Letters to Gardening Friends, August 16, 2009

Dear Dee and Mary Ann and Gardening Friends Everywhere,

Hey, guess what finally came to my garden this week? I’ll give you a few hints. It’s hot and dry and makes you want to just sit in the shade thinking about gardening. Give up?

It’s summer!

Yes, finally, it’s hot like summer and the garden sure looks like it, though it is still producing.

This morning I picked all kinds of peppers, tomatoes, green beans, squash, eggplant, yellow wax beans, and what I think are the last two ears of sweet corn.

I was kind of surprised by all the beans. I thought for sure the first patch of green beans had stopped producing and I almost yanked them all out last week, but didn’t. Turns out that patch had a lot more “bean” in it. As you can see, it’s not a very pretty patch but I’ll forgive it that for all the beans it gave me.
I was also ready to yank out the squash plants, but turns out they weren’t done yet, either. I got three nice little squash from them this morning, picked at about the right size this time.

You’ll notice that “cucumbers” are missing from my harvest this week. I’ll confess I picked several of them, but they were way overgrown so I tossed them in the compost bin. I think not picking them earlier in the week angered the “cucumber gods” because there were no smaller cucumbers to be found in my patch. But I’m taking to heart the lesson from the bean patch and the squash vines and will leave the cucumber vines alone for now. I'm hoping I'll be forgiven and get a few more cucumbers out of those vines before the end of the season.

Speaking of vines, the tower of ‘Blue Lake’ pole beans pictured above finally produced some green beans. Last time I tried pole beans, they didn’t produce at all, but when I got those free seeds when we were in Chicago for Spring Fling, I decided to try them again. I’m sure glad I did as those are good beans; at least the ones I ate raw were good. I’m guessing once I cook them they will be even better.

Well, I need to wrap up this letter. I’ve decided to use some of those tomatoes and peppers to make some salsa. It will have both Jalapeno and Serrano peppers in it which should give it a nice kick. The recipe I have calls for ONE Serrano pepper, but I have dozens, so I’ll put in a little more than that. Don’t worry. I’ll be careful and wear rubber gloves while I’m cutting up the peppers!

Until next week…
Flowers and veggies for all,


P.S. Here’s a picture of my garden this week. I took it around noon which I know is about the worst time to take pictures in a garden.
You can see down in the corner there some sunflowers sprawled across the big boulder in the garden. I still haven’t done anything to clean up the sunflowers since the big storm knocked them down nearly two weeks ago. I think I’ll just leave them there because the bees are enjoying them, and this hot weather has made me lazy.

Have a great week!


Helen said…
Looks like a vision in lushness... for which we should probably thank all that rain. But isn't it crazy that it took till mid August for summer to arrive in 2009!
Nicole said…
Your veggie garden looks so gorgeous. I can only look in envy as the summer heat and storm season here makes any veggie gardening except herbs out of the question until October.
I am glad I read your post. Just today I was thinking of pulling some squash and cucumber vines out because they look like they are so dry and stringy. My garden is not the lush oasis of vegetables I had last year so I am a bit disappointed. After reading what you wrote, I think I will wait a few days and see if I am as lucky as you.
Sunita Mohan said…
Its veggie season here too in Mumbai. Not because its summer (that's the Death Season for veggies here, I think) but because its the monsoon season! Its so strange to read about bloggers at the other end of the world praising the gifts of summer when I'm just counting the days till summer goes away and its time for the glorious rainy season ! :)
Pam/Digging said…
Man, that is a lot of veggies that your incredible garden is producing. How can you possibly eat it all? Are you into canning, Carol?
James David said…
Its truly enjoyable to enjoy the harvest from your garden and to note that the vegetables are so yeilding to produce more to your blessed hand.

Truly you have a wonderful garden.
Darla said…
What a great harvest....your garden looks wonderful.
Have a glass of milk ready when you eat that salsa with the extra peppers in it. I wasn't aware there are cucumber gods. I'll try to remember to appease them if I every grow cucumbers.
nan said…
Just wanted to drop by and let you know the raised beds which we put in from your recommendation are doing great. We've had excellent results. Thanks a million!

Do you freeze your string beans or just eat them as you pick them?
Noon or not, it's still very beautiful. I just love that you have an urban veggie garden in your backyard. Hey that's the title of a book (the one which should be written by you). Hope your salsa isn't too hot, and I'm glad you finally got some beans. I got a few myself. Finally.~~Dee