If you ever drive by the farm between 6am – 8am, you’ll spot me in the vegetable garden sporting my morning finest: the tee shirt I slept in and my gardening shorts (which I have to tie together with twine since I lost the button.) Every morning from the first day that the snow melts, to the first hard freeze of winter, I’m out there. With my trusty Beekman mug of coffee. I’ll often forage for my breakfast out there. Sometimes it’s an ear of corn. Other times a fistful of raspberries. Or a cucumber. Or sweet peas. I even keep a pocketknife out there for when the melons begin ripening in early September.
Grab yourself a cup of coffee and come take a walk around the garden with me. I’ll point some of my favorite things out in the captions…
My coffee mug is a little sun-faded
The entrance to the garden
Guarded by this very fierce watchdog.
And this ferocious kitty.
First stop: golden raspberries…by far our favorite variety of raspberry.
You’ll notice a lot of flowers as we walk around. Why flowers in a vegetable garden? Well, they help fill in spaces so that weeds don’t grow. And, well, they’re pretty.
Marigolds are supposed to keep away some pests. After years of gardening, I can pretty positively say that they don’t help much at all. But they are nice to look at.
Nasturtiums grow quickly and keep the weeds at bay. Here I’ve planted them amongst the leeks. The nasturtiums thick foliage help keep the leek stems from getting too much sun. Keeps them tender-er.
Morning glories help hide the irrigation posts.
This Morning Glory is reaching for last night’s moon.
I let some of the lettuce bolt in the summer sun so that I can collect the seeds for next year.
These Anaheim peppers are tremendously prolific this year.
Some dill flowers for pickling.
Marigolds against a clear blue sky.
Asparagus is also left to go to seed. It forms these pretty ferns. The dew looks like embedded diamonds.
These hoop trellises are just lengths of hog fencing bent into an arch. I grow string beans and other fast growing vines on them. This helps shade any crops below that don’t like the intense summer heat.
Our friend Tanner and I devised this new trellis system for our blackberries and boysenberries. Neither do well in our cold winters, so the wire panels on this system can be unhooked in winter. The branches then lay on the ground and can be covered with leaves or mulch to protect them from the frigid temps.
Zinnias are so beautiful and come in so many colors & sizes.
Every gardener plants too much.
These vines on the ground are melons…which are also a tough crop to grow in our short season. I have my tricks, though.
A nice cantaloupe
This is the queen of all melons…a charantais melon. It’s a french variety that many chefs swear is the truest melon of all. Tough to grow, but worth every drop of sweat.
The watermelon vines are creeping into the garden paths.
This is a “Moon & Stars” watermelon, named for the constellation-type markings on its rind.
Tomatillos always seem to come up as “volunteers” from last year’s seed. I haven’t planted any in years, and still have more than I can use every year.
Brussel sprouts are starting. The timing of Brussel Sprouts is delicate If the weather is too hot for too long, the sprouts are loose and soft. If too cold, they take forever to develop. Here’s hoping this year is just right.
Beets are sown and harvested repeatedly throughout the season.
Beets do great when frozen so we grow a lot to enjoy all winter long.
Carrots are also sown repeatedly all summer long.
A short marigold break for you.
These little white eggplants are never bitter.
Önder often gets bored after about a half hour of watching me weed.
More of the hoop trellises.
This bed looks dead. But that’s a good thing. Potatoes are dug up and harvested after the plants die back.
We’re still planting too…This is a frisee seedling which will make lovely fall salads.
Some herb sprouts coming up to replace the ones that have already flowered.
Lavendar. We actually use it for culinary purposes.
The thyme is flowering.
No, we don’t grow almond milk. These cartons help the celery to grow straight, and keeps the stalks more tender.
These Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes are a little behind schedule.
Luckily, we have cherry tomatoes to hold us over.
Zinnias keep coming back all season long if they’re dead-headed.
Spicy arugula. Because we’re organic, we always wind up sharing the arugula with small beetles. We just call it “lacy arugula” when we serve it to guests.
Another Morning Glory waking up.
The stalks of Swiss Chard are so beautiful.
And the leaves are downright psychedelic.
I’ve let some chard go to seed so I can collect them for next year.
This oak leaf lettuce is also past its prime. But it’s so pretty, I’ll let it take up space a little longer.
More watermelon creep.
A zinnia break.
Patty pan, Patty Pan, Baker’s Man.
More zinnias. You can’t escape their joyfulness.
A more traditional eggplant.
I plant corn in succession too, so that we don’t wind up with too much all at once.
Squash blossom. We do froufrou things with them early in the season, but during the high summer months there are just too many other goodies ready for harvest to bother with the flowers.
Green and blue are my favorite colors together.
Giant pumpkin vines take over the field adjacent to the garden.
These mammoth pumpkins aren’t good for eating. But they’re fun for kids when they come tour.
Still more zinnia.
A nice bell pepper forming.
Enough with the zinnias!
A purple bean flower.
These purple string beans revert to green when cooked.
Boredom generally leads to bad behavior.
Okay. Last Zinnia. I promise.
This cabbage is ginormous.
Önder inevitably decides to go back to sleep before I’m finished with chores.