Monday, June 27, 2011

our homestead: the growing season's really here at last

We've been having a very mild start to summer...a few sunny days here and there. Still some overcast but temperatures are thankfully rising. For instance, though it was very cloudy the other day, it was at least a balmy 70 degrees out. I'm still hoping for more sun (like everyone), though I've always joked that summer in Western Washington really starts on July 5th (the day after Independence Day as it usually rains on the 4th of July). Anyway, though everything will be late this year, my vegetable garden is really taking off. The tomatoes, celery and cucumbers are becoming thick and lush in my little green house (see top photo). In fact, I've been munching on a cucumber here and there as I water my tomatoes (which finally have tiny green tomatoes after days of hand-pollinating their flowers with an electric toothbrush). Part of my morning ritual these past few weeks has been to snack on sugar snap peas straight off the vine and leaves off my lacinato kale after taking care of the tomatoes and cucumbers. I'm pretty proud of my little kale patch- I've heard that this year has been hard on this particular type of kale. Somehow I have it growing quite happily in my yard. My potatoes are also incredibly bushy and flowering...all sorts of colors: purple, peach, yellow and white (see purple flower photo above). When potato plants start to flower it means that tuber development has begun. I've already snitched and enjoyed a few small fingerlings and some red potatoes from two of my plants. The last photo in the line above is of me hiding in my pea and potato patch. I also have about 100 onions (red, sweet and yellow) growing, rainbow corn popping up, marigolds blooming and my sunflowers are almost hip-level. I'm waiting for my garlic to be ready to harvest...then I'll be able to plant pumpkins and some more corn starts I have growing in little pots in my greenhouse.

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