The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Strawberries and raab yield to raspberries and broccoli

Red raspberry

Small broccoliAfter the astonishing, five-gallon day, our strawberry harvest began to decline.  Now we're down to just a gallon or two a day, but that's okay because I'm sated...and the red raspberries are starting to ripen.

Similarly, the kale buds have nearly all turned into flowers, removing raab from the menu, but broccoli is taking their place.  The broccoli heads (like this year's garlic) are smaller than average, but the cold weather has also resulted in very few cabbage worms, so I'm happy.  Other vegetables we're currently eating in profusion include snap peas and lettuce.

Tomato flower

Baby cucumberThe whole garden is starting to look like the coming-attractions section of a homesteading movie.  The first tomato flowers don't mean much since those fruits take a long time to ripen, but cucumber and bean flowers mean we could be enjoying those two vegetables within a week or two.  And don't get me started on the peaches, apples, gooseberries, and blueberries studding the trees and bushes or I'll go back out with the camera and make this post far too long.

What's ripe (or ripening) in your garden?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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We're enjoying strawberries (but not as many as we'd like- we started a new bed last year and it's still expanding), lots and lots of snow peas, asparagus and lettuce. We planted New Zealand spinach but it didn't come up, so we'll try again. Our blueberries are ripening, too, and red raspberries are forming. We also have some sour cherries hanging on and exactly 5 sweet cherries (we just planted two trees last fall). I'm really enjoying your site. Is there an old homestead on your property? I thought somewhere I saw mention of it. Just trying to picture the layout of your property. Have you ever posted a map of it? I'd love to see one if you haven't:-).
Comment by Jane Sun Jun 9 08:18:31 2013

Here on the GA coast, I dug my red potatoes planted the third week of February yesterday. I planted too many too close together. I think next year I will plant fewer farther apart and I bet I will get the same amount (weight) of spuds, just fewer but bigger. My onions are ready to pull too. I only have a 5'x20' main garden area, plus some raised beds with tomatoes, cukes and yellow squash in other areas.

Once it's all harvested, sweet corn and pole beans go in. Locals tell me it's "too late" to plant corn, but it works out just fine. I get sweet corn in late August, when their Feb/March planted corn has long since been harvested and died back. Plus my beans use the corn stalks to grow up around.

Comment by Eric Rylander Sun Jun 9 10:45:24 2013

Jane --- You might like this post, which shows some aerial photos of our core homestead. Or this post mapping our sun patterns. You can also see the original house here.

Eric --- I'm all for succession planting corn. We're a lot cooler than you, but we keep planting corn from April until the middle of July, which gives us sweet corn to eat from July to October. On the other hand, my father (who gardens in the piedmont of South Carolina) does find it too dry to plant many things in the summer, so maybe that's what your neighbors are talking about?

Comment by anna Sun Jun 9 12:51:49 2013

I would love to report that we are eating lots of goodies from the garden, but it has been the most disappointing spring I have ever experienced. Cold weather, late frosts kept many things from growing, or even sprouting at all. NONE of the potatoes came up -none! I have never had that happen. Then the weather turned to summer almost overnight, and all the cool weather things bolted before I could harvest. The chickens got lots of spinach and chi ese cabbage. The brocolli tried to flower, but since the plants are still only about 6 i nches tall, the florests are miniscule. I will probably just throw those to the hens too. We are getting some nice lettuce, but even the kale is really slow. Go figure!
And it might all burn up anyway. The largest wildland fire in NM is burning all around us, 32 square miles in size, about a mile and a half away at its nearest point. Our only access road has been closed ( we are allowed to go one direction through checkpoints) and they have been testing the emergency notification system- not very comforting. We got a "test call" at midnight last night! On a happier note, I was excited to discover two almonds sprouting in the compost pile, and have potted them with loving care. Who knows?

Comment by Deb Mon Jun 10 02:49:27 2013
I pulled a 5 gallon bucket of turnips & greens out of the main garden last night and about a gallon bag of garlic scapes too. Having never harvested scapes before, I am not quite sure what to do with them. Any suggestions?
Comment by Karen Mon Jun 10 08:19:13 2013
Thanks, Anna. Those links were exactly what I was looking for. Now I can better picture everything:-).
Comment by Jane Mon Jun 10 09:01:10 2013
Karen --- I use the whitish part of the garlic scape (below the bulge) because that part is the most tender. I just chop it up and use it in any cooked dish, like a stir fry. Someone told me he puts it in salad, but it's way too strong, in my opinion --- our scapes taste even garlickier than the bulbs!
Comment by anna Mon Jun 10 14:20:53 2013

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