Kale choppin’ school is in session

This morning I harvested 12 ounces of dinosaur kale (lacinato). I chiffonaded it and bagged it up in 3 ounce portions.

I like the dinosaur kale because it’s a beautiful color, it’s sturdy, and when it’s sauteed with butter it turns a deep green.

Kale is wonderful. Swiss chard is terrible, but we have to keep growing it because the birds like it more than the kale. It saves our kale from the birds.

Alden and I made seed tape today with our carrot seeds and beet seeds. They’re both root crops that do best if perfectly spaced. This year I was sloppy with my beet planting and got a really dumpy harvest of smashed together beets. Lesson learned.

I amended the soil where I’m planting the carrots and beets. I bought a 50 pound bag of sand and worked it lightly into about a 3×10 area. Hopefully it’ll help the root veggies to grow.

Boom clap

Today we picked the rest of our beets. 18 ounces of dirt-flavored goodness. We’ll sow more seeds in the next week or so.

Happy August! And hello tomatoes!

I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with this clutch of cherry tomatoes. There’s enough for everyone to have one or two at dinner.

I harvested 1 lb 3 ounces of kale this morning. Actually, I washed and deveined the kale, then weighed it (minutes bowl weight), so we probably got a little more than that.

I’m going to portion it out into 3 ounce bricks, wrap them in plastic wrap, then freeze them. They defrost really quickly and make for an amazing accompaniment to any dinner. Kale + butter + miso paste.

The Everest of kale

This is our first harvest of cherry tomatoes–or any tomatoes–this year. They are sweet, round, and perfectly ripe. Happy End of July!

Last Thursday I started a single pint of lacto fermented green beans. Just water, salt, green beans, garlic + dill. It’s just sitting on our wire shelf, literally collecting dust. I could make a lot more lacto fermented green beans, but I don’t want to do up a whole bunch until I know that they’ll be good. Tonight I tasted them. They weren’t boozy at all and they weren’t flavorful either. They’re supposed to be done next Thursday. It’s a two week ferment.

In the mean time, we’re still harvesting more green beans, which are great for raw snacking. I also started another jar of lacto fermented green beans without garlic, just to see if the beans can make it on their own without a rock star in the jar.

I have quite a few lacto ferments going on right now. Fun project!

Welcome to our 2020 garden! Let’s take a tour, shall we? I’ll share some of my favorite garden spots.

Nature’s watercolor. Look at the gorgeous colors that are created when green turns to orange.
Our three kale varieties. Like a mom, I love all three equally, but for different reasons.
I love this trellis of pole beans! By the end of summer it’ll be a beautiful arch of lunch greenery–I mean, lush greenery.
This diminutive plant wins the prize for fruit to leaf ratio.
One beet…
Many beets…
These sunflowers were little volunteers that I thought were squash plants. Now they hold up our volunteer tomato plants. Btw, say hello to one of our honeybees!
Three bees!
Spent pea plants create a tangle of parchment-like tendrils and leaves.
Corn. 100% American, but the tassels give off an exotic Middle Eastern vibe.
From a distance you would never guess that beneath the large, drapey zucchini leaves are some of the largest, most beautiful flowers in the garden. #modestishottest
This tomatillo is delicate and spindly.
These teeny, fuzzy beans will someday be on Josh’s dinner plate (or get eaten on his walk home from the office)
It’s not dill… It’s parsley that bolted. Teeny little parsley flowers!
Another beautiful contemporary watercolor from Mme. Nature. Title “Baby Broccoli in Wood Chip Mulch”

Today we got 6 ounces of the curly leafed kale and 12 ounces of the dinosaur kale.

I also did some maintenance on the tomatoes and saw four greenish-orange tomatoes, ready to be eaten this week!!

I transplanted six broccoli plants to take over as my pea plants die back. Heather transplanted a Vietnamese coriander plant.

I picked the first two gypsy peppers of the season.

I picked the first plum of the season. It will be a smaller crop this year, but that’s ok — we had way more than we needed last year!

We picked our first ounce of beans today. 😉 The beans that were barely alive are now looking quite healthy and should produce a good crop. The first cucumber and pepper should be ready this week. My peas are almost done for the season. They weren’t nearly as productive as last year but still provided some good table fare. The chard and kale continue to produce like gangbusters.

Our neighbors’ field was cut and bailed over the past week. They generously gave us some bales for our sheep.

Our other neighbors have us three probably-fertilized turkey eggs, and one of our chickens is broody, so we’re letting her sit on them. It’ll be a couple more weeks before we find out if they hatch.

We transplanted a bell pepper plant and basil today. The pepper plant is larger than the one we transplanted way back in early May. I think we really need to be more patient with planting. Things that are planted too early languish and get ravished by bugs. Now that the soil has warmed up, things are finally taking off: corn, bean, beet, tomato, cucumber, and squash plants are all looking fairly healthy.

On the other hand, I wonder, if we fix the pH problem, will plants do better earlier in the season?

Lastly, today we transplanted an oak tree we got from our friends.

I went and picked more greens because I want to try making green powder. It’s a blend of dehydrated greens that are powdered in a food processor or blender. They can be added to smoothies and…that’s about it.

To preserve the nutritional integrity of the greens, they can be dehydrated on low heat or air dried.

The greens that I’m using are flat leaf Italian parsley, curly parsley, Swiss chard, and kale. I’d love to add more herbs, but my herbs are languishing this year. My fernleaf dill was eaten by slugs, and my sage and oregano aren’t off the ground yet. My chives died, too. Also, my rosemary is struggling with self-worth issues.

I picked 1 pound 12 ounces of greens. By the time they’re dried, they’ll weigh around 2 ounces, I’m guessing.