THANKS to a spring that brought terrible, no good, very bad weather to New York’s Hudson Valley, my Kitchen Garden got off to a poor start. But now that summer heat has arrived (along with oppressive humidity), the crops are finally progressing. Would you like to meet the movers and shakers in this living supermarket? Join me on a little tour.
Because it’s a muggy afternoon, I think we should walk while sipping a cold drink.
The drink in question is a Lemon Drop “martini.” It contains vodka, triple sec, and freshly-squeezed lemon juice. And it’s absolutely delicious. If you’d like the recipe for this frosty fun, just drop me a line in the comments section below. It’s an easy cocktail to make.
This year is not like other years.
Don’t pretend you don’t name your zucchini after characters from “Bewitched.”
Are you enjoying your cocktail yet?
Another bed is devoted exclusively to potatoes. I’m growing these a little differently this year. This year, I placed a pine frame atop the existing, hemlock-framed raised red. The extra frame holds my “hilling” material in place. Hilling material — soil, straw, or shredded leaves — ensures the largest possible crop of new potatoes. Details here.
Creeping along in another bed is ‘Nutribud’ broccoli. I’d like to blame its slowness on the weather (not to mention a recent hail-storm that punctured the plants’ leaves). But in truth this heirloom variety often waits until mid-July to form its huge, delicious heads. ‘Nutribud’ is unusually high in free glutamine, a building block of protein and an important healing nutrient.
This summer, I subjected my indeterminate tomatoes to something called the “Florida weave.” As you can see, lengths of twine, attached to 7-foot wooden posts at each end of the bed, hold the vines in an upright position.
The method seems to be working.
Still, I have a confession to make.
I really, really, miss my Joan Crawford-approved tomato trellis.
Not sure when to harvest garlic? Read this post.
I recently harvested the garlic scapes, and turned them into this incredible dipping-sauce.
And here are the hardy kiwi vines that smother the arbor at the back of the Kitchen Garden. Shall we sit for a moment in the deep shade the vines afford? Honestly, it’s about 10 degrees cooler beneath the arbor.
And speaking of fruit…here are the ‘Blanca’ currants which grow against the garden’s wire-mesh fence. In another week or two, these pearls of green will turn translucent-white — a sign they are ready for harvest. The berries are sweet and juicy. I’ll probably use them to sweeten the Blueberry-Almond smoothie I wrote about last week.
Well. I hope you enjoyed this little tour, as well as your Lemon Drop martini. I certainly enjoyed your company.
Now, in the comments field below, mind letting me know how your own veggies are progressing?
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