Friday, August 7, 2015

The Bauer Bounty

Summertime windowsills are the best windowsills.

The garden is a little crispy these days, but I'd bet you a dollar bill that at least 100 cucumbers were toted through my back door this year. It's been a tasty summer, y'all. As you may recall, this was the sixth year to plant a garden, but our first to abandon the square-foot method. Yes, we tore up a patch of lawn and didn't look back. Report: I like this way better. I can actually stand next to every plant and get exactly where I needed to be. It's not been fun to keep the grass and weeds out, but hopefully that will improve over the years. Onto the harvest!

{Looks wimpy now, but I assure you it didn't always. It'll be back}

We have eaten {and given away} quite a few tomatoes. We didn't have towering plants, but the fruits were delicious. There is nothing like biting into a juicy, homegrown tomato. Store-bought doesn't compare and I still have some left if you'd like to be proven wrong. This year I was torn between the classic, go-to Early Girl and the deep flavors of Cherokee Purple. I had several summer lunches that consisted of those two sliced up and served with nothing but salt and a napkin. The winter is really missing out when it can't provide such lunches. I'm not fretting, though. We have plans to rip out the tired tomatoes and put in a few more. Anyone have advice for the best Arkansas fall tomatoes?

The Bumper Crop Award goes to my 15 feet of cucumbers. These vines produced like crazy this year and the results were tasty. Nora June ate as many "cumbers" as I did, and I think we've given away even more. The chickens have enjoyed their fair share, too. We recently tore out some of the dying vines, and have plans of planting more. We're going to milk this cucumber crop for all it's worth.

{Jonathan took this one months ago of two days' harvests.}

Our spring beans fell victim to some bunnies who are now roaming {ahem} greener pastures, and our peppers fell victim to stunted growth. They're still in the ground in their neat little rows, and there are now little peppers on them, but they haven't seen much height difference in months. We gave them a good fertilizer feeding a few weeks ago, so we'll see what happens.

Despite a few crop failures, the one veggie in our garden that is loving this weather is the okra. We have cut so much recently {and I quickly remembered that I needed a long-sleeve shirt, even when it's 103}. It's your basic Clemson Spineless, but it's delicious and the plants are green, tall, and thriving. To save it, I just chop it into bite size pieces and toss it into bags to freeze. When needed, we'll pull them out, toss them in flour and fry them. However, this year we decided to try a different take on okra and roasted it. Oh my. Would it take away from my Southern charm if I said I liked that way better? Watch the blog over the next few weeks for a recipe post. Then make it. Trust me.

Jonathan and I have been in talks on things like lettuce, spinach, and broccoli to put in over the next few weeks. We haven't done a fall garden in a while, but with all this room {and a handy-dandy tiller}, it might be a good idea. Also, it turns out Nora is a huge fan of broccoli, so why deny the poor girl?

I will be back with an update to show you around the fall garden when/if the time comes.
Until then, how does your veggie garden grow?

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Grace Grits and Gardening said...

You are so right! Everything home grown in the garden tastes better—especially tomatoes! Okra is one of my favorites to grow. It seems to love the heat and Arkansas soil. Congrats on a successful harvest!

Unknown said...

My kids begged to plant a garden this year and promised to care for it. We let them plant a few things, and then most of their seeds washed away during the great flood earlier in the year. My grandpa replanted everything, and my kids not once even looked in the direction of that garden. I think our garden days are over!