Spring harvest, summer planting

Sometimes it’s fun to reap what you sow. After expending much time, energy, and love preparing the garden, I’ve started to cash in on some hefty bundles of produce.

Red Russian Kale (3.18 lb)
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Bok choy (3.49 lb)
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Hello, kale chips and stir frys!

The garden has mostly been taking care of itself, yet I haven’t stopped singing for my supper. I recently spent a good day weeding, reapplying mulch, and transplanting all my summer starts into the ground. Keeping the weeds under control has been as challenging as slaying the Hydra…until I found this:

This man speaks the truth. For one thing, the Garden Weasel cultivator is indeed a piece of junk (I used to have one, can’t say it lived up to its expectations, unless that expectation was for it to break). But more importantly, the claims made about the stirrup hoe are, thankfully, the real deal. I bought one this past weekend and…well, let’s just say, for the sake of analogy, this thing performed the labor as if it were Hercules.

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Bok choy harvest

Five of the Bok choy plants were teeming with leaves bigger than my hand, so it was picking time. Rather than harvesting the entire plant, I cut out just the outer leaves in order to obtain a longer lasting supply (slightly similar to what this video demonstrates).

This first harvest totaled 1.48 lbs of Bok choy leaves (a digital fish scale was conveniently lying around the house for use as a produce scale).

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My experience cooking with Bok choy is limited to using it in soups, so I simply steamed the leaves and served them with a stir fry dish. Here’s to the beginning of eating fresh and healthy again!

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Absence makes the plants grow greener

I had to take a hiatus from gardening due to travel and, I must admit, sheer heartache from seeing some of my plants undergo transplant shock. Turns out this break did us all some good (it also helped that the community garden has automatic sprinklers, which allowed me to leave the garden unattended). The leafy green plants that appeared to be suffering without protection had bounced back.

Bok choy and Speckled Lettuce
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Another view of the bok choy
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Russian Red Kale
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Other crops that appeared unresponsive to any previous TLC have flourished.

Early Snowball Cauliflower
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Mammoth Red Rock Cabbage
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Some root crops look ready for harvest.

Radishes
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I should thin out the greens of these Detroit Dark Red Beets soon.
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And finally, my peppers, eggplants, and large tomatoes have sprouted. This required coaxing via the combined warmth and humidity from both the heating mat and grow lights. I sowed the rest of the summer seeds: beans, corn, cucumbers, melons, and squash. I heard from some fellow gardeners that peas can still be started at this time, so I figured I’d give these another go.