Sunday, June 28, 2009

more beans, please!

I wanted to mention a new book I picked up recently called Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman. Andrea has written several books including The Roasted Vegetable and The New Vegetarian Grill, and has contributed to The Classic Zucchini Cookbook-all new favorite cookbooks of mine with many amazing options (the roasted kohlrabi has convinced me to grow this veg in the fall).

Yesterday we tried the roasted green beans recipe which is in Serving Up the Harvest and The Roasted Vegetable. You can search either book for the recipe on Amazon and I highly recommend you do-it's simple (2 lbs of beans, oil, salt, an oven at 450 for 15 mins) and oh so delicious. It takes the grassy edge off the beans and makes them sweet and juicy. Having picked our plants clean to make this, we are now waiting for them to produce more (and contemplating hitting the farmers market in the meantime). The recipe is correct-there are never enough green beans once you've tried this recipe.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

today: 27 June

Today we have potatoes. Purple Peruvians.
Steamed and mashed, served with fresh dill, salt and pepper. Yum.
It's hot here, hottest it has been all year, but you won't find me outside in less than jeans, knee high socks and long sleeve shirt to garden anymore. The mosquitoes find me quite delicious, apparently, and somehow manage to bite me even through all this protection.

Yesterday's haul: 2 zukes, lots of chard and green beans. Today's haul looked like this, but 2 cukes and 2 yellow squash included. We are not sick of squash....yet.
Lots of stuff growing and growing and growing. Here the cherokee moon and stars watermelon is climbing high. There's already one melon the size of an orange and several more starting to grow. Think we'll start pinching back the vine to focus on three or four good melons. We will slip these melons inside old nylon stockings and support them on the trellis. This way should keep the birds away. I won't believe it until I see it, for we have several fearless deep crows hanging around the yard. They've already attacked the neighbor's tomatoes...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

the squash are in weeks after planting. It's nice to keep records so I can determine this sort of thing for the future. Now if only we had written down the day we planted the potatoes. I'd like to say it's almost time for them to come out, but all I see when I dig around in the dirt are tiny wee taters that seem smaller than the seed pieces we put in. Any advice?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

hidden treasures

The fun part about gardening, especially if you are trying it out for the first time in years and have forgotten all the cool bits, is going out each day to see what nature has created for you.
Our first snap beans! mmm... purple.

To think that Nature has created this bounty as a byproduct of normal plant growth, and my family will harvest and sustain ourselves from it is incredible in its synergy. Particularly when warped ideas about where food really comes from abound in today's removed society.

Our favorite part of the garden has been tooling around first thing in the morning, still in our pj's, cultivating what's here, dreaming about future plans.
Having a snack or two to munch on is helpful, of course. The bean with a bite taken out of it was nommed by the C-bear. If I told you none of the peas we harvested this year ever made it to the table, barely into the house, would you be surprised?

a favorite passage

Removing the weeds
putting fresh soil about the bean stems
and encouraging this weed which I had sown
making the yellow soil express its summer thought
in bean leaves and blossoms
rather than in wormwood and piper and millet grass
making the earth say beans
instead of grass-
this was my daily work.
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden