As the summer months come upon us I take stock of what’s in the garden. The last couple weeks in May were quite rainy, but temperatures have been mild.
Here is the list;
Asparagus – is doing well in its fifth year and continues to fill out the plot. I’ve had several servings of fresh asparagus already.
Basil – the pungent herb is so lovely when picked fresh and used in a variety of ways, from salad dressing to egg dishes. When I have an overabundance of the green stuff I make pesto to keep in the freezer.
Beans – green beans are a favorite of mine and I see the first planting sprouting up. I plan to do several more sowings. Green beans a good for storage in the freezer as well.
Blueberries – as I mentioned last year I added a second blueberry bush and transplanted both to a new spot along the back fence. I expect a good crop this year.
Brussels Sprouts – another favorite, four plants will yield a substantial harvest by season’s end. Unlike most vegetable Brussels sprouts do not need to be blanched before freezing.
Cucumbers – I really like fresh cucumbers in salad or just tossed with some fresh tomatoes and piquant dressing.
Eggplant – was a big failure last year, but I’m hoping for better returns this summer.
Leeks – are one of my favorite long season crops. One packet of approximately 100 seeds should make for a good harvest. I will turn most of them into potato and leek soup.
Melons – I planted a packet of cantaloupe seeds, but I only see a couple of their sprouts. Additionally, I planted 4 plants of cantaloupe and 4 water melons that I purchased at the local market. Last years’ melons were absolutely delicious!
Okra – last year the okra was a fail and the year before I found that the rabbits had eaten all of the okra. If I get a yield this season I will make a batch of gumbo.
Peas – I did manage to plant some early crop snow peas before my travels last month. They are sprouting and I’ve added some sugar snap peas that have now popped up.
Peppers – green bell peppers, or red bell can be roasted, and served with other roast vegetables. Another favorite way to prepare peppers is to stuff with rice and meat and cheese. Eaten raw they are a good source of vitamin C, and the spicy hot chilies add heat to so many recipes.
Scallions – are slow to sprout but the bunching variety I plant provide an abundance of fresh onion flavor in eggs and salads throughout the summer season.
Spinach – this tasty green leafy vegetable is great as a salad green or wilted with onions and bacon for a compliment to dinner. I also like spinach in eggs with ham and cheese. Spinach prefers cooler temperatures for growing, so it’s good to plant later in summer for an autumn harvest.
Squash – zucchini, yellow squash (sometimes called crook-neck), and spaghetti squash make for a good balance of soft summer squash and winter squash for storage in the cellar.
Swiss Chard – another leafy green. My favorite way to prepare it is wilted with shallots and lemon juice.
Tomatoes – small cherry tomatoes are great in salad and the big beefsteak variety are so good when sliced and eaten raw or with some cheese, salt, pepper and olive oil. Cut into wedges they also make delicious accompaniment to any summer meal.
Here’s to a bountiful harvest!