Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Gardening in the Sahara

I have several late cabbage plants I water often.  On the right is a later planting of beets.  Cliff's sister has pickled and canned the two rows of beets I grew especially for her, and there are only a couple of beets left in the row I've been using from.  We have lots of pickled beets in the refrigerator.  I don't think Cliff would ever tire of eating them.  

  In the foreground are the two cucumber vines I planted.  I finally got the ten pounds of cukes needed to make the dill pickle recipe in my Ball Blue Book.  I started them today, and they have to sit in the brine for two to three weeks.  Behind the cucumbers, in the same row, are sweet potatoes. 

On the left is a row of green beans.  I've canned a few quarts off that and we've eaten a couple of messes.  In the next row, nearest to us, is a cantaloupe vine that came up volunteer.  Behind it is my one lonely eggplant, then peppers and tomatoes.  I'm sure you can tell that the next row is tomatoes also.  Now, I had a time with tomatoes this year.  I raised some plants in the house, and they did well.  However, whatever pesky bird it is that likes to eat leaves off tiny tomato plants pretty much wiped me out, although I did end up putting milk cartons around a few and they grew new leaves.  Then I bought various kinds of tomato plants to replace the ones that didn't make it.  At the beginning, I grouped each variety of tomato together so I would know which kind was which.  But with all the struggles and replacements, I have no idea what kind any individual plant is.  I can tell which ones are heirloom variety because they already have blight.  The newer hybrids are the only ones that work for me, since they are more blight-resistant
The few puny tomatoes I've harvested so far.

There are three zucchini plants, and they are already producing far more than I can use.  I only know one nutritious way to fix zucchini (except for ratatouille, which would require eggplant that isn't ready yet):  I stir-fry it, either alone or with onion.  I love zucchini bread and cake, but we don't need that.  I have been trying to find a healthful recipe I used to have for zucchini boats.  So far no luck.  Because these plants are at the far side of the garden and the onions near them are done growing, I don't run a soaker hose to them.  I simply carry water to them daily.  I keep expecting the squash bugs to show up, but so far, so good.  

Tomatoes in back, then what's left of the blighted potatoes, and on the right is my strawberry patch.  

It's been a rough year for me, garden-wise.  Even when it was still raining, only half the sets in one row of onions came up, and some that did come up were no bigger than a hen's egg.  Yesterday I diced them for the freezer and got a gallon freezer bag full.  I planted carrots three times and finally had perhaps a dozen seeds sprout and grow, in the last planting.  My corn came up spotty as usual.  Radishes did nothing.  Peas didn't make it.     

Oh well, hope springs eternal.  I'm still going to try for a fall garden.



Becky said...

You should try my zucchini pizza sticks recipe. You can use low fat cheese on top. I think I posted it on my FB wall the day Max and I made them. You can use any pizza toppings you like. Makes a great sub for the higher calorie version. Hubby likes to dice them up and add onions and a can of stewed tomato with various seasonings for a nice side dish.

Ms Martyr said...

Your garden is huge. I only had broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes and carrots. A moose came along the other night and ate all of the broccoli and cauliflower. It also ate all of my pansies. I see it attacked the neighbor's vegetables also. Must think it found an all you can eat buffet.

Margaret said...

Hard to grow things when it's so dry and you have to water all the time. Early June was rainy, but now it's been a long, dry stretch. (not super hot, but not enough rain to avoid the watering) I'm with Cliff--I can't get enough pickled beets. I also love cucumbers and zucchini.

Helen said...

I think your garden did good. It's been a bad year for all gardens.


It seems like a good garden. Don't be too hard on it. We eat our zucchini fresh off the vine like cucumbers without cooking it.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Gardens are always a lot of work and very rewarding. You may not have all you wanted but still got lots out of it too. I'd love to have one but can't do that any more.

Amy said...

...shame I'm not closer...I'd trade you all these tomatoes for zucchini!

Sister--Three said...

I enjoyed the walk through your garden patch!