Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Conner Family Farm

We're starting to get some veggies from the garden.  For all the squash we're getting, the patty pan are still MIA.  Maybe they take longer than the regular straight neck.  Not really sure.  But I do love some patty pan squash so I'm really looking forward to them maturing.

Some seriously huge zucchini squash.

A one day harvest. Check out the weird double squash things.

We may have underestimated how much this 3 sisters bed would grow up.  Trying to pick the squash in between all the corn plants in a daring endeavor involving desperately trying not to squash on the squash (get it?  haha) or fall over into the corn.  Somehow, I managed it.

The corn and sunflowers now peek over the fence.  Check out the red amaranth in front.

At the very left of the above picture, you can see a wire cage.  Growing up in that cage is malabar spinach. It's not a true spinach but it grows very well in hot, humid weather and the leaves taste like, and can be eaten just like spinach.
Malabar spinach next to the amaranth.
There are rows in here somewhere.  Really.

We kind of forgot to train the peas up the corn stalks once the peas started coming up.  They seem to have found the squash more appealing than the corn, but they're mostly just growing free-for-all all over the place.  They make nice trip wires when you're trying to get into the rows to pick squash.

The peas seem to be growing up the squash instead  of the corn.

I'm sure our neighbors think we're nutters or hippies or something.  We're about to have some sunflowers peeking out above our fence.  Hopefully, the HOA won't mind too much.

Yet another view.

D and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary yesterday.  When I got home on Sunday, this was waiting for me.  I fell in love with it at the local nursery a few weeks ago.  It's about 4 feet tall and looks so pretty in the sun.
My anniversary present.
Another surprise was the new bed D built for black eyed peas (cow peas) next to the potatoes.  Black eyed peas are very heat tolerant and will germinate and grow long after it gets too hot for most other bush and pole beans.  Considering it's been 103 F (39.5 C for you metric folks) past two days, we'll be growing lots of cow peas.  I planted two rows of 10 seeds each about 6" apart this morning.  In the North cow peas are seen as "poor people food."  I don't know what they're talking about.  Cow peas are delicious.

Black eyed pea bed D built for me this weekend.
The peppers are giving us lots of fruit.  However, these "tame" jalapenos are not quite as tame as the ones we grew last year.  I bit into one this weekend and got a real mouthful of surprise.

Pepper galore.
The zucchini squash plant this year has gone crazy this year.  I've never seen a zucchini get to big.  It's easily almost 4 ft tall.

Zucchini and cucumber.
The cucumbers are growing really well too.  They just now started putting on flowers.  We did get two fruit yesterday but our friendly neighborhood mouse had already taken several bites out of them.  We set out more snap traps but the ants have found the peanut butter bait more appealing than the mice have.

All this is just two cucumber plants.
This little mouse melon is supposed to be native to our area and grow very well. It's finally got runners about 6 inches long after nearly 2 months of growth.  We'll see what happens.
Go, little mouse melon, go!
The tomatoes are still barely alive.  I know I should probably rip them up but I just can't bring myself to do it.  So they're dying a slow, ugly death.

Tomato plant.  Sad as always.

D planted some musk melons a few weeks ago (did I tell you that, probably not).  They seem to be doing really, really well.  I planted some lambs quarters in the cinder blocks around them and they've sprouted but are too tiny to photograph.

The musk melons are doing quite nicely.
The strawberries are putting on another round of fruit.  However, we let the weeds run rampant.  They'll be this weekend's project.

Somewhere in all that bermuda grass are strawberries.
And, as you can probably tell, as the weeks go by, we keep planting even more.  We're going to be up to our eyeballs in squash in a few short weeks.  I'm hoping that our pressure canner will help us get all of this yummy stuff preserved.  

We're still trying to experiment with tomatoes.  I'm going to try and plant a second crop of tomatoes (just a plant or two) in pots after the worst of the summer heat passes.  

The nice thing about our long growing season is that it's actually two seasons.  We have one season that runs from about March - early July and a second that runs from mid-August - October or early November.  In between, everything pretty much stops growing.

If you bungle up the first planting, you've got another chance.  However, you are highly unlikely to get anything out of your garden from mid-July through mid to late August.

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