Our garden is in full swing now, and I’m loving being able to go out the back door and harvest all sorts of fresh goodness. Here’s a picture of an average harvest, which I usually do twice a day:
Not shown in this picture are yellow summer squash and turnips, both of which we’re harvesting every day now too. That pic includes a beet and beet greens, mint, mustard greens, lots of chard, and a zucchini. We also harvest romaine lettuce, kale, and parsley every day. Tomatoes, peppers and carrots will be coming soon, but they’re not ready yet.
Our fruit has started to produce a bit this year too, which is very exciting. We harvested a few cups of cherries from our trees earlier this month. Unfortunately, the birds got to them before we remembered to put the netting on the trees – we would have had a lot more if the netting had been in place one day earlier! Our blueberry bush has also been producing this year, and the berries are fantastic. Our apple trees are covered in ping-pong ball-sized fruit, although the peach and apricot trees didn’t make any fruit this year.
With 27 raised beds, most of which are at least 48 square feet, the garden maintenance can feel a bit overwhelming at times. But I spent several hours over the last few weeks weeding all the beds, and I’m staying on top of it now by going out every day and pulling 100 weeds. We put down straw in some of the beds this year as mulch, and although it was much better than the hay we used last year (don’t ever use hay as garden mulch unless you want to turn your garden bed into a thick mat of grass), it did sprout some grass that I’ve been pulling out. Some of the plants, like the potatoes and tomatoes and chard, are big enough now that weeds don’t really grow in around them, as there’s not much room anymore.
My task for today is to take our little push mower and mow the grass in between all the beds. If you’ve never used a push mower, I highly recommend it – much more fun than a gas-powered mower, much quieter, no fumes, and a good arm workout!
Anyway, the garden is doing great, and I’m noticing that our grocery cart only has about half as much stuff in it as it does in the winter. The only produce I’m buying these days is fruit, potatoes (ours aren’t ready yet), and things we don’t grow like fennel and mushrooms. Having all of our veggies growing right outside our back door is such an awesome thing. Not to mention the fact that our three-year-old goes out there and munches on spinach, mint, and peas (and of course, blueberries!) anytime he wants. He loves to harvest squash and zucchini and then eat them raw. He’s always been a good eater, and eats any veggie I put in front of him, but growing the veggies in our garden makes it even more fun for him. We gave him his own little garden plot this year, and he thinks it’s awesome to pick stuff out of it.
Northern hemisphere folks, how’s your garden season going?