. 🙂
The tomatoes… I don't know how many plants we have, but there are alot. That makes me happy. I love tomatoes. The paste tomatoes are finally turning color. When we're at the garden we pick whatever is turning, then ripen them up at home on the windowsill. The days we are not there, Beth and Kerry take the tomatoes.
The hot and bell peppers are coming in, too. I've never been a huge fan of hot peppers, until growing my own. I've been adding them to relishes and pickles — delicious! I also made a kvass using a hot pepper as Richard mentioned in this beet kvass comment. It makes an amazing Indian style kvass named Kanji. Thanks, Richard!
Our gardening friend Beth loves flowers. When we started the garden, I contributed zinnia and nasturtium seeds. They're coming up beautifully, along with lots of other flowers Beth already had going, like the poppies. Beth usually sends me home from a gardening day with a bouquet, which is really sweet of her. You've seen my mason jar bouquets in more recent YouTube and eCourse videos (and in a photo above, by the pickles and corn relish).
We're really thankful for God's bounty, and for the joyous work of growing our own food. What's coming up in your garden? Are you swimming in anything? Please share!
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