Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Garden

So we're in the red finally. We've got ripe tomatoes. We've had to pull most of the zucchini (except a few "8 Ball" variety which I think are not really zucchinis but look like little round ones--and I did actually find a few squash bugs on those so I'm sure their days are numbered) and all of the cucumbers (how sad is that?!).

The star of the season has definitely been the swiss chard and kale bed this year. Beautiful. So beautiful. I pick a bunch once or twice a week to steam and blend for Abigail (the poor girl--I mean the lucky girl, obviously--gets it added to everything from her morning oatmeal to her PBJ sandwiches). And then sometimes I saute some for supper. Tonight we had sauteed chard with our split peas and sausage and rice, and it just made the meal. Even Abigail wolfed it down, and she is way pickier than the boys ever were.

Red beets are some of my new favorite vegetables (up from the bottom of my list) because I found an awesome way to prepare them. I don't know if I mentioned this on my blog before, but Mollie Katzen's book was a gift from my aunt and I cannot tell you how amazing her recipe for "Complete Beets" is. She has you boil the bottoms and then toss them (cut up in segments) in with the sauteed greens. They are amazing. I had grown a few in early summer, but I was sad I didn't have more planted once I tasted it. In honor of that recipe, I planted a whole slew of red beets for my fall garden. Complete beets, here we come!

The next exciting feature of my garden will be the red raspberries. I know I mentioned my black raspberries, I was totally enamored with those in July. But I have to say, I may be just as excited in a few months to be eating the red ones. I almost pulled out the red raspberry plant I had when I got my black ones. I was afraid that I'd end up having them cross-pollinate, and my black ones were my priority. But I didn't get any blooms last year on the red when the black were in bloom, so I let the plant stay. The trick this year (since the canes were bigger and healthier) was to make sure I pinched off the few flowers it got earlier in the summer. That way I could avoid the cross-pollinating and also guarantee a better fall crop of raspberries. I got a few the last couple of days, but it looks like late September we should really get some. I will be sure to include pictures. Micah said today that the red ones are even better than the black ones. But I think the fruit just coming into season always seems like the sweetest fruit. That's my favorite part about seasonal eating.

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