From the moment the ground is thawed each spring, till the moment I can no longer break through frozen ground in late fall, I start each day in the garden. Early. Really early. Like, roll-out-of-bed-and-throw-on-sweats early. From June-August I don’t even have to wait for the sun to come up. I just grab a cup of coffee & bowl of yogurt (I add fruit in the garden,) wake up the dog, and head out. Early morning is the best time to surprise attack bugs, pull weeds from the damp soil, and harvest berries and other veggies at their plumpest.
Along with my coffee, I grabbed my camera this morning so I could take you on tour. This is one of the best garden seasons since we moved to Beekman 1802 Farm, and yes, I’m gonna show it off. Gardeners, like fishermen, are consummate braggarts. Hope you enjoy the photos. (You should see the cucumber that got away.)
We’ve had plenty of rain this year, so all of the beds are nice and lush.
Coffee stays parked in a central location. (I’ve lost too many mugs by moving them around while working.)
In the center of the garden are several varieties of creeping thyme planted between rocks. This makes the greatest fragrance when trod upon.
The Beekman Bees love the thyme.
This has been the best year for raspberries that we’ve ever had. over 12 gallons in the freezer, and still picking!
These are purple raspberries. Not quite dark enough for picking.
If you’ve never had a golden raspberry, then, well…go have one! They taste more like pineapples than raspberries, believe it or not.
Excited to have boysenberries for the first season ever.
Usually we have tomatoes growing in the side field, which is covered in recycled black tarp (to keep weeds down.) But we gave the tomato patch a break this year and rotated in corn…
…and fava beans…
Fava beans are a lot of work to prep in the kitchen, so we planted in two batches to break up the harvest.
Fava beans have to be shelled twice. Once like this. And then the inner beans need to be blanched and peeled. A lot of work. But totally worth it.
A very early Jack-O-Lantern.
See the worker Beekman Bee? The garden’s productivity skyrocketed after we installed the hives.
We moved the tomatoes into the raised beds this year. They take up a lot of space…especially when fueled by goat manure.
I wasn’t very disciplined with keeping records of what was planted where this year. We were traveling too much this spring. But our random plantings have turned into a very pleasant looking mish mosh.
These will soon be tiny chocolate cherry tomatoes, kindly given to us by White Flower Farms.
I plant basil in the shade of the tomato plants so they don’t bolt and go to seed in the heat.
These will soon be Brent’s favorite tomatoes – Black Cherry
The giant red cabbage leaves always look prehistoric to me.
I shouldn’t really plant more than 4 per box, but they always look so small as seedlings.
These nasturtiums came up as “volunteers” from last year.
Another Beekman Worker Bee
“Did someone say treat?”
Strawberry season has passed, but somehow we picked up a few ever-bearing varieties. Just enough for yogurt.
These tiny alpine strawberries are delicious…and taste completely different than regular strawberries.
Cucumber tendrils reaching towards the sun.
These are ground cherry plants, which are a member of the nightshade family – like tomatoes, peppers and tomatillos.
I transplanted this wild black currant plant from another spot on the property. The flavor of them is outstanding, but they’re much smaller than…
…these cultivated ones. Part of the reason some fruits aren’t available commercially is that they don’t all ripen at once, making them more costly to harvest. Black currants ripen very sporadically, over the period of a month or more.
The red currants are almost all harvested. That means we’ll have red currant jelly in the Mercantile soon.
Ugh. Beetles got to this gooseberry bush. Even though they ate only the leaves, the fruit won’t be any good either. The leaves are needed to produce the sugar that make the gooseberries palatable.
This purple gooseberry bush is doing much better. Probably because I didn’t weed around it very well so the beetles couldn’t find it. 🙂
This bee is not a Beekman Bee. But we’ll let him work anyway!
I never have much luck with melons. Our season is too short. But this year I started them under row covers. I think that little added heat gave them a head start. Here’s hoping, at least.
Likewise with eggplants, the season is so short we rarely get a good harvest. But I started them under “Hot Kaps” this year and they seem to be a few weeks ahead of schedule.
This lucullus chard is also a volunteer. Beautiful white ribbing.
We already harvested the main heads of broccoli, but the tiny side shoots will keep growing for several months. They’re just as good, and don’t even need to be cut up.
This bibb lettuce is very heat resistant, meaning we can have salads almost all summer long.
“Can you grow treats in these boxes?”
This one has dill written all over it.
These dark green kale leaves are so pretty interspersed with golden currant tomato plants.
Some call this variety of kale “Black Palm.” By fall it will be about 4 feet tall, with the shape of a palm tree.
Purple tomatillos. It’s our first time growing these.
We let some of our radishes go to seed. The flowers are pretty, but more importantly they produce tasty little seed pods that go great in salads.
The shell peas are almost all harvested now too. I don’t care for sugar snap peas…English peas are just sweet enough for me. (Even though they’re more work to shell.)
A long, narrow, Cylindra beet. In my opinion, these are the sweetest.
We also let some of our spring lettuces go to seed. Not only do they add interesting color and texture to the garden, sometimes we get a free autumn crop.
Peppers look great this year.
“This is not a toy. Nor is it a treat.”
A potato blossom.
Sometimes we dig under the soil early to pull a few new potatoes.
At Beekman, we always share our shortcomings as well as our successes. These carrots didn’t germinate so well.
At least a few will make it.
“I can help carry.”
Another cheerful volunteer to greet me in the morning.