Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Summer Harvests Have Begun!

This June has been one of the rainiest I can remember, but the rains have finally let up and it seems like summer is now in full swing. The veggies in the garden are growing fast, and so are the weeds, which we're struggling to catch up with. We're also getting to harvest the first crops of the season. We pulled all of our spinach and got three bags worth to freeze. We have peas coming on, and we have bunches of kale to be picked. And today we harvested the garlic. All of our softneck garlic rotted out over the winter, but the Romanian Red hardnecks grew pretty well. For some reason, some of them grew large scapes, which we cut only two weeks ago and made pesto out of, and some of them did not. When we dug the heads up today, the ones which had had scapes turned out to be very small, with apparently only two or three cloves each. But most of them grew to a respectable size, and they're all hanging in the kitchen to cure. I can't wait to taste them!

We've been meaning to put up some photos of the garden, but we keep forgetting to take the camera. It's been great having our big 20' x 40' plot to grow in this year, but it's also difficult to find the time to tend it since we can't just walk out the back door to it when we have a few extra minutes. Since it's also difficult to grab a few leaves of kale or a few pea pods for dinner, it's making more sense for us to harvest as much as we can when we're there and then preserve it.

Our good friend Pragmatiste surprised us this weekend with the awesome gift of this classic book on preserving, which is a complete reference on everything you need to know to can, freeze, cure, dry, and cellar, with plenty of scientific rationale. Now we should have no trouble keeping all of our veggies delicious and nutritious!

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