Tag Archives: Peas

Wordless Wednesday: Spring Peas

 

Image copyright © 2012 Danielle R Limoge.

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Wordless Wednesday: Spring Growth Edition

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.

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And So It Begins

Yes, I know it’s mid-March and technically still winter, but seriously, how could I resist?  The sun was shining, flowers are blooming, and temps are rising (albeit a bit too fast for my liking).  The past 5 weeks have been a whirlwind of activity, none of which have included food-growing activities.  I’ve yet to order this year’s seeds, my growing shelves remain empty, and the lights are still unplugged.  I’m embracing this life change, but still I find it to be a bit unsettling.  Not quite as much as the absence of winter, but unsettling none the less.

Tonight I was reunited with the feeling of freshly worked earth moving between my fingers.  The sensation was intoxicating.  As I sit here typing I’m drunk off of dirt.  It’s a glorious feeling.

Typically, peas are sown on Paddy’s day, at least where I come from.  This year I jumped the gun.  Planting anything right now is a gamble; in Pennsylvania, it’s not unheard of to experience a severe snow storm late March through mid-April.  Despite this year’s unseasonably warm winter, I’m banking on it being over… said the optimistic food-grower.

So, tonight I threw caution to the wind and planted two rows of peas and half a row of spinach.  Should I lose them it’s okay, kind of.  I will only be set back in time, which is now more precious than currency.  My (most likely cross-pollinated) golden peas were saved from last year’s harvest, and the spinach seeds are from 2010.

This week’s goal is to get my brassicas and leeks under lights and order my remaining seeds.  We’ll see how that goes! 🙂

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.

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A Day of Firsts

First sunflower opened.

First black swallowtail caterpillar.

First summer harvest.

Today was a good day indeed.

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Garden Growth: Mid June

I’m having a hard time accepting the reality that summer is just a few short days away!  Um, pardon me, Father Time?  Would you mind slowing things down just a bit?  You see, I’d like to savor these last few days of Spring because once Summer rolls in my mind automatically jumps ahead to begin preparations for Fall.   And with these thoughts of Fall I’m painfully reminded that winter is right around the corner.  See, it’s not even Summer and already I’m thinking of Winter!  UGH!  Sometimes I really hate the way my brain works!

But enough about the neurotic workings of my cerebral cortex, lets focus on the task at hand: bringing you up to speed on the progress of this year’s garden(s)!  Last night I spent another 2 hours mulching the garden.  No, I’m still not done with that project.  But in my defense I’ve got a lot of ground to cover!  I’d say about 90% is done, I still have some planting to do and it is senseless to cover an area that I am just going to have to reopen for seeds.  Plus, I tend to get lost in thought; several times I caught myself standing there contemplating crop rotation, succession plantings, and trellis placement.  Forethought is essential to maximizing crop yields and pest prevention, especially when you grow organically!  Or at least that is my excuse for perpetual garden daydreaming! 🙂

You may want to stand back, for I shall now open the photo floodgate!

 Excuse my weeds, I have yet to properly mulch this end since I will be ripping out the peas and trellises over the next few days.  My sugar snaps are working on their grand finale, and after one more thorough sweep through the golden sweet peas I’ll pull them.

Towards the back you can see the golden sweet peas leaning into the bush peas.  After my third horizontal garden incident I gave up.  If it were earlier in the season I would have fixed it (again), but since I’m pulling them in a few days why bother.  The bush peas are still producing but I’m not sure for how much longer.  This was my first year growing this variety and honestly I’m just not all that impressed.  Don’t get me wrong, they are yummy, but I think I prefer both the look and taste of trellised sugar snaps.

Next to the bush peas are two mini rows of carrots, behind that are a few heads of flame lettuce, other wise referred to as “clown head”.  🙂  Then there are the brassicas.  So far I’ve harvested about 5 smallish crowns from the green sprouting broccoli.  The violetto cauliflower and romanesco broccoli have done nothing, and I’m assuming they probably won’t due to the rapid increase in temperature we experienced a few weeks back.  Brassicas hate the heat and it went from April to July during the end of May beginning of June.

After I harvest the crown I pull the plants.  If it were earlier in the season or Fall I’d keep them for the small offshoots, but I need the space since most of my cucurbits will be transplanted here.

You can see on the left side of the picture where I’ve begun pulling plants.  The dark areas were mulched last night.  Those four green spots towards the middle are celery and behind that are a few short rows of beets and carrots.  Next are Brussels sprouts, again not too hopeful on a harvest, and behind that is Swiss chard.  Then starts the tomatoes!

This is the same picture as above just taken from the other side.  One the left is the Swiss chard, the open patch is four rows of newly sown french breakfast radish seeds; I’m planning on pickling them.  Next are Detroit dark red beets; I started harvesting those and the cylinder beets (hidden in the pea rows) last Wednesday.  My mom and niece had stopped by that evening so I showed Cecelia how to pull beets and then sent a bunch home with my mom.

My first beet harvest of the season.

L-R Cream Sausage (the first to mature, I’ve harvested 4 so far) then it’s Amish paste, hillbilly, Cherokee purple and finally green zebra.  I’m hoping to have staggered them enough so that they are don’t mature at once, but I doubt it!

Hillbilly tomatoes

On the left are purple tomatillos, then ground/husk cherries (my first year growing both).  I’m planning on starting more ground cherries later today.  I knew they were small but had no idea they were tiny!  I’d like to can some and with just two plants I don’t think they will produce enough…especially since the ones that have ripened never make it out of the garden! hehehe  After the cherries is a row of red swan beans and beets (too small to see).

Purple Tomatillo

Red Swan Beans

I’ve decided to try things a little differently this year in hopes to not have everything ready for harvest/canning all at once.  Next week I will be calculating harvest dates and putting in my “canning” beans, carrots and beets.  Hopefully by the time they reach maturity I will have the bulk of my tomatoes canned, sauced and salsafied!

You can barely see them but at the bottom center are my Boston pickling cucumbers .  I’m hoping I got them into the ground late enough so I don’t have another attack of bacterial wilt like last year!  What a mess that turned out to be!!

Malbar spinach, although technically it’s not spinach, it is a tropical perennial that tastes just like spinach.  It is part of my edible landscaping, which will vine up the arbor next to my roses.

Chinese five color peppers.  Another new variety I’m growing this year.  I have a bed of peppers and eggplants but this is the only one doing anything worth photographing!

My front side yard where I ripped out the ivy to create more growing space.  I have two rows of onions, cipollini and red, alongside my Russian red and scotch blue curled kale.  Towards the back are patty pan squash.

I have more squash varieties and onions in another bed but the onions have not broken ground so I didn’t take any pictures.  I also have basil, parsley, rosemary, oregano, cilantro and a few others scattered about the property.  I ended up running out of light so I’ll have to photograph them later.  However, I think this post is more than enough to tide you over till my next garden growth post! 🙂

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Wordless Wednesday – Golden Sweet Peas

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Wordless Wednesday – Inoculating Peas

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge.

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Dirt Therapy

You how sometimes you just need it, and by need it I mean NEED IT! That undeniable feeling is especially strong for me after a long cold Winter, and Sunday I got my fill in the form of six glorious hours of uninterrupted dirt therapy! Several times throughout the day I caught myself smiling. I was saturated in bliss, completely content. I wasn’t hungry or tired or sick; I was satisfied in mind, body and especially soul! You want to know the best part? It’s just the beginning!

The garden before anything went down. (that is old potting soil in the middle, not poop!)

I was delighted to see one of my Swiss Chard plants had overwintered, safely hidden underneath some dead leaves.

Overwintered broccoli, not sure if it Romanesco or Green Sprouting…guess I’ll find out soon enough!

Beautiful tilled Earth. I just wanted to roll around in it; I refrained seeing as how my neighbors think I’m weird enough as it is!

My garden is FULL of worms; I couldn’t resist sitting down and “playing” with a few!

My salad garden bed, something new this year.  What was an area of “wasted” space containing ground cover and an old dead tree-like stump, now holds several varieties of  lettuce, bok choy, and as of yesterday a tee-pee of  golden sweet peas.

Bok Choy

Tom Thumb – quite possibly the cutest lettuce ever!

Lettuce Mix

Alaska Bush Peas – planted with seeds saved from last year’s harvest.

 

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Hook ‘Em While They’re Young

Today I spent the afternoon with my niece. Grammy took us out for lunch, then we went to the park and spent several hours climbing around the wooden castle playground. (I forgot my camera. DOH!) I was painfully reminded how nauseating the merry-go-round is after the age of 10! We then headed back to my house for a bit of post play garden-grazing.

Earlier in the week I had a conversation with my niece about my garden and what was still growing. I told her that if she wanted to we could eat some peas in the garden. Well, she was more than excited over the idea and reminded me today of our plans.

Cecelia is a fruit and veggie lover! I’ve never met another three-year old who passes up the dessert table at a party for a banana or cup of fresh summer fruit. Seriously, I could not be more proud! She is so going to spend her summers with me in the garden!

Yum Aunt Dee-Dee, your peas are good!
Inspecting my french breakfast and black radishes.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2010 Danielle R Limoge.

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Wordless Wednesday – Harvest

Images and content copyright © 2009-2010 Danielle R Limoge.

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