Summer harvest begins!

Here we are already ending the first week of July. The garden is going gangbusters and we’re loving every minute and every morsel. We’ve been enjoying greens since March, peas over the last month and the broccoli has actually gone to seed now. But for me when the root veggies start showing their true selves, I feel summer harvest knocking at the door. These baby carrots and beets are only moments shy of fully maturing. We are devouring the first zucchinis, blissfully ignorant to the idea of the late August green giant overload. We have Green zucchini, Costata Romanescos with the racing stripes, and Scalloped green/yellow pattypans soon to arrive. Unfortunately, I mismarked the yellow crookneck and they seemed to have gotten lost in the shuffle.

Harvest dinner 7-7-2013-2

I also dug around the bottoms of our potatoes for some “new potatoes”. The clue here is when you see the plants flowering. I’m hoping they didn’t notice and their knobby little roots will continue developing.

Garden 7-7-2013-2

The baby cucs are a couple varieties of pickling cucumbers. One, the Parisian Pickler is an overly spiny thing that is more suitable as a cornichon picked small. I’m liking the Fin de Meaux pickler with just a little less spine. Only having a couple plants of each, I won’t be doing mass pickles so I cut them up into pint jars and pour  boiling water and vinegar in… about half and half which can be varied to your personal liking. Then we just throw them in salads and just about everything else as soon as the next day. I’m hot this year for making kimchi. I’ll have another go at sauerkraut too and hopefully will not have to look up ‘maggot’  in the back of Sandor Katz’s The Art of Fermentation this year (it’s there). Fermenting is so in and rightfully so with it’s numerous health benefits. I might have the good fortune to catch Sandor K. at the Book Larder  and /or Firefly Kitchens in Seattle next week.

Harvest dinner 7-7-2013We are eating loads of salads with Lacinato (or dinasaur) kale strips thrown in. It’s dark, rich green, cellulite looking leaf is on the top left .

A little garlic here fresh from the ground. It too, is a few weeks short of maturity but  perfect for sneaking a couple bulbs out early.

Harvest dinner 7-7-2013-6

Washed veggies on the front porch drenched with light. This photo was only cropped. The color is real.

Harvest dinner 7-7-2013-3

And on the back patio in the cool light of shade…

Harvest dinner 7-7-2013-4

Everything was wrapped separately in foil and cooked on the grill. Carrots got a little olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. We have Atomic Red, Lunar White, Amarillo and Nantes. The beets requested only a drizzle of olive oil and sweet balsamic. We’ve got Chiogga (pink and white striped center), Early Wonder, Bulls Blood and a smattering of Golden beets that didn’t germinate so well and aren’t present here. The zucchini went straight on the grill.

Harvest dinner 7-7-2013-5

The new potatoes received their olive oil plus a couple sprigs of rosemary and the fresh garlic…

We’ve got All Blues, Red Pontiac, German Butterball and several varieties of fingerlings I’ve so far left undisturbed.

Harvest dinner 7-7-2013-7

And here’s the finished product. Beet greens sauteed with olive and sesame oil and garlic, potatoes, carrots and the beets. All incredibly tender and sweet.

Harvest dinner 7-7-2013-8These veggies were served alongside grilled burgers with bacon, cheddar and jalepeño jack and a side of onion jam I recently made. (No Buns in the house as we are on a modified Paleo venture:)

Since I didn’t get any pics of the burgers, I will suggest this roasted chicken in its stead. Both the chicken and beef are from our local Coffelt Farm. I’ve been on a Sumac kick. And threw in some sliced onions,  lemons and kalamata olives.

Sumac Chicken

According to Pensey’s spices  ” The flavor is on the order of lemon juice or vinegar but milder and less acidic.”

Sumac Chicken-2

Ending with pics from several angles of the garden. I like a tidy garden but am not a true perfectionist or I would have mowed five minutes prior to photos. I’d say we have about 98% heirloom seed.

 We’ve got new blueberries on the right. Garlic, peas, brassicas on the left with lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets down the line.

Garden 7-7-2013Walking around the left…O’s little patch of corn, a few varieties of beans, basil under the plastic.

Garden 7-7-2013-3On over to the other corner…Gladiolas, sunflowers, squash and artichokes in the mass of green fluff.

Garden 7-7-2013-4

Chickens in their favorite spot… the potato tropics with laced carrot umbrellas- they love scratching up all the grass clippings. I only mind a little. I told them not to read this post.

Garden 7-7-2013-5And my first Dahlia’s in years. I’m loving flowers in the garden for cutting and plan on growing more next year.

Garden 7-7-2013-7

Three cheers for summer!

And Tschüß till next time… xx

54 responses

  1. All of this is so gorgeous – my eyes are just drinking in all those vibrant, beautiful colours! I would love to grow my own vegetables. There’s nothing like the taste of fresh, local produce!


    • I feel so fortunate to be here. We’ve spent time in wonderful places but to have land that I can scratch up and plant seeds is very special to me. We are fortunate to have so many great farmers markets too around the country- so if you can’t grow your own, you can get pretty darn close.


  2. Looks idyllic! and the veggies look so perfect. Wendy, have you ever made chocolate beet cake? Your beets may be too lovely to hide them in a cake, but if you have a bumper crop or something…I have been meaning to try this… with ‘naked’ sides, you know me… 🙂


    • I’m pretty sure I did but this is a good reminder to do it again because I think I liked it. We’ll be juicing them too.
      I’m ready for a little Biscuits and Bobbin action… I imagine your photo skills are heading off the charts.
      Are you staying cool in the summer heat? xx wendy


    • You’ll get there. We have loads of deer and I think for this year at least, we have a pretty tight fence. They can be a nightmare though. You see your sweet little strawberries and peas get mowed in one late night party. Really, I’m not opposed to venison ( just dropped a few readers right?)
      I’m now reading about bee keeping.
      One step at a time grasshopper 🙂


  3. Your photos are gorgeous, I feel like I just want to run out and garden, but alas, I now live in a condo so have pots of things! Still, your property looks wonderful an gardening is so calming and feeds the soul.


    • Maybe you can run a little further outside of town and find a CSA or you pick farm and scratch the itch to garden. I’ve had some years of herbs and peas on the patio. Every little bit counts 🙂


      • Luckily for me, one of my sons has a large organic garden! We have a family brunch there most Sundays…so calming and peaceful and I do sometimes get back into the dirt! Your photos remind me very much of his place!


  4. Oh, Wendy, this is wonderful! We only have a few veggies in little pots outside, but the Mr. and I love to watch them grow and more – to eat them in the end 🙂
    Looks like you like your new life back at home 😉
    Have a very HAPPY week 🙂


    • Yes the potted porch. That should be a blog to book proposal. We all need to have a little dirt under our fingernails!
      Hamburg is a beautiful city and I’m so glad we had some time there for me to see what Germany is like, to be near my husband’s family, and walk along the Elbe. And yes, it is good to be here with the garden and animals and space to roam.
      All in a life.
      xx wendy


  5. OMG Wendy, I never knew vegetables could be so beautiful.. astounding.. such an abundance. And your photography…and arranging… are outstanding. Love you. Mom


  6. Wendy, what a beautiful place you have … the idyll, but I realize that it requires its woman and man too. Long ago I saw purple potato flowers, my grandmother had it. So almost 40 years ago.
    And your chicken looks prosperous – but there’s a lot of candy for them when they can stroll around freely.
    Thank you for sharing this with me and I wish you and everyone around you a real nice summer.


    • We’ve been gone a few days and in literally 5 days- everything has gone off the charts crazy and big. It’s the moment I’m thinking wow that was a lot of ______(insert veg) to plant! But it’s so fun!!


  7. What a bounty! This is indeed such a fun time of year for cooking with everything coming out of the gardens. We’ve taken to grilling everything…kale, cabbage, zucchini…everything tastes better off the grill if you ask me! Happy to have found your blog!


  8. Wow Wendy, you have been a very busy girl and the vibrant colors of your bountiful harvest is perfect to go with you roasted chicken. I feel healthier already just looking at your garden delights. Have a super weekend. BAM


    • Your long sunny days will come soon… I see ours shortening a little now. I have to remind myself of our opposite seasonal experiences. It’s a bounty every year that never ceases to amaze me.


  9. WOW and yummy! Way to go! Myself, I’m busy harvesting at local green grocers and summer-time Farmers Markets.
    Hope everything is great at your boutique and give the puppy a hug for me! _Resa xo
    (Sorry I took so long getting here, but I’m designing a 6 part mini-series, and time is evaporating)


    • Easy to do that. He’s rarely more than 6 inches away!
      Farmers Markets these days are so prolific – it’s like you really just picked it out of your own yard.
      A 6 part mini series sounds intense but so interesting. I love the diversity of our blogging friends and so many I’d love to drop in for coffee and a view into their worlds. Carry on Resa… cheers x wt


      • Hey Wendy!
        Yes, it is intense, the real insanity starts in a week. There’s no way I’ll be able to do an “Art Gown” during this time. Atlantis Mermaid Love-in will have a hard time lasting 3 months so I’m trying to figure out a smaller type post. Yes, I will carry on! You carry on, too!
        How’s the shop doing? _Resa xo


    • Thank you! Love seeing your story and your ability to share your view of the world. It will be a joy to look back on when/if the day comes when you plant yourself in one place and see what grows around you.


  10. I can’t believe how extensive your garden is, Wendy! It must be so lovely to have such variety roasting and plated for dinner. I’m with you on having cutting flowers, I’m hoping to plant a bed just for those next year. My yard is so tiny and our climate less conducive, so I’ll just have to be “green” with envy;) I love your little chickens too! xx


    • We have been in Seattle this week- really only 5 days and I cannot believe what has happened in the garden. Mass produce explosion. I’m trying to make notes on how much to add or cut back on next year… mostly cut back on. One can only make and enjoy so much pesto in the freezer. And the zucchini? When will I ever learn! But the Dahlia’s, despite the heavy burden of their own flowers… I could have fields of.
      Now I’m home for a day to do some work then back to the city for 6 more days. We will be swimming in green beans on our return!! xo


  11. Gorgeous post Wendy! Every picture was such a delight, though I found myself inspecting your beautiful veggies with envy!! I’ve managed to fit a couple of herb planter boxes onto our balcony but unfortunately that’s where the ‘home gardening’ stops! Must be so wonderful to be able to eat fresh produce from your own garden 🙂 Thanks for this gorgeous post. I’ve loved seeing your chicks grow! xx


    • Thank you Laura- from what I gather, you would have a lot of food adventures with your own garden. Maybe someday you’ll have one. I had many years with backyard planter boxes and balcony pots- it still keeps your fingers in a little dirt:)
      x wt


      • Yes, I’m lovingly caring for my little planter boxes. I’m drinking some tea made from home-grown mint right now actually! Longing for my own garden and some chickens. One day 🙂 x


  12. Thanks Karen. It has been a lot and it is really paying off and then some. We are out of town for about 12 days with me back here in the middle of it for a little work. As I told Smidge, I had forgotten really what a bounty looks like. The garden has taken on a life of it’s own! And never truly believe how much it will produce when I’m starting out with those tiny little seeds!
    cheers…. x wt


  13. Hi Wendy,

    Your veggies look so lively! My garden seems to be catching up with yours:) I’m really enjoying your chicks’ pictures here. They are so cute! happy harvesting. Emi


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