Over the past couple of days I have noticed some of the green beans getting pretty big in the garden. This morning I picked a couple of handfuls of beans and two pretty red tomatoes. Tomorrow night I believe we will be having green beans, tomatoes with basil and a cucumber for dinner!
After picking a few of the straight eight cucumbers this summer I have realized mine are not going to resemble either of those descriptions. A straight eight cucumber is supposed to be long and straight, about 7-8 inches. The first fruit was really fat and short, and while I waited on it to grow, it turned yellow and became compost food. This time I picked it when it looked about right, just not straight or eight. Here is the picture I got of it. On the right side you can see it oozing from the fresh cut. Click on the image below to see the hi-res version on my website.
Based on some articles online this shape is due to a lack of bees getting their pollinating on. I have definitely noticed a lack of bees this year for some reason or another.
Over the past couple of weeks I have added some growing structures for the tomatoes, squash & cucumbers.
I have harvested lots of strawberries, but for most of them a slug has been getting to them first. I added some natural wood charcoal ash around the raised beds as well as epson salt around the plants which will hopefully take care of the slugs.
I added some stakes to the pole beans, cucumbers & tomatoes and all seem to be shooting up as a result. The blueberries are starting to get their color which has the kids really excited, hopefully they will be ready to go soon.
At Matthews Farm, 2016 will be the year that I defeat the squirrels and chipmunks. Each year my garden has grown bigger and bigger, and each year more critters come out to enjoy the harvests the night before I come out to pick the fruits of my labor.
This offseason I decided to build real cages around each raised bed, and my strawberry & carrot bed has a hinged top as well. The other bed cages will be organic, as in they will grow with the crops as needed. I plan to build trellis’s for the tomatoes, cucumbers & squash, and keeping those caged in will be an ongoing process.
Below are lots of pictures of the evolution of the garden, the planted crops, and some early seed bloomers (pole beans) that will grow in a bamboo teepee. I am also quite proud of the set of sawhorses that I built thanks to direction from familyhandyman.com.
I’m looking forward to a summer full of fruits and veggies from the back yard!
As we have been fighting off the squirrels and chipmunks from the tomatoes in the back yard garden, our cantaloupe have been quietly getting sweeter. Today I was walking “Farm Matthews” and spotted a cantaloupe that had made the turn and turned slightly yellow. Based on advice from YouTube I pushed on the stem and it popped right off. It smells sweet and is barely soft to the touch, so we will wait until morning and call it breakfast!