October Garden Tour

Albeit a little frosty in mornings, summer like weather continues. Forecast tell that it may go on till middle of October. Here is small tour of fall garden
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Muncher cucumbers are happy and growing. I did not train them upwards this year, I just got lazy.  I’m happy to see that they don’t mind crawling and producing. These have come from cheap American Seeds packets purchased at local Walgreens. So far, I have picked about 10-12 of these, much of it enjoyed as Kakadi – Tomato koshimbir.


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Two of tomato plants – Sweet 100 and Early Girl.
I bought these from local Rite Aid clearance mid-summer. While planting sweet 100 I accidently snapped the whole plant at root line, I knew I lost it but took a chance and planted it deep. Somewhere I had read that, tomato plants will produce roots if they are planted deep. Miraculously this tomato plant lived and producing. I did dig up out of curiosity and indeed I saw root branches right out of stem just above where it had snapped.

 

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Brassica Bed – Cauliflower, cabbages along with few tomato plants – San Marzano, Jersey, Early Girl and one cherry type.

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Beaverlodge Tomatoes – these are only tomato type I am growing from seed.

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Green Sorrel – loving this weather!

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Purple Kohlrabi

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zucchini

 

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Green flowing vegetable beds along the back of the house.

 

 

Happy Gardening!!

Harvest Monday: 10/8

Hard to believe it’s October weather wise, warm sunny trend continues. But this trend is going to change very soon, thinking that weather might turn and I won’t be able to spend much time in garden – I decided to invest some time to thin some spring veggies. Yes, you heard right – Spring. Broccoli, Sorrel (if it overwinters), Beets and Chard will go dormant in harsh of the weather but will start to re-grow if temperatures warm in late winter/early spring. I thinned Chard, Broccoli.  Got some beet seeds and set to dry them. Although I do not have cloche (yet), some the chard will be harvested towards end of fall.

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This week, picked sorrel (again?) and shared with friends.

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Also harvested first ever purple kohlrabi. (Looking for recipe ideas, please share), tomato assortment and green/wax beans.

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Couple days later, I brought in some fenugreek and radish pods.

 

 

Happy Gardening!!

Peanut Butter Tree in bloom

Oh I love love Peanut Butter Tree in my yard. It is so quite unique in all the flowering shrubs around.

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In Spring – It stays bare for the longest time, very late to get leaves. It strikes out leafless against neighboring faux cherry tree with its ice cream pink blossoms.

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In Summer – Leaves send out peanut buttery aroma every time someone passes by. Jasmine like flowers appear later summer in September. Smell is divine.

In Fall –  pink blue pearls of fruits make a very ornamental appearance.

This plant re-seeds itself readily. Every year I find 5-6 saplings in spring growing close to this tree. I have a small one growing ( and even flowering) that I didn’t uproot. It has grown to 2 ft already. It’s not in an ideal location,  I’ll check with a friend who wanted this plant.

More of the Peanut Butter Tree here –https://fenugreeklove.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/peanut-butter-tree/

Happy Gardening!

Harvest Monday: 9/24/2012 Summer Produce


Unbelievable summer weather continues, I know it’s all going to end when that one cloudy grey day arrives but till them I am enjoying every minute of it.

Here’s what weekly harvest looks like –

2 bunches of Chuka

Early girl and cherry tomatoes along with green/wax beans

Yellow/purple carrots, first zucchini and regular picking of beans and tomato


My attempt at Tomato-Basil-Mozzarella, not a most appetizing photo but it was indeed very tasty.


Harvest Summary for week
Green Sorrel – 2 bunches
Green/wax Beans – 26
Early Girl/Cherry Tomatoes – 15
Zucchini – 1
Colored Carrots – 4
basil –  big bunch

Harvest Monday: 9/13/2012 Summer seems endless

Here’s 3 week recap of the gardening and weather events:


1 – It has been BEST summer ever. Temperatures are staying within 65-75 range, not too hot, not too cold. Sun god has been shining brightly over Puget Sound. We have had second best stretch of rain free days of Seattle – 49 days with no rain. It’s been great. Someone wouldn’t call length of rain-free days as great but for us living with cloud cover, vit D deprived, tan less people of NWesterners – It’s great. Our kids are slowly learning that color of the sky is actually blue, not grey.

2 – Summer garden is producing well. Here’s what I harvested over last 3 weeks –

5 generous full bunches of Green Sorrel – no pictures. Used one to make curry, gave away rest.

 Clockwise:  Radish pods, wax beans, bunch of fenugreek and first tomato.

 Mix of Green beans (contender, Harvester) and wax beans


More wax beans, lettuce and single small tomato

Clockwise:  Green and Wax beans from bush plants, Tomatoes early girl and dried pea pod for next year’s planting.


Happy Gardening!!

Harvest Summery for the week:
Green Sorrel – 5 bunches
Wax Beans, Green beans – (57)
Fenugreek – 1 bunch
Radish pods – enough to make 1 curry serving
Tomato – 3
snack tomatoes – 4
Lettuce – 1 bunch

Harvest Monday: 8/27/2012 Summer veggies have started

It was busy week. Between long hours at work, summer camps for kids, a camping trip; I did not spend much time in garden. There were few bare spots, seeded them with dill , fenugreek and some chard seeds. New seeds did not get water for 2 days as we were out, I am not seeing any germination. It was sunny and dry so I hope seeds will eventually germinate…

Wax Beans,  2 dried peas (will use as seeds next year) and radish pods

Wax beans

Few friends were over and they picked 3 gallon bags of green Sorrel, no pictures.
Over the weekend, I picked Wax beans and radish pods. I made radish pods curry.

Harvest Summery for the week:
Green Sorrel – 3 bunches
Wax Beans – (19)
Radish pods – 45

Harvest Monday: 8/20/2012 Peas and Greens

We are enjoying 2 weeks of summer here in NW. Temperatures are moving to 80s for past several days and everyone’s loving the warmth of the bright sun.

Blueberries and Strawberries


On Monday, I picked very last of the strawberries. Everything in the patch is picked over, there are few left for the critters. Every year, last of the strawberries look smaller, more angular. I am thinking that few of the strawberry plants are of the wild or alpine types, which yield late smaller berries. No complains here, it’s always nice to get strawberry harvest extended over many weeks.

Along with strawberries, few of the plump blueberries were picked. Berries got used in shake the same week.

 

Dill Greens – Shepu


This Wednesday I picked lots of greens, dill greens and Methi. I made shepu bhaji (dill greens) with moong daal.

Fenugreek – Methi

Methi leaves were used in Methi Thepala. No pictures here.. I’ll remember to take some pictures of the prepared meals, what fun it’ll be to see harvests into use.


Alaska Peas and Radish 

Peas and radish were picked too along with the greens.

Vine Dried Peas (shall use as seeds next year) and Shelled Alaska Peas

On Saturday, came the big harvest of peas. I picked a basket full of peas. Took me an hour to shell the peas, my kids and husband took no time eating raw peas as I was shelling them. This above photo is what’s left of it. Few of the peas were dried by the time I picked them, I’ll re-plant these next year. Not sure if it’ll germinate. We’ll see…

Harvest Summary for this week: 
Strawberries, alpine/wild: 24
Blueberries: 34
Peas: 1 bowl full
Methi (Fenugreek): 2 bunches
Shepu (dill): 1 bunch


Happy Gardening!!

Harvest Monday: 8/6/2012

Green Sorrel and Dill greens

Green is slowly replacing Red from Harvest pictures, a good sign. This week we picked Chuka (Green Sorrel) , Shepu(young dill greens) and some Alaska Peas.

Here is a picture of Shepu and Sorrel before cutting.

A volunteer potato plant looked sickly and dying. I pulled it out, found small potatoes.

Harvest Summary for week:

Shepu (Dill Greens): 1 bunch
Chuka: (Green Sorrel): 1 bunch
Potatoes, Yukon Gold: 3 small
Peas, Alaska: 22

Huckleberries

Sweet and Tart, Huckleberries are darn tasty. It is August in Washington State and if you are a hiker like me then you know it’s that time!! It is time that wild berries start to plump up and ripen.
Huckleberries are abundant on ridges, slopes and along the hike trails. I am particularly finding Red Huckleberries in plenty.

Last weekend I hiked on weekends – Saturday took me to Talus loop on big Mount Si and Sunday to the usual Poo Poo Point on Tiger Mountain. Both hikes had plentiful berries along the paths. We feasted on the Red Huckleberries, it was so much fun. We had kids with us on the Poo Poo Point and it was amazing experience teaching kids about edible vs Non-edible berries, identifying Red Huckleberries. Kids and their parents had so much fun enjoying this sweet tart juicy berries. I can’t wait for it to ripen up more in my future hikes.


Out of curiosity, I looked up its botanical name. Vaccinium parvifolium.


Pardon my camera, here’s best picture of huckleberry plant. Look for plant with smallish round-oval leaves, no thorns and red berries. These will turn purple-blue when ripe. People/birds/bears scoop it up when red, I am yet to taste ripe blue-purple berry, I guess I have to go deep off hiking trail for this…

After feasting on multiple handfuls, this is what I brought home.


There are so many edible berries in our mountains of Pacific NW. I’ll take some pictures and write up more in coming weeks.


This is view of Eastside of Seattle, Lake Sammamish from atop Poo Poo Point. (and yes, this is Summer, in July here. Now you know all the complaining about weather)


More Pictures from Talus Loop on Big Mount Si.

Harvest Monday: 7/30/2012

July is bringing in lot of sunshine and warmth.  I picked last of the Strawberries of 2012. There are many more left, some of them have slug damage and some are perfectly good, I am leaving them for critters, bugs.  Blueberries are starting to come in, they should ripen over next 2 weeks.

On Tuesday, I picked few Strawberries, peas, pinched Basil and a single perfectly round Radish.



I picked few outer Basil leaves next day, these were promptly used in Tomato-Basil-Pepper jack grilled sandwich. I didn’t have Mozzarella at home, pepper jack worked just fine.

Thursday brought in last of the Strawberries and bowlful of Blueberries.



I made cabbage Salad for Friday potluck. Chives were picked, chopped and mixed with Cabbage/Ramen-Maggie/Vinegar/Sambal to make tangy Cabbage Salad.


Harvest Summary for week:
Strawberries: (91)
Blueberries: (94)
Peas: (28) Alaska Bush type, Ed Hume seeds. Planted April 7, harvested June 23
Basil: 2 pinches
Radish: (1) Cherry Belle, Ed Hume Seeds
Chives: 2 bunches

Harvest Monday:7/23/2012 More of the same, blueberries begin

Sun and blueberries has started making a big appearance. Berries are still big in production.

On Tuesday,  we picked strawberries raspberries and peas.

 

Thursday brought in more raspberries and peas.

 


I noticed few blueberries ripening last week, I waited for a 1-2 sunny days to make them fuller and sweet. Picked few along with usual strawberries. Birds are eyeing blueberries, I had to protect with a wire net sheet. hope it helps. While driving to work, I noticed a cool thing couple days back. Someone along lake Sammamish has a big vegetable patch facing the road. He has big Blueberry patch, saw that he hung a kite on a long pole. Cool breeze from the lake has the kite flying all time deterring birds, very cool indeed.


Harvest Summary for week
Strawberries:  (115)
Raspberries: (80)
Peas: (50) Alaska Bush type, Ed Hume seeds. Planted April 7, harvested June 23
Blueberries: (22)

Harvest Monday: 7/16/2012 berry week

Big space in my backyard is for berries. Side yard has big strawberry patch which is in full production mode right now.  Raspberry is crowding in the space by the fence.  It might seem like all I post is berry harvest but it’s been that way for past weeks and may continue for 1-2 more.

On Sunday, we picked strawberries and raspberries.  It was a huge harvest, photo above is what lest after snacking, sharing with visitor and neighbor.


Few more berries were ripe on Monday.

I had not picked peas for some time, pea vines are slowly drying. Even though I am growing shelling peas, I like to eat the whole pods for snack. I don’t wait till it all swells up, I am picking peas when they are smaller. Thankfully variety I am growing isn’t fibrous, I am able to eat whole thing.  Tuesday I picked basket full of peas and again strawberries.



I made Pasta Salad for potluck event on Friday; quick run to backyard gave me few young pea pods and chives. All went into Pasta Salad.



To round up the week, we picked raspberries and Strawberries. Of course, we are not able to consume all the berries.  Most of it is going into the freezer.

Raspberries: (194) unknown variety, plants shared by friend 3 years back
Strawberries: (147) 2 varieties, unknown
Blueberries: (12) 2 smaller plants
Peas: (72) Alaska Bush type, Ed Hume seeds. Planted April 7, harvested June 27
Chives:  1 bunch.

Happy Gardening!!

Harvest Monday: 7/9/2012 More Berries

Summer finally arrived in NW on July 4th, a good start to the summer. In our garden berries are making a huge appearances. We are picking berries almost every day.


We picked big bag full on Thursday – Strawberries and Raspberries. Raspberry plants need support? I never had heard of but outer few plants are heavy with fruits and are almost bending over and touching the ground. We got 3 small plants from a friend 2 years back, this is 3rd year berries are in production. Every year raspberries send out new plants, our gardener mistakenly hacked few plants by mistake earlier this year. We have 5-6 producing raspberry canes this year. Original 3 have died down after producing for 2 years.


Friday evening, picked few more strawberries – it was promptly used up Strawberry Shira. :)
This is a new recipe I tried this year. I added sliced and slightly pureed fresh strawberries to Rava (just like when I add Bananas). It cannot get any better – eating Strawberry dish with fruits picked an hour earlier.


First time this year, yes – first time for 2012, I watered plants and lawn. I hope warm weather stays. Today we picked lot more strawberries and raspberries. No picture though.


Raspberries: (73) unknown variety, plants shared by friend 3 years back
Strawberries: (66) 2 varieties, unknown

Harvest Monday: 7/2/2012 – Peas and Berries


Call it a fluke or call it a summer, SUN finally came out in Pacific Northwest. We welcomed its rare appearance here.   Sammamish farmers market was in full and crowded last Wednesday; fruits from Yakima Valley are rolling in – Cherries and Apricots along with early squash, peas, and cabbages. Tomatoes and warm weather fruits are yet to make an appearance. 2 days of preview summer was quick over and it turned overcast/rainy and cold again over the weekend. Hope 4thJuly makes official start to PW summer.

We went out to the garden and were able to pull peas, radishes and berries.

Peas: (52)  Alaska Bush type, Ed Hume seeds. Planted April 7, harvested June 27
Radishes: (2) French Breakfast, Ed Hume seeds, Planted May 13, harvested June 27
Raspberries: (54) unknown variety, plants shared by friend 3 years back
Strawberries: (34) 2 varieties, unknown

Linking this post to Daphne’s weekly showcase harvest :)

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June 2012 in Summary

Here are few garden notes for month of June: Overall June month in Seattle area was very gloomy.  Brilliant sunny April and May gave us some hope of better summer; June is making up for lost rain. So this gives good opportunity to transplant/ seed and not worrying about watering the garden. I haven’t watered my garden at all this year. I can see this as one benefit of living in this area.

Temperatures range for June in Sammamish:
Average High 65F  (Historical Avg High 70F)
Avergae Low  50F  (Historical Avg High 52F)
2.83 in Rain (Avg 1.57 in)

Okay, so we are running colder and soggier this June.


Seeds sown:

Spring Onion
Fenugreek
Broccoli (low germination)
Green Beans
Yellow wax beans
Dill
Carrots
Icicle Radish, Red Radish
Summer Squash
Parsley (did not germinate)
Watermelon (did not germinate)


Planting Out:

Winter Squash – Buttercup
Purple kohlrabi
beets
Brandywine Tomatos
Green Sorrel

Harvest Tally for June:
I am really lazy this year about tallying and weighing the harvest. I am enjoying more though. Before I was always paranoid about getting a photo of harvest before popping into the mouth, now that I have stopped worrying about harvest totals and yield, I am able to enjoy more.

But again, in June we harvested bunch of methi, bunch of sorrel(ambat chukka), few radishes, strawberries and raspberries.