This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. But Skippy always stood by me and was a great friend. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps and garden with me. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees and berry bushes, chickens and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Skippy's garden: from start to peak



These pictures were taken on: May 11, June 12, June 30, July 30, August 28 and September 14.

aerial view

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Sunlit beet stems

















I thought these red beet stems were really pretty with the sunlight making them glow. I only have a few beets this year - the seedlings were mostly killed by the heavy spring rains. The few I do have are fighting for space with the carrots. But they are hanging in there.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Multi squash


This is the overactive yellow squash plant I photographed 3 weeks ago http://carletongarden.blogspot.com/2006/09/squash-profusion.html. The center of it has rotted a bit, but many of the squashes (at least 10!) are growing fine. How big they get is just a question of when we get our first frost here. Or when we decide we'd like some grilled baby squash, which does sound good.

topic: yellow squash

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Beefsteak tomato



















This is the best tomato from my garden so far this year. It was really delicious.

Solanum lycopersicum

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Field corn in Framingham, MA

I wish this corn was in my garden, but its in a field Skippy and I walked through Sunday at Callahan State Park. Beautiful corn! Its exactly twice the height of my 5 1/2 foot tall son. Since I read that corn grows to be 5-12 feet tall, this crop has done well. Ears are enormous! (The corn's ears, not my son's.)

Monday, September 25, 2006

A closer bird's eye view















aerial view

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bird's eye view

I'm doing a bit better putting panoramas together without seams, but I have a terrible problem with a dirty camera. I'm looking forward to bringing it to a shop for cleaning tomorrow. I suppose it makes sense that it would need some maintenance once in a while. Anyway, this photo is the garden from upstairs with my 12 foot tall tomatoes and dahlias. Our weather has cooled off into the 50-60's at night, 70's in the day. The garden is still growing. I recently planted some Swiss chard and I'm still seeding lettuce every few weeks. Best crops this year are my basil, which is nearly ready for a big second harvest, and the tomatoes, cukes and carrots. (From looking at this picture, next year I'll have to consider extending that path that leads to nowhere. Maybe some stepping stones across the backyard.)

aerial view

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Cooked carrots with parsley
















Daucus carota






I don't think I've ever grown enough carrots to really taste them. Last Tuesday, I pulled a big bunch and cooked enough to make five nice servings. They were delicious. Like a home grown tomato, a whole different flavor than store bought. I think I'll expand my carrot crop next year with some different varieties.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sliced yellow Brandywine tomato

I was just reading some history on this variety, which apparently is unrelated to the Brandywine variety. It is described as "a large yellow beefsteak type tomato with an excellent flavor and a creamy texture that reaches weights from 1 to 2 pounds. These nice yellow tomatoes are produced in adequate numbers upon an indeterminate vine which features potato type leaves". It was tasty. The creamy texture is very pronounced. For me, this variety (and my real Brandywine's) produced about 3-4 tomatoes per 10 foot plant. Compared with about 15 or so on my Early Girl's and Beefsteaks.

Solanum lycopersicum

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Carrot harvest





My carrots are ready to pull. Here's a nice one. About 5 or 6 inches I think. And fat. And only a little bifurcated. And delicious. An interesting sweet and very carroty taste that you don't get in the store bought ones. We ate this one fresh - carrot chip slices.

Daucus carota

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Tomato spots

Does anyone know what happened here? A few of my tomatoes are mottled with chocolate brown spots. I've never seen this before. I'm guessing a mold or virus of some kind. Maybe from too much water. I've been lucky this year with no end rot, minimal cracking and nicely shaped tomatoes. This at the cost of a water bill twice my normal (aarrgh!). My guess is the brown is from too much water. Any ideas?

Solanum lycopersicum

Sunday, September 17, 2006

What to do with all those cukes ....


















Straight-up and very dry. The best use I've found.


Cucumis sativus

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Tomato bowl










My counter top bowl is staying full of tomatoes. That's a yellow Brandywine on top. Something new I found and am looking forward to trying. We eat tomatoes for lunch and dinner now, and I will have to start putting some away. I'm trying to remember what I like to do with them. One easy thing is to just slice and freeze in baggies. They are great on homemade pizzas.

Solanum lycopersicum

Friday, September 15, 2006

Skippy's vegetable garden







aerial view












From the upstairs window.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Skippy in the garden


more pictures of skip


















Woof.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Eggplants










I haven't picked any eggplants yet, but I will soon. These were supposed to be Classic, an oval Italian type, but they look more like a longer oriental variety.

This year, instead of using the little fences to edge my garden, I have used them next to plants as supports. They are holding up my veronica, my snapdragons and my eggplants. They work well at keeping the fruit off the ground.

topic: eggplant

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Monday, September 11, 2006

September garden


























A little brown on the edges now, but pretty good on the production.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Squash profusion















I'm not sure what's going on here. This is the growing tip of one of my yellow squash vines.
Looks like about 50 thousand little female squash buds all squished together. Kind of overboard it seems.

topic: yellow squash

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Voicing thanks

I do have to admit it is very exciting to open Garden Voices and see one of my photos on top. I just did this and, well, everyone in the house (including Skippy) came running fast to see what was wrong. I guess I made some sort of loud noise. Well, it is exciting. Voices is a great collection. I don't know how they keep up with all the blogs they are now listing. Thanks for the publication and thanks for looking at my blog!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Tomatoes with mozarella



Ocimum basilicum








This is my favorite way to eat tomatoes. Only fresh garden tomatoes. Ingredient list: tomatoes, garlic, basil, fresh mozarella cheese, olive oil and salt.

Solanum lycopersicum

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Vegetable harvest

I'm trying to keep a record of most of my vegetable harvests. Here's another bowlful. Several tomatoes (I'm picking 2-3 a day now - Early Girl and Supersonics), my second yellow squash, a couple of cukes (I get about 1 cuke a day) and several jalepeno peppers (which look more like thin-skinned sweet Italian pepper to me, though they are HOT). Also, planty of basil and parsley. The lettuce is not producing now and young seedlings are not growing well. Too hot I guess.

Cucumis sativus

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Supersonic tomatoes


















Supersonics are ripening.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Grilled summer squash

Finally a yellow summer squash!! Sunday evening I picked my first one. I sliced it in 3/4 inch slabs, brushed with herbs in olive oil(rosemary, parsley and garlic), let it sit awhile, then grilled and ate it.

topic: yellow squash
Cucurbita pepo (summer squash)

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Flowers in the tomato family



The tomato family (solanaceae) includes several wildflowers most of which are posoinous, potatoes, eggplants, chile peppers, tobacco, nicociana, petunias and ,of course, tomatoes. These flowers are (from upper left): Brandywine tomato, eggplant, horsenettle, jalepeno pepper and a yellow wildflower that looks like it is a solanacea, but I haven't identified it yet.

9/6/06: I finally figured out the yellow "wildflower" at the bottom. Its a tomatillo that is growing on my parents compost pile. I found a flower just like it at http://www.yougrowgirl.com/journals/gayla/000053.php. Maybe my mom will save me some tomatillos!

topic: eggplant, Solanum lycopersicum

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Flower of Lactuca sativa













A flower not often seen in gardens. Lactuca sativa. Garden lettuce. A member of the sunflower family, Asteraceae!! In my parents' garden, it is blooming by the wire edging fence with its stems winding through the trellis. I suppose some would say their lettuce has gotten away from them. But to a lovely effect.

Lactuca sativa

















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