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Enjoying the Fruits of the Labor

June 25, 2011

As the harvests increase, I wish I had some way to track the amount of food we are growing. I was thinking that in the future it would be interesting to weigh the harvests. I’ve seen some websites give farm or garden production statistics in pounds per acre. Though I don’t know exact numbers, I’m happy with the yield so far.

On Wednesday, we picked our first beans. They were crisp and delicious. Though they are purple, they don’t taste different from other green beans. I’ve heard that when cooked they turn green, but we haven’t tried that.

Royalty Purple Pod Beans

We harvested two cucumbers today. Cucumbers are the largest fruit we are growing. It is incredible that a plant in such a small space (a 5-6 gallon pot) can produce a fruit so large and so quickly. One of the cucumbers we picked today was featured in my post from 6/18 when it was no more than 2 inches long. When we picked it today it was a bit over 7 inches.

Our First Two Cucumbers!

I spent Thursday in the Philly area visiting my parents. In addition to a cucumber of their own, they had two large zucchini. My mom and I visited Longwood Gardens which has a beautiful vegetable garden (in addition to many other beautiful gardens, forest, and meadows). The cabbages were particularly impressive.

Zucchini and cucumber from my parents’ garden.

Cabbage at Longwood Gardens

A decent amount of my meals in the last few days have featured at least one homegrown ingredient. The list includes: salad with homegrown lettuce and sprouts, homegrown kale salad, homegrown zucchini soup, hummus wrap with homegrown cucumbers, lettuce, and sprouts. We also just made another big batch of pesto.

Zucchini Soup with Cajun Shrimp

Weekly Basil Harvest

Hummus Wrap

We’re using pretty close to the maximum amount of space that will still allow us to get to the grill. We still have space for two people to sit at the table, but any more than two would require standing room only. This morning I pulled down the pea vines, most of which had already dried up. This gives the other plants access to some more sunlight. We’re planning to plant more peas for a fall harvest so this container will probably be left open for a few weeks. Each time a new container opens up, I debate whether to throw out the “used” soil, keep it all, or mix some new into the old.  I worry that with so many roots in the soil, it would be hard for new plants to grow. However, it seems like a waste to throw out the soil. Does anyone have advice about this? I did plant a new round of mesclun in “used” soil on Monday so I’ll have to watch those plants closely to see how they do.

Here are some shots of the garden:

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