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Gardening: 2016 (midyear)


ElainaA
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4 minutes ago, Bhukhhad said:

Tere

These are beautiful courgettes. I have only found dark green zuchhini, not these. They look so pretty. 

Maybe this winter I will plant a whole bunch of colorful gourds and squashes. 

What are those blue flowers? Asters? Are they edible? Very pretty. And the swiss chard has only red stems of do you have the rainbow chard variety? 

 

 

The courgettes came from a mystery freebie seed pack from the community garden, so I have no idea what they are, but I do agree they are very pretty. 

The blue flowers are cornflowers, and yes, they are edible, although those were just there to freshen up a vase. And yeah, I grow rainbow chard.

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8 minutes ago, Tere said:

The courgettes came from a mystery freebie seed pack from the community garden, so I have no idea what they are, but I do agree they are very pretty. 

 

Are both the small ones and the larger ones from the same plant or different plants?

 

The larger ones are clearly smooth-skinned so I would think they are cocozelle zucchini.

The small ones look like they might be ridged - are they? If the ridges are small and/or are only on the shoulders and flatten out as the zucchini gets bigger then they are also cocozelle.

 

There are zucchinis which are slightly ridged with essentially mostly "smooth" skin (more-or-less) with the mottling shown in your pictures which are also widely called cocozelle by the folks growing them.

 

There is a variety called costata romanesco with the same mottling pattern but which is prominently ridged and retains the ridging even in the largest zucchinis.

 

Both cocozelle and costata romanesco are amongst the best-tasting of the zucchinis/squashes with creamy flesh. Do you find this to be true for you?

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They are all from the same plant, yeah. I think the taste is pretty nice and definitely creamy is a good descriptor for the flesh. I am guilty of leaving them on the plant too long sometimes, really I should pick everything small to make the yield more manageable!

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@JoNorvelleWalker, when I was growing them, I just picked them sooner. There may be a variety out there that has a determinate-sized pod, that I don't know about. The whole purpose of the plant and the pod is to produce seeds to reproduce though, and they can only do that when they are allowed to grow beyond the size we like to eat them at.

 

The smaller the better, I think. I once found small okra pods, none of which were longer than 3"/7.62 cm that were offered alongside of another batch of larger okra pods in my Indian grocer. I chose the smaller, of course. They were some of the best I've ever eaten. I've been the victim of letting my garden ones get too big and woody. They love hot, dry weather, and grow at an unbelievable rate in these conditions.

 

Aren't the flowers gorgeous? They're related to cotton and hibiscus, and remind me of the flowers of both.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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I've been having a very busy summer and as a consequence haven't allocated as much time to the garden as I should have. Good thing it doesn't need a lot of maintenance this time of year but still needs some before I post any photos.

 

Got back from fishing (too bad we don't have a fishing thread) to find the following:

 

Tomatoes, habaneros, aji limos and a few jalapenos and Fish (All of the portugals and cherry bombs went into a ferment. The habs are going into a mash for a ferment later today).

 

Toms and Peppers.JPG

 

Lots of beans. I had someone do some picking while I was gone. Dilly beans?

 

Beans.JPG

 

I should have said something about the yard long beans as they weren't picked so a lot overgrew. Next year's seeds.

 

Overgrown yard long beans.JPG

 

Lots of cukes, kale, collards, chard and zucchini (including this seed bag). I'll have to get a lot of the kale and collards into the freezer.

 

Overgrown Cocozelle.JPG

 

I came home with about 60 lbs. of Chinook and Steelhead fillets. I'll be curing and smoking the 'tails' (fillet past the body cavity) and preserving produce so it should be a busy and productive few days.

 

Nice to see everyone else's progress but only have time to quickly skim through for now.

 

 

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I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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7 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

@JoNorvelleWalker, when I was growing them, I just picked them sooner. There may be a variety out there that has a determinate-sized pod, that I don't know about. The whole purpose of the plant and the pod is to produce seeds to reproduce though, and they can only do that when they are allowed to grow beyond the size we like to eat them at.

 

The smaller the better, I think. I once found small okra pods, none of which were longer than 3"/7.62 cm that were offered alongside of another batch of larger okra pods in my Indian grocer. I chose the smaller, of course. They were some of the best I've ever eaten. I've been the victim of letting my garden ones get too big and woody. They love hot, dry weather, and grow at an unbelievable rate in these conditions.

 

Aren't the flowers gorgeous? They're related to cotton and hibiscus, and remind me of the flowers of both.

 

I confess my question was tongue in cheek, and I was not expecting a serious response.  But yes the okra flowers are gorgeous, as are the moonflowers next to them.

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I am a negligent gardener: bung stuff into pots wherever I can, weed it irregularly, water it faithfully, and support our local farmers.  Nonetheless there's a bit of a payoff.  This leggy thing is actually two indeterminate cherry tomatoes sharing a whiskey-barrel pot with a giant sorrel plant, and the fruits are starting to ripen.  I had a pre-walk snack this morning.

 

20160824_093243-1024x1820.jpg

 

Can you see all the green tomatoes in the background? It's about time to start trimming blossoms, since summer is getting along.

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16 hours ago, Wayne said:

Got back from fishing (too bad we don't have a fishing thread)

 

What a great haul from your garden! Thanks for sharing it with us.

 

That is an absolutely wonderful idea too, about a fishing thread. I don't fish or have a boat anymore, but you could start one (hint, hint, hint). :D

 

I'd love to hear about fishing trips, and I'm sure there are others who would be interested here. We have some good contributions in the forum archives about fishing, shellfishing, and I even remember a great report by @johnnyd, who sadly doesn't participate much anymore, about harvesting sea urchins. They are scattered willy-nilly through the forums, and it would be great to start collecting them where they are easier to find. I even posted a link to a YouTube video about a local family's catfishing expedition to Bond Lake in Cary, when I found out our local fish monger gets his catfish from there right here in our neighborhood. If I were the one who started it, I'd try to make the title inclusive of seafoods and freshwater foods, so we can hear about all the interesting food members are taking from the waters.

 

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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@Thanks for the Crepes

Thanks!

I'll have to think about starting a fishing thread. I've only got one more in the works for late September early October and that's it for the season as I've never been a fan of ice fishing (three times as boring as sitting in a boat waiting for a hit while trolling).

There was a thread on curing fish and I intend on posting in the near future.

 

 

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I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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The tomatoes are coming in massively - I have canned 21 quarts so far and have enough to do another 7. Also 6 quarts of  imitation V8 juice in the freezer.  Tomorrow I plan on canning tomato chutney - and I'll pick more. 

I like to plant lots of different varieties  - I have 16 different types this year (Yeah, I do go a bit overboard - seed catalogs are very dangerous here in February. ^_^) So here is a sampler (slightly annotated) of what I have :

 

DSC01579.jpg 

Back row: Black from Tula (huge fruit but many are misshapen), German Johnson (a relative of Brandywine - all of mine have green shoulders that do no go away), Gallo de Summer, BHN 589 (a Johnny's Seeds variety chosen for blight resistance - large, nice flavored fruit.)

Middle row: Plum Regal (a plum also chosen for blight resistance. I have lots of green fruit but only a couple ripe yet), BHN 871 (another Johnny's variety - I love both the color and taste of these so they are a regular) , Polebig (a reliable middle sized tomato), Solar Flare (these are so pretty - quite large and prolific), Big New Dwarf (these are my container experiment - not terribly successful perhaps because it was so hot and dry that even daily watering was not enough. Fruits are quite large but almost all are misshapen as this one is0

Front row: Defiant (another very reliable, blight resistant plant) White cherry (nice flavor bur very few fruit), Chocolate Sprinkles (my new favorite - pretty and delicious), Sun Lemon (very prolific), Gardener's Delight (a large cherry type), Orange Paruche (nice flavor but very soft and split easily) and Jaune Flamee (small orange fruit - also very soft - it makes me wonder if that is characteristic of orange tomatoes?)

Some of these will definitely be back next year, some not. I love the mix of colors both in salads and in the canning jars. We have large bowls of multi-colored cherry tomaotes both for snacking and salads - and when we have eaten all we can and I have processed all i want to, bags go to Loaves and Fishes.

 

I go just as far overboard with lettuce varieties - maybe next early summer I will do a sampler of them.

Edited by ElainaA (log)
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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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A woman after my own heart. I will have more, and better, tomatoes next year. Already planning to order very, very early and start seedlings, as I have a very sunny window with a table in front of it....

 

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I don't know what it is about this year but our tomatoes are not as flavourful as usual and the skin is tough, even the little cherry tomatoes are nasty. 

 

I cut cut back significantly this year so most of the harvest is done save for green beans, cucs and winter squash.  Fine with me.

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@ElainaA

Nice tomatoes.

I've only grown the Jaune Flamee out of your varieties and would not do so again. I found them bland and went from unripe to overripe in a day.

I'm putting the Chocolate Sprinkles variety on my list. I'm a big fan of black tomatoes such as Black Cherry and Black Krim for their depth of flavour and the Sprinkles should do nicely.

We also keep a big bowl of tomatoes in the food prep area for snacking and, at least for me, inclusion in every meal.

 

 

Edited by Wayne (log)
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I was out picking early this morning and got tomatoes, bush beans, early beet greens, early watermelon radishes, herbs and hot peppers.

 

This has been an interesting gardening season so far. Earlier we had high temperatures and drought conditions and now we have high temperatures and some rain. The conditions have affected different things in different ways (such as 3 months! to get usable garlic chives) however the clear winner has been hot peppers.

 

I've got twenty plants comprised of Hot Portugal, Habanero, Cherry Bomb, Jalapeno, Aji Limo and Fish and they are prolific and HOT. This is the first time I've ever gotten ripe red Jalapenos. I've done ferments, made hot sauce, made Habanero jelly, eaten many fresh and still have piles in the refrigerator and many ripening in the garden. I know I'll end up freezing many whole to use over the winter.

 

I was given a 3 inch seedling of Aji Limo in the spring and the plant is 4 feet high and 5 feet wide with somewhere between 200-300 developing peppers on the plant. There are garlic chives and Thai basil at the bottom of the bed.

 

Aji Limo Plant.JPG

 

Aji Limo is a Capsicum chinense varietal as is the Habanero.

 

Aji Limo Blossom Head.JPG

 

Also due to the conditions this season I've been harvesting a lot of this by-product (what others call a weed). Sorry for the poor focus.

 

 

Purslane.JPG

 

Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) and I am unable to convince anyone that this is perfectly edible, tastes great and is a nutritional powerhouse. Anyone else eat and enjoy this?

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Wayne said:

 

I was out picking early this morning and got tomatoes, bush beans, early beet greens, early watermelon radishes, herbs and hot peppers.

 

 

Also due to the conditions this season I've been harvesting a lot of this by-product (what others call a weed). Sorry for the poor focus.

 

 

Purslane.JPG

 

Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) and I am unable to convince anyone that this is perfectly edible, tastes great and is a nutritional powerhouse. Anyone else eat and enjoy this?

 

 

 

I pull huge amounts of purslane out of my garden weekly. I know that it is edible but have not brought myself to try it.(I know - I'm thinking inside the box of acceptable food.^_^) I have read somewhere that the variety that grows upright is favored for eating rather than the variety that grows horizontally along the ground - which is what I have. If you need more, you are very welcome to come and help me weed  harvest my garden.

I have had a similar growing season here - very hot and dry through June and July, now some rain (though not really enough). Great for tomatoes (as long as I watered) since the endemic blights flourish in wet weather. My peppers did terribly however. The plants never seemed to take off so when they began producing peppers the plants were so short that the peppers all were against the ground and most rotted before they changed color. It was also a bad year for squash bugs and squash vine borers.>:( But I have the most beautiful fennel I have ever grown and huge onions ready to be pulled. Every  year is different - next year I expect tons of cucumbers and a horrible tomato crop to even things out.

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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Wayne, ElainaA, 

 

Purslane is edible. This horizpntal variety too. Just pull the individual leaves and add to salad. We call it 'loni bhaji' plobably because it has a gel like or cucumber like texture inside. But it does not ooze the gel. Sometimes it is mildly salty and sour. 

Most places I know will make a dry sabji out of it by sauteeing it. I will try to look for some recipes. 

Fennel! This year its growing like a jungle!! 

But its attracting honeybees as early at six am! I have been stung twice this season and dont want to go there when they are around. I know bees are good for the plants. But this is too scary. 

Well I did grow a LOT of fennel not realizing the jungle I was about to make. 

 

Bhukhhad

 

image.jpeg

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Wayne,

 

Can you tell me more about this 'weed'?

 

I believe I have some of it out of the cracks of my driveway and throughout some beds - being near you (Southern Ontario) it is quite possibly the same beast.

 

Curious as to your method of identification, whether you are aware of any 'dangerous' plants with similar attributes and how you enjoy them (and if you are aware of the health benefits I would love to hear more).

 

I have lately gotten into foraging and there is quite the variety (some amazing) that one can find in this region.

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Wayne said:

 

 

Also due to the conditions this season I've been harvesting a lot of this by-product (what others call a weed). Sorry for the poor focus.

Purslane.JPG

 

Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) and I am unable to convince anyone that this is perfectly edible, tastes great and is a nutritional powerhouse. Anyone else eat and enjoy this?

 

 

$ 6.50 a lb in some stores.

$0.00 a lb from my yard.

dcarch

 

Purslane , prime ribs.

purslane prime rib carrots 3.jpg

 

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@ElainaA Thanks for your kind offer however my neighbors would be more than happy to have me harvest their purslane :D

On a more serious note give it a try. Add the leaves as a component of a salad. They have a mild succulent texture and a citrusy flavour. I had the same thinking outside the 'acceptable food' box.

And yes the endemic blight in this area was non-existent this season however I still suffered from powdery mildew despite the drought conditions.

 

@Bhukhhad I have tried them sautéed with other greens such as beet and chard and they work very well.

 

@TicTac I use the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Publication No. 505 'Ontario Weeds' as my go to. There are also many U Tube Foraging sites that go into detailed identification (although it would take a lot of wishful thinking to substitute another plant for Purslane). It is quite distinct. Nutritionally it contains high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. Lots of info online.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Wayne (log)
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I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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I think this is a honeydew melon.  What ever it is, it's GOOD.  I only have one plant...and it gave it's all to this guy.  It's the only one that grew.  

 

Had to pick it before the raccoons sniffed it out and stole it.

 

photo 1.jpg

 

photo 2.jpg

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1 hour ago, Bhukhhad said:

 

Fennel! This year its growing like a jungle!! 

But its attracting honeybees as early at six am! I have been stung twice this season and dont want to go there when they are around. I know bees are good for the plants. But this is too scary. 

Well I did grow a LOT of fennel not realizing the jungle I was about to make. 

 

 

image.jpeg

 

Do you grow fennel mainly for it's seeds? It must be a different variety from what I grow, which primarily is for the bulbs and also for the fronds. Mine never seems to set seed - the fronds simply turn brown and dry up. These bulbs should have been harvested awhile ago - they are starting to bolt. (If anyone needs some bulb-type fennel, please just stop by.)

 

DSC01599.jpg

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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6 hours ago, Wayne said:

Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) and I am unable to convince anyone that this is perfectly edible, tastes great and is a nutritional powerhouse. Anyone else eat and enjoy this?

 

5 hours ago, Bhukhhad said:

Purslane is edible. This horizpntal variety too. Just pull the individual leaves and add to salad. We call it 'loni bhaji' plobably because it has a gel like or cucumber like texture inside. But it does not ooze the gel. Sometimes it is mildly salty and sour. 

Most places I know will make a dry sabji out of it by sauteeing it. I will try to look for some recipes. 

 

5 hours ago, dcarch said:

$ 6.50 a lb in some stores.

$0.00 a lb from my yard.

 

5 hours ago, Wayne said:

 

@ElainaA Thanks for your kind offer however my neighbors would be more than happy to have me harvest their purslane :D

On a more serious note give it a try. Add the leaves as a component of a salad. They have a mild succulent texture and a citrusy flavour. I had the same thinking outside the 'acceptable food' box.

And yes the endemic blight in this area was non-existent this season however I still suffered from powdery mildew despite the drought conditions.

 

@Bhukhhad I have tried them sautéed with other greens such as beet and chard and they work very well.

 

Sautéed purslane, in an Italianate manner, as a contorni, at Barbuto (Jonathan Waxman's place) in NYC years ago. It was both crunchy and succulent and, um, somewhat more than $0.00. I've eaten it on occasion elsewhere but have never cooked it myself.

 

Edited by huiray (log)
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