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Summer Evening Garden Tour

August 17, 2012

Late evening in August is my favorite time in the vegetable garden.  It’s cooler and not so bright, the setting sun casts a nice glow on the veggies, and the weeds don’t show as much in the photos 😉  I love growing vegetables, almost as much as I like eating them and to be honest I love every aspect of vegetable gardening, yes, even the weeding!

Here are some of the highlights of the gardens, I post plenty about the lowlights so here’s some positive stuff about this gardening year and larder stuffing.  This post is long on pictures and short on commentary!

Turga parsnip seed.

Harris Model parsnip.

Jane figures prominently in our food supply so it’s only natural that her food supply figures prominently in the garden.  Besides hay for winter stores, we grow parsnips, carrots and mangels for Jane.

Red Cored Chantenay carrots.

Despite deer worries, the deer netting on the carrots is actually Australian Shepherd netting, either way it’s effective in keeping out carrot eaters.

Mammoth Long Red mangel.

Sweet Meat winter squash.

Abenaki Calais Flint Corn.

This has not been a banner year here for corn.  The flint corn is giving it a go, and I was too embarrassed to snap a photo of the sweet corn.  It appears that Jane will be enjoying the sweet corn in stalk form, and we probably won’t be dining on any sweet corn this year.

Now cool weather crops are a different story.  This is the third and final planting of kales, cabbages, chard and bok choy for the year.

Despite the heat all these crops are thriving and doing well in the greenhouse.  Mid to late July plantings do the best for us in the this location if we expect to get any late fall into winter harvests.  Some exceptions apply like spinach and lettuce, but for plants that take some time to mature, it’s July for me.

Melissa savoy cabbage.

Joi Choi bok choy.

Five Color Silverbeet.

SunSugar cherry tomato.

The exceptions to my July rule mentioned above:  wild garden chicory, lettuces, bok choy and spinach.

Sweet Pimento.

Third succession of zucchini!

Lemon cukes.


Cheddar cauliflower.

Perfection fennel.

Brilliant celeriac.

Red Bull brussels sprouts.

Veda’s Purple Podded Pole bean.

My lovely hands-full, user friendly greenhouse door handle, birthday present, hand wrought by Hangdog Inc.

The end!

33 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2012 3:48 pm

    Absolutely FANtastic! LOVE your garden 🙂 I learn SO much from you – please don’t ever stop posting! LOL

  2. August 17, 2012 4:37 pm

    I love those wrought iron thinks your husband makes. Very thoughtful. You’re a better woman than I am – your garden is huge! I don’t know that I could keep up. I’m struggling with one succession of four plants of zucchini.

    I’m a little disappointed in my cows today; this morning I thinned a few mangels and tried them on my yearling heifers – no go. Just some snorting and head shaking. So far apples are the only exotics they’ll go for. I hope I don’t end up wasting a humongous crop of fodder pumpkins too…

    I think late summer evenings are the most special time of day too… especially when the moon comes up as the sun is going down.

    • August 20, 2012 7:24 am

      AMF, yeah he’s pretty handy, the other night I realized I lost the spring for the food mill and I was staring at 3 large bowls of roasted tomatoes to sauce – sure enough, he made me a spring and I was in business!

      Don’t fret too much about your mangels, animals have a real sense for picking out nutrient dense food, ie, ripe and ready. Just like the bears that know just when to get into the apple trees in our orchard 😦 They’ll probably love them once cooler weather hits and the mangels are actually ready.

  3. deb permalink
    August 17, 2012 5:16 pm


  4. August 17, 2012 8:37 pm

    Such abundance!

  5. August 17, 2012 8:44 pm

    Your photos of your beautiful garden are spectacular and inspiring. I like your thought about the sweet corn: I guess we won’t be eating any this year…It is great that supermarket corn is not an option! Hopefully you have a neighbor that wants to barter a little!
    Thanks for sharing so much information about the seeds or varieties of vegies you have planted. You are 100% successful, enjoy the harvest!
    ~ Kari

  6. August 17, 2012 9:30 pm

    Our sweetcorn looks good until you get up close and realise the cobs aren’t so good. Like you I think the animals will be feeding on the whole thing this year, wonder if alpacas and chickens like them or will I be giving them to our friend for her goats? Hmmm!

  7. August 18, 2012 1:47 am

    No squash here, I’ve not figured out what happened to them. :(( But I also got some lovely Cheddar cauliflower. And I love your birthday present!!

  8. August 18, 2012 2:09 am

    Stunning – a consummate gardener. I am envious and have already noted “must try harder” on my harvest report sheet. :-))

    What a birthday present! Lucky woman. Does hubby take commissions? I imagine loads of your readers have many little tasks that would benefit from Hangdog’s blacksmithing skills. I, for one, need a ‘design and make’ of a wrought iron boot scrapper that will hold firm in clay soil that’s given to cracking open when dry. A design that allows the scrapping of thick sticky mud off foot and sides of boots without wobbling out of the ground every five minutes! Talking of boots, what’s your verdict on the Bogs?

  9. August 18, 2012 3:56 am

    LOVE your garden! I only have kale and snap beans in mine!!

  10. August 18, 2012 7:10 am

    Your garden looks great – odd about the corn – locally here on Vancouver Island, sweet corn has done just fine. We’ve had similar summer weather I believe, so go figure.

    • August 20, 2012 5:29 am

      SSF, thanks, we’ve been in a cold spring and summer pattern for about 3 years now. I used to be able to get corn to grow more reliably, if I really want corn (still undecided on that one) I can change and do transplants and irrigate to prop the crop up. At this point, I haven’t taken that step yet, but transplanting is pretty popular with the CSA growers here.

      If I lived at a lower elevation I don’t think I would have any problem growing sweet corn, but can’t change that one 😉

  11. August 18, 2012 12:44 pm

    I love seeing all that you have growing! It looks wonderful, and I am so jealous! In a good way, I promise. I’m not going to hunt down your Brussels sprouts all single-white-female style or anything. 🙂

  12. August 18, 2012 6:21 pm

    Such a beautiful and abundant garden. You should be very happy and proud of what you’ve done!

  13. August 19, 2012 5:28 am

    Beautiful garden! I love the variety. I’m in the midst of my first garden this year, and my first canning lessons, and what seems to be my first everything! This has been one of the most pleasant and enjoyable journeys along a learning curve though.

    I’m curious: Cheddar Cauliflower?? What’s that all about? Is it just a name or does it have a different taste? Does it taste like Cheese?!

    • August 19, 2012 5:35 am

      Jenna, congrats on your first year!

      The cauliflower just looks like cheese, and gets darker when cooked. The orange color indicates beta carotene, so if you’re growing cauliflower you may as well grow a colored one.

      • August 19, 2012 5:49 am

        Hey, lookin’ like cheese is better than NOT looking like cheese, right? And if I could squeeze some more beta carotene into my diet, that’d be ideal. I’m not a big fan of carrots.

  14. Janet permalink
    August 19, 2012 5:15 pm

    You amaze me. Never heard of cheddar cauliflower! Pretty!
    Hangdog did a fantastic job, beautiful!

  15. A.A. permalink
    August 20, 2012 10:18 am

    Lovely pictures and a lovely post 🙂

  16. August 20, 2012 10:56 am

    Can I ask you an unrelated question or three? (I’m going to anyway) Why Herefords? What are your looking for when selecting a herd sire these days and how has that changed over the years? Are you producing commodity beef or do you directly retail the beef?

    Feel free to answer with a blog post or, better yet, publish a book on cattle mgmt (I think that’s my August request…lol).

    • August 20, 2012 12:20 pm

      HFS, payback for the alfalfa quiz I presume? 😉 I’m a creature of habit…Herefords, Guernseys, Australian Shepherds, big garden,probably some weird habit of trying to recreate my childhood, maybe I need counseling :D. No really, Herefords and Guernseys do well in our climate since it is so similar to where they originated, I really like brown and green, they are calm unlike some Angus I have had the displeasure to own. And they stay pretty cool in a mob setting. Don’t laugh at my herd sire choosing abilities…much to the chagrin of many of my readers I’m sure, I call the bull guy and say bring me a Hereford. We argue and he brings what is available that sort of meets my criteria, gentle, easy calving, the time of year I choose, & hopefully Hereford. I requested the same bull as last year, I was skeptical last year, but his calves were nice. He is a Simmental/Hereford cross. I just uploaded some photos of him and his kids from last year, now to just get them to the blog from the files…

      I sell direct, since I have so few cows now. For me, I think all the taste buzz words fall short, if you don’t feed your cattle well and butcher them at the right time, it doesn’t matter what breed it is. Just my take on it. One of my biggest laughs is people trying to market grassfed beef as lowfat and well exercised, apparently they have not read any Weston Price stuff. Fat is not the enemy…but that is a subject for a blog post similar to what to watch out for in real estate, mature landscaping means overgrown yard, and lowfat means tough.

      • August 20, 2012 12:32 pm

        Don’t I know it! I have to fight the lean genetics in hogs I’m pasturing. Talk about a learning curve! How do I make those little stinkers fat?!?!? Apples! Apples! Apples! The pork chops get tough on skinny pigs. I butchered a wether goat with my hogs last fall…he was fatter than the hogs! It worked best to grind them 50/50.

        Old timers around here select for Herefords or Black Baldys with pigmentation on the eye. Pictures I have seen indicate you aren’t too concerned. Are you too far North to be concerned with eye cancer?

        I’m not a fan of Angus but the packers pay more for that black hide. Wonder if it’s worth it.

        • August 20, 2012 12:50 pm

          HFS, I don’t worry about the eye cancer thing or pink eye. You can always get someone to tell you a Hereford should be black. If you sell direct you don’t have to worry about the color of the hide, if we buy them back, we pay the going rate. I have a nice Guernsey one salted right now, hopefully to hang on the wall somewhere, someday… (Don’t worry Jane, you won’t be hanging on the wall!)

          I select for a healthy cow, that can thrive on our grass and hay and live to tell about it. I have one now that I should have culled a couple of years ago, but was too soft. And I’m paying for it.

          They always say there is more variation within a breed than from breed to breed, and I think that is probably true 🙂 I try not to get into breed arguments, it’s as bad as politics, unless of course, I say everyone should own a Guernsey 😉

        • August 20, 2012 6:19 pm

          My angus comment could have been more clear. Everybody around me has black cows. “Black gold”. It doesn’t even matter if they are Angus. Black means money at the packer. The belief that black cows make more money is as thick as the belief that buying lottery tickets increases your chances of winning.

          Profitability means more money. Non-black cows graze more on hot days. full rumen = more beef. But I wouldn’t dare whisper that at the coffee shop…were I to go to the coffee shop.

          I could care less about breeds (though I am somewhat partial to Jerseys). I think the Angus genetic marbling gobbledygook can be more than made up for with (or lost without) quality grazing…but I’m not a meat cutter. I’m a grass farmer (Well, I’m a computer geek but I try). I’ll use whatever tools I can to improve my grass. Probably not bison. I would love to run some big, heavy Holstein steers across to bulldoze everything flat…maybe some big dry cows. Maybe someday. We’re grazing for 2 at my farm this year.

          What I really want is a well-mannered cow who gives me a calf and breeds back every year. Better if she is polled. When I finally get around to building a beef herd next year or so I suspect it will be made up of multi-colored short cows I find here and there. I already have sufficient retail demand. I lack sufficient time.

        • August 21, 2012 5:50 am

          We bred to a Jersey bull. Yes, Jersey steers taste like beef…lol. The girls are all hoping for bull calves. We eat a lot of pork and chicken but very little beef.

          I hope I’m doing the right thing. Yes, I’m going slowly. No, I don’t know much. But I have facilities, fencing and, most importantly, family and community. It takes time to learn. It takes time to build soil and biodiversity. It takes time to build a customer base. It will take time to build a grazing herd and they say it takes 20 years to learn to graze well. I’m not as young as I used to be either.

          Sorry I hijacked your thread. You know I’m amazed by your garden. Thank you for responding. I know you are busy.

        • August 21, 2012 7:35 am

          HFS, I think you should move here and bring your alfalfa patch with you 😉 Mmmm, I love beef! We always do the “If you had to pick one, what meat, berry, apple etc, could you not live without?” We always go with beef, raspberries, and Northern Spy apples. I wouldn’t really miss poultry or pork, except maybe bacon.

          It probably does take 20 years, because there are so many variables each year. I am glad we are building drought resistance into our pastures, it’s pretty nice to see lots of grazing in mid-August. But it’s been a slow build, it can’t happen overnight.

          Are your cows A2 or are you staying out of that controversy?

        • August 21, 2012 8:35 am

          I’m planning to test for A2. I’ll send in samples for my two and my mentor’s bull. Because of the minimum fee he’ll probably send in two samples as well. In recent years he has been using A2/A2 straws out of LIC but cleaning up with a home-grown bull.

          I’ll have to get back with you on my choice. I can do a lot with ground pork…out of necessity. And I like ribs. But steak is such a treat around our house…

          Berries? Too hard.

          Apples? Anything I can make cider out of.

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