Urban Homesteading on a Small City Lot: Middle of June Already? Where Did the Spring Go?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Middle of June Already? Where Did the Spring Go?

My rhubarb is very young, only having been planted this spring, and having had to overcome ants and earwigs feeding on it, but it is doing so well that I went ahead and harvested two very large stems.  It was exactly enough to make my favorite dessert: strawberry rhubarb squares.  We served it up at one of our latest barbecues with my aunt and uncle along with some creamed peas and new potatoes.  I will post both of those family recipes on the recipe page as soon as I finish this post.

The strawberries I used for the strawberry rhubarb squares were also from the garden.  The recipe calls for 2 cups of each: sliced rhubarb and sliced strawberries. I know I won't have enough strawberries for jam, but I had plenty for this recipe from one day of picking.

My pears are doing well.  The tree looks healthy, and the pears are getting bigger and bigger every week.

The peas are almost done. If you have been reading my blog all along, you know that I planted two different plantings of peas two weeks apart to stagger the harvests.  I also planted three different types of peas in hopes to have different harvest times and make the pea harvest last longer.  Yeah. So.... That didn't work out for me at all. The warm weather lately has forced all the peas to ripen together.  I think that the weather around here can be counted on to do this to me every year.  I don't know why I even try.  Oh well.  The peas have been delicious.  Only one of the pea varieties I planted has edible pods.  My daughter really likes those.  There have been enough of those for her, and enough of the other shelling peas for me to make four dinners for us and to give a whole 2 cups to my grandparents whose peas are just flowering now. My peas are pretty much done now, though.  I will pull them out later today and put in some more tomato plants that are getting very tired of being in pots.

There are still a few new pea pods, but the weather is supposed to be in the nineties again tomorrow, so the peas are done.

The peppers, however, are really thriving in the hot weather.  They are starting to flower.

The carrots are starting to look like carrot plants.  I love carrots.

Molly's gourds are flowering.  I have never grown gourds before, so when these beautiful flowers opening I was very pleasantly surprised.

Here is another flower on another type of gourd.

The Hansel eggplant is making flower buds even though it is still very small.  It is having a bit of a challenge with aphids.

The potatoes are dealing with aphids and leaf hoppers.  You can see a leaf hopper feeding on this flower.

There are so many lady bugs and lady bug larvae around.

The fava beans are so huge.  I have to do some reading about what to do with these when they are ripe. I want to try making falafel.

My first round of cilantro has become coriander.  By that, I mean that it has gone to seed.

It is a good thing I have been planting more.

Here are the hens.  They are getting to be really grown up hens instead of chicks.  I let them out into a round pen mad of chicken wire when I am outside.  They love it.  They eat bugs and weeds and talk all about it. They can also fly now.  They have flown out of the round pen a few times, but they don't go far and because I don't leave them out there by themselves, it is easy to round them back up.

The zuccini plant is just about to flower with it's first fruit.  I haven't seen any male flowers yet, so I am not sure this fruit will be pollinated.  I could pick it right now and eat it as is.  Mmm, embrionic squash.  My husband loves zucchini.  He can't wait till we start  getting to eat it.

Also, since my last post, the broccoli heads developed and were harvested and eaten.  They were very tasty.  The secondary buds on the sides have also been harvested and eaten, except this one, which it appears that I missed.  Don't worry.  I won't let it go to waste.

Look at these little guys.  The brussel sprouts are starting to form.  I think they will really thrive once I pull out the peas which are shading them and encroaching on their space quite a bit.

I notice this little gourd this time when I walked through.  It is so fuzzy and cute.  If it is pollinated it will grow to be a pretty large gourd.

Over all, the garden is turning into quite a jungle.  I have been out there several times with the pruners to trim things back and keep them under control.  I have trimmed the onions, garlic and the tomatoes.  I have thinned out the kale and carrots.  I have been training the pumpkins and cucumbers to have a single vine in one direction, and I have been trying to keep the gourds under some semblance of control. There is also a bit of weeding to do, especially between the raised beds. I guess I better get to work.

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