Monday, August 16, 2010

A harvest day, anyway

Lots of bloggers participate in Harvest Monday, hosted by Daphne over at Daphne's Dandelions. I try. . . and this is a bit of it. It's less than I hoped, it turns out, because blogger ate some of my pictures and I'm too tired to go back and try to fix them. Maybe later.

As a chilly August follows a chilly July, the garden seems verdant. Loaded with fruits, the tomatoes and peppers bend under heavy potential, but I wonder if they're ever really going to ripen, or slowly wander towards autumn in lovely shades of green. The sunflowers (check out the monsters in back) are starting to bloom, but many are leaning perilously over. Note to self: sunflowers don't generally make good supports for pole beans. It's just too hit and miss. So that's what an overview in the gloaming light of Sunday looks like:


In fact, most of this harvest was Sunday's. I wandered outside after getting home from a day out with Denise and just had to grab the camera and do some picking and shooting. As I picked, I composed dinner in my head. Boiled small potatoes and cherry tomatoes:



Followed by those hidden beans with garlic. The chickens got a feast -- there was one pickling cucumber that was easily 7" long. I didn't even try, just broke it open and tossed it to the girls. I'd already visited them with treats and gotten the eggs, but it was only a small bushwhack past the beans and sunflowers again to deliver a monster.

The other bed of pole beans -- supported on poles because I'm one of those speedy learners, you know? -- reminded me strongly of kudzu. Maybe it was that I was already musing on Faulkner, given the way the light baptized the yard, or something, but I'm glad these are just beans.

On the other hand, I wish just beans were just easier to see. Even the yellow ones can be hard to trace. Mostly, I look into the bean patch and see this:


Just a jungle of bean "stuff." To be fair, I think this particular shot didn't have many/any beans in it, but it's a psychological reality for me. Someone needs to breed in a heat-destroyed fluorescent enzyme, so beans and cucumbers are easier to see.

It's fun to bring non-gardeners into my back yard, because I can usually count on some exclamation. Of course, no one is famous to their own family, and my kids tend to be pretty blase about what I do. I coax them to plant with me, or to harvest, but generally it doesn't move them. The two younger girls are pretty aware of their own garden beds, and try new things in them. Today, one young gardener was justifiably proud of her own sunflower accomplishment. I think these are Lemon Queen and Autumn Beauty:


Here's hoping it's harvests better than the weather deserves, all 'round.

14 comments:

Annie's Granny said...

You are me, when it comes to beans. I blame my bifocals, but I just cannot see those bush beans. I think that's why I'm actually enjoying Fortex. Besides actually being fun to pick, they taste delicious. Can't beat a combination like that! No sunflowers for me this year, but that's one thing that is growing in the garden behind us, besides his weeds, so I see their pretty faces nodding over my fence.

meemsnyc said...

Oh wow, those sunflowers are sooo tall! And lovely! I can't see pole beans either. Ours is like a jungle, some became super dried out because I couldn't see them to pick them.

Kristin said...

What a gorgeous girl holding a splendid bundle of color. I can only wonder what's going on in my yard and I so enjoy keeping in touch with yours. See you soon!

Erin said...

My beans look exactly that way! I had a good thing going in the spring and I thought "well, these were spaced closely and produced a lot... soooo..... I will plant them EVEN CLOSER in the late summer" LOL! There's a fine line, and I think I crossed it!

kitsapFG said...

Same problem with seeing beans here too. I decided to grow a purple podded bush bean this year and I must tell you they are much easier to see to pick! Still manage to miss them but not as bad as I do with regular "green" green beans.

The garden is beautiful in the late day sun.

michelle said...

Ah, the impenetrable bean jungle, at least that's one summer veggie that's not minding the cool weather. And the zukes, although mine are showing signs of PM already.

Your garden looks lovely. I think it's so neat that you have a birds eye view from your deck. It drives me crazy when people want to hide their "unsightly" vegetable gardens.

I thought maybe summer was going to show yesterday when I woke to sun instead of fog, but no, it didn't get much warmer and the fog is back this morning. Oh well....

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

The sunflower bouquet is gorgeous, she should be proud! We're willing our tomatoes along too. The weather is supposed to get a bit warmer, but I'll believe it when I see it. We did see some progress on the ripening front over the weekend, but the basil can't wait much longer for the tomatoes to catch up. As for the peppers? Well...we can only hope.

Mr. H. said...

I did not realize you were having such a cold summer, that must be rather unusual for your area? I love your idea on making beans and cucumbers easier to see...and those little green gherkins too.:)

chaiselongue said...

The sunflowers are fantastic and the rest of the garden looks good too... very green, but perhaps that's because of the cool weather. I can never grow beans well - it seems to be too hot for them here, although other gardeners manage it. I'm puzzled by your cool summer, though. I thought you were in California?

Engineeredgarden said...

Beautiful sunflowers! I try my best to participate on Harvest Mondays, but it's a challenge most times to do so on time. Your garden looks great!

Stefaneener said...

AG, it's not the bifocals, it's evil beans. I planted many purple and yellow beans, just to up the odds of actually, you know, seeing them. Someone else's sunflowers seem like a great idea.

meemsnyc, they are huge. I keep waiting for the squirrels to discover them, but not so far. I may move to dried beans just for laziness and ease.

Kristin, you know she's the prettiest flower in the garden! I know what it feels like to miss a yard -- hurry home.

Erin, I'm often in that camp. And then I feel silly. You'd think with that much room, I'd be more easy about spacing, but old habits die hard.

kitsapFG, I think seeing might be behind the popularity of the purple beans!

Michelle, I find vegetable gardens so very pretty -- have you read the book The Art of the Kitchen Garden? Mine is nowhere near that, but I like it just the same. Not to say there aren't plenty of edges I'd change, but it's a work in progress. We're getting 4 good hours of sun every single day, and still no red. I can't even imagine what it would be like out on your edge!

CVS, I can't decide if it would be better or worse if they weren't so loaded with fruit! Do you think we're going to have a regular September? I wonder. . .

Mr. H., you're right about the cukes. I'm missing them also. Less crowding next year, definitely. We are having months longer of what we call "June Gloom," morning fog that clears in the afternoon. It's just staying well into August. Not much swimming, etc. Just cool, lovely weather. But not so good for the solanacea.

Chaiselongue, I was under the impression that beans loved hot weather. I can't grow lima beans because it's too cool here. Favas, well, they like the cool. . . it is overwhelmingly green here. Green, green, green.

EG, thanks. I'm barely keeping up on anything. Blogging is a goal, and commenting, but life gets in the way.

Daphne said...

Your garden looks beautiful. My garden is starting to look a bit scraggly. The tomatoes are getting yellow and the squash has powdery mildew. At least the basil and marigolds are still looking beautiful.

Jackie said...

I'm with you on the beans being hard to see. That's why I've been testing out colored beans like purple podded pole (good ones) and rattlesnake (green/purple speckled - great!).

thyme2garden said...

That's awesome that you can see your garden from the top like that! Your sunflowers are indeed lovely, but your daughter much more so!