TODAY, after a week of high heat, sauna-like humidity, violent thunder storms and blinding downpours, Nature has delivered to the Northeast a cool, crisp morning. The kind of morning, in fact, that invites a gardener to take photographs of his veggie plot. Will you walk with me through this Kitchen Garden? Though small, the plot provides me with a year’s supply of organic food:
The colorful mix of ‘State Fair’ zinnias that line the garden’s central path serve two purposes: first, they make a cheerful greeting for all who pass through the garden gate, and next, they attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. Without these pollinating insects, there would be no tomatoes, beans or other vegetables to harvest.
Sweet peas. These have all but succumbed to the summer heat. I’ll plant a fresh crop (for storage) in late August. Maybe you have found, as I have, that the climbing varieties are far more productive and easier to harvest than the bush-types.
Tomatoes. Indeterminate varieties (mostly heirloom) have done an admirable job climbing the tee-pee trellis I built for them.
Bell Peppers. What a disappointment this summer! No flowers, and hence no fruit. Perhaps they don’t enjoy the company of blue potatoes, with whom they share a bed.
Strawberries. Here, day-neutral ‘Seascape’ strawberries have started their second grand flush. I try to save some for storage, but its a losing battle around here. We raid the patch whenever company calls.
Kale. Purple curly-leaved-, Tuscan-, and Russian-varieties thrive despite drought, heat, and insufferable humidity. And that’s a good thing, because I rely on these three for my crispy, oven-baked snackers!
Broccoli ‘Green Goliath.’ The spring-sown crop is presently squeezing out a few last heads. I’ve already planted a fresh crop beneath them. Pick, pick, pick if you want them to produce over a long period.
Soy Beans ‘Sweet Pod.’ Because I might turn vegetarian one day, I’ve sown these for protein. They are incredibly slow plants, typically 85 days to harvest. I have them tucked between rows of red onions and radishes.
Cucumber ‘Burpee Hybrid.’ This one grows in my Herb Garden. Sliced cukes are a great no-carb substitute for traditional crackers. I like them topped with creamy Borsin cheese, and also tuna salad. Then there are pickles…
So tell me — what’s in your veggie garden? Are you harvesting already?
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