OK, I am back online! While we were attending to personal commitments, our garden and the farm in general did not stop, not one bit 🙂 Here’s a look at the colors that are so abundant in the summer here on the North Coast…
Chard and Kale! Amen for these growing in abundance just after the spinach bolted, so we can keep the greens in our diet straight from the garden. After a few toasty days, we are back to our upper 60’s/low 70s that is typical here on the coast so I’m also experimenting with sowing more lettuces to see if they’ll come up, as well as preparing in a few weeks to sow collard green seeds so we have some winter greens to look forward to!
And of course the zucchini has just started to take off, and with that, I have strayed over the years from traditional zucchini bread to this Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Bread recipe that I’m sharing here. After 46 years on this planet, I just got sick of the traditional! But bread is the least of the things we like to do with zucchini, as we have a spiralizer that really comes in handy at this time each year. While I’m not a fan of “one-use” tools, this one became the sole exception when I started making a chicken pad thai of sorts, subbing zucchini noodles and with a killer peanut sauce. Along with that, bread ‘n’ butter pickles will most likely be made from zukes this year as our cuke plants don’t seem to want to grow to their normal crazy size, argh….
Alliums are nuts! In the garden, the Walla Walla Sweets, Candy and Redwing onions are getting fist-sized, and I’ve harvested all of our garlic and shallots, both which will be done curing next week, to be stored in mesh bags in our garage for the most part (I am going to be trying my hand at canning garlic this year, however, as I’m a big fan of having the minced stuff along with the fresh stuff on hand). We were thrilled with the shallots, I must say, as I’ve never grown them successfully before, so while I only grew 10-12, it was still pretty rad 🙂
Our flowers are definitely loving life right now as well. Clockwise from top left: Black Eyed Susans, Gladiolas, Sunflowers, ‘Caroline Testout’ Rose, Cardoons (technically a veggie but like artichokes, we let them go to flower for the bees that adore them)
Raised beds are thriving, with tomatoes, tomatillos and green beans doing well, and DANG! Is that a big arse pumpkin or what? Best part is that it’s a volunteer from some co-op compost we added to the beds last fall, and that it’s in the bed where our garlic was just harvested (great timing – and will do this deliberately next year!). Our scarlet runner beans more than climbing up a DIY trellis I hung on the side of the barn, and even though I doubled the number this year, I still could quadruple it again and not have enough dried beans (note to self!). Behind the barn, my husband’s hops have more than reached the roofline (these get full sun in the afternoons, took this this AM) so he’s going to borrow a coworker’s beer brewing kit and see if he can make something this fall as a rookie tackling this bucket list item of his…woo hoo!
And in the animal world, Lucky is getting older and sleeping even more than she did before, commandeering anything soft left on the sofa 🙂 Ducks are swimming daily now that it’s toasty warm (well, for the coast), and the bees are thriving. One hive is definitely healthier than the other but this year we’ve decided to leave them a majority of the honey and just take a pint from the bigger hive for ourselves, so they can hopefully get stronger and make it to 2021, unlike the last two. We’re using thymol to treat for mites, along with powdered sugar dusting, so hopefully that will be the solution to their woes, with CCD being in the back of our minds. Also, we have a new rooster growing up next door who will be joining us next month! Our neighbor, in exchange for letting us raise her meat chicks in our brooder in the barn, is letting us have one of the boys so we can try our hand at making our very own meat chicks next year. I forget what breed his papa is but his mom is definitely a Delaware, which is good since two of our four chooks are Delawares (not pictured). I’m thinking of calling him Randy, it just came to me when I looked at him the other day…
Last but not least, while this isn’t the garden, we have been busy on the place we sleep in next to the garden! Our little farmhouse is in Super Mega Ugly Mode, as we do all the DIY for the next stage of siding replacement – pulling off aging, cracked, painted-when-it-shouldn’t-have-been, icky old cedar shingles. There is nothing worse than this I’ve decided. Looks easy but the literally thousands of spiders that emerge as you wrench each bit of ancient shingle out is like something out of Indiana Jones (“I hate snakes“). But in order to save thousands on the project, we do this ourselves. Amen for sunshine and dry weather…this will look so rad by fall!