Posted by: David | August 7, 2008

Garden Update

Here’s an overdue photo update of the garden. We’ve had so much rain here this summer. The local weather guy this morning says that we’ve already exceeded the average precipitation for the whole year. Our front door doesn’t open and close properly cause it’s swollen with moisture.

The garlic is curing nicely! It took me way too many years to start growing this.

I’ll pick and choose the nice large heads to plant this fall. And won’t plant them so closely together this time. We had a nice crop of purple cauliflower too. We’d been eating a lot of it lately and I put the rest of it in the freezer last weekend. The blanching water got to looking like grape Kool Aid after the first batch.

Purple cauliflower has a slightly stronger flavor than white, we think.

The corn started tasseling a week or so back, and as usual, the winter squash vines are infiltrating the cornstalks. The soil behind the barn is very rich, with 13 years worth of horse manure and shavings spread out there.ย  3 rows of tomatoes, 7 rows of corn, and then the squash vines east to west.

The tomatoes are off to the left out of the frame.

The jerusalem artichokes started to flower a week or so ago. And most of the cabbages have been pulled. A few of them sort of exploded because of the excessive rain. But 2 green and 1 purple cabbage are still “heading up”.

Helianthus tuberosus. Like cousin sunflower, these yellow blooms follow the sun.

This gloomy gray weather has brought a gang of crows to our grounds. Not sure what they’re finding scratching around in our lawn, but they spend many minutes there. Getting a picture of them is not easy, as they scatter when they see any forms moving in the windows. I have to sneak into the window frame to get a picture.

This “Gang of Four” surveys the ground between the house and the barn.

Oliver is not especially fond of the crows. They represent another rowdy element of unmanaged fauna which he would like to “manage”. Crows are probably like number 8 on his “Death To …” list.

1. Chipmunks 2. Squirrels 3. Mice 4. Rats 5. Woodchucks 6. Wildabeests …

Finally this lovely sporeprint that my wife made on a paper towel from a mushroom that was growing the in the corn patch. To make a spore print, useful in identifying fungi, you remove the stem and place the cap of the mushroom on paper. The spores drop from the underside of the cap and settle into the paper. This print almost looks like a photo of the actual mushroom’s gills.

It’s pretty isn’t it?


  1. purple cauliflower?!?!?!?!

    What are you like a mad scientist!?!?!??!

    Wow, I have really, never, never seen that..

    PS: that garlic looks fab, well done ๐Ÿ™‚

    Well I’m not really a scientist, but maybe I’m a little mad. The purple cauliflower comes from Pinetree Garden Seeds, an F1 hybrid variety called “Graffiti”. Thanks Romi, I’m pretty proud of the garlic ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I know I’ve said it before, but I want to run through your garden and hug all of your plants. I love them, I’m jealous of them, I miss my garden.
    My favourite thing to grow were peas. i LOVE eating raw peas off the vine. And fresh carrots….soooo sweet and yummy.

    I’m sure that all our plants would LOVE that talea! Please bring your butter knife and 5 gallon bucket- there’s a little weeding to be done. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s nice that folks can get some vicarious garden enjoyment from these pix. Our sugarsnap pea harvest was pretty sparse this year, but what we got were very yummy. The carrots are coming along slowly — planted some kind of “scarlet” variety that are supposed to be very sweet.

  3. Kudos and high five to people who grow their own gardens. I am not one of those people. My goal is to grow my own tomatoes someday…though I will have to protect them from my tomato-loving pug. Until then, I must rely on garden hand-me-downs from friends and co-workers.

    Purple cauliflower? Who knew?

    Thanks Allison, I’m doing an air high five back to you. We who DO garden count on you produce lovers to take our surplus zucchinis and cabbages. I’m surprised at how many folks are surprised by the purple cauliflower.

    Fun stuff! Yeah.

  4. Awesome work, David. All I’ve done this year is weed and mow. Love the mushroom print.

    Thanks B&G. Weeding and mowing is nothing to sneeze at. Unless you’re allergic. Nyuk. The other shroom that my wife did a sporeprint she ID’d as an amanita — death cap. She chucked it into the rubbish promptly.

  5. Yes, the mushroom print is ART. really cool. I love your garden updates! and I love the purple food, too.

    Got any slugs? I checked on my zuc plant and found 7 of the dern (or is it durn?) things. I was all mad scientist on them, too: Salt has very interesting effect…. ick.

    Glad you liked the sporeprint. Purple food is good!

    We have lots of them dern/durn (looks like both spellings are accepted) slugs esp. on the cabbage. It’s because of all the rain. Ick indeed.

  6. Wow! Cool veg, D-lev! I gave up my garden when Pete Johnson of Pete’s Greens started the Good Eats CSA in my town. Now I “subscribe” to my veg. I get a box of whatever is ready each Wednesday. There is always something odd and unfamiliar in the lot, and this is about my favorite feature. That purple cauliflower makes me think again about the purple string beans I have received the last week or two; when I boil those up, they turn a lovely deep Subaru green. Does the cauli turn green? Or stay purple? And speaking of Kool-Aid: my cousin has this fab iris garden with purple ones that smell (I kid you not) like grape PEZ. Imagine: a natural artificial grape fragrance!

    Thanks vermonter! I think subscription (or community) gardens are a wonderful idea. We’ve got one of those down here in Bradford too. Participants can come in and do x number of hours of garden work as part of their payment.

    The purple green beans are fun- we’ve grown them in the past. Subaru green ๐Ÿ˜€

    We’ve got some of those Kool Aid irises too, they’re fab!

  7. Dear David,

    I have a small favor. Could you send me the password through my account to uninstall NOD32? Because it won’t let me uninstall it. I have this feeling I asked you before, but I can no longer access my account for some strange reason. I’m hoping it’s temporary. Hope all is well. I’ve been on blogging hiatus for awhile, and will try to get back into it soon.


    HI cscenglishbabe, nice to hear from you. NOD32 has nothing to do with the gmail problem, but I’ll send you that password. Please make sure that you have some other antivirus to install if you remove NOD32. You can download AVG Free antivirus here if you’re too poor to buy something else. Hope you’re well and happy ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Thanks for the poor people antivirus stuff. As for the writing, you might be amused by my latest post about retail. It isn’t superhero stuff, but you might find it amusing. Cheers! I tend to try on the well and happy part. ๐Ÿ˜€

    You’re welcome! I would love to read your latest post about retail. Why don’t you provide the link to it? It’s not on your Blogger blog – is it at LiveJournal? I haven’t logged on to that one in a while. Please leave the URL …

  9. That spore print is so cool. The purple cauliflower is just amazing, “Graffiti is the perfect name for it, though I would have called it the “Andy Warhol.” You and Vermonter make me so jealous with your dramatic vegetables, I could just set myself on fire.

    Oliver looks like he paused on the red carpet so the paps could get a good shot. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Dramatic vegetables! ๐Ÿ˜€ Please don’t set yourself on fire Wendy. You have dramatic plants down there in your desert home too. Try not to touch them.

    Ollie was actually looking out the window at the gang of crows. Under his spotted coat he’s purple with rage over the unmanaged critters out there on his lawn. Or green with envy maybe. Who knows?

  10. As a printmaker I am so thoroughly impressed with that awesome mushroom print-wow, now I want to make mushroom prints, what fun!

    Thanks Reba! I will show you the original, though I think it’s faded some, being composed entirely of mushroom spores, not the stable inks of your craft.

  11. I think you do not grow any cabbage. I have been wondering why. I once saw a cabbage field near Basle and it seemed to me that each (head? of) cabbage was about 2 or more feet in diameter. But of the few Russian stories that I almost know by heart because I read them many times over when I tried to learn Russian — in these stories there is always some cabbage. It seems to be the only food the really poor can afford. I think that in Spain the really poor lived on onions and garlic. I think that was because cabbage needs a lot of water. — Begin, a former Israeili premier was an inmate in a Soviet labor camp, and I think he also only got cabbage soup.

    Do you know? I mean is cabbage very easy to grow and cheap?

    Now HERE is something that I can definitively argue!

    You are SO wrong about this. We grow cabbage every year, both green and purple varieties. Why, we’ve even made our own sauerkraut in the past, with varying degrees of success.

    We LOVE cabbage, and so many other vegetables from the brassica family. Brassicas have many health benefits too.

    Cabbage is pretty easy to grow and depending on the weather is holds fairly well until ready to harvest. Sometimes if it rains too much the heads split open.

    So there! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. But where is the argument?

    I did not see the cabbage in your “garden” and thought that would be so because it takes up too much space for what it is worth.

    And the reason why I was wondering is that it is of interest to find out what the world was like in most places until very recently.

    But there is no argument, no point to prove or disprove.

    I think I might be missing something here … but we really love our cabbage and don’t have a space problem. Plenty of room for those giant cabbage plants. We grow it just about every year.

    I hope you’re not using cabbage as a metaphor. ๐Ÿ™‚ Again.

    The “reason you were wondering” is also a prime reason that keeps me coming back to these pages, especially F I S H I N G. I don’t often have a comment to add, but like the Old World Views.

    So no argument here …

  13. But where is there a cabbage here? Is it not photogenic?

    When England had trouble surviving in WWII. Churchill thought they would have to give up some veggies, but encourage people to have chickens. The problem was in the available shipping space when the Germans kept sinking their ships.

    But there were similar conditions in Switzerland, the Soviet Union, Israel, Germany.

    Cabbage may appear in the next post. It is VERY photogenic. It has no memory of the Great War.

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