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more on life in the garden

I harvested my first lemon cucumber tonight and ate it with the first Early Girl tom from my amazing Early Girl that is so weighted down with fruit that it ripped the cage right out of the ground and toppled over!!! Luckily none of the vines were uprooted or even snapped! Plants are amazing. The Early Girl, which I heard was kinda bland in flavor, is actually pretty savory and buttery...and a hell of a lot more flavorful than any watery, stiff tomato you can buy in the super market. Gardening has changed my life. It makes me feel powerful, responsible, and it channels my energy away from bad habits.

I am excited about the lemon cux for a bunch of reasons. 1. They are incredibly prolific and I can prolly trade some of the crop to other folks who grow things I don't have in my garden (like potatoes...on the docket for next year for sure!) 2. They're really crunchy! I think that regular cux can sometimes get a little soggy pretty quick after picking...but not these guys! 3. They seem to be a hearty, fast-growing plant...and obviously they are early harvesters. Some folks don't like them because they have a lot of seeds, but they aren't like store bought green cuc seeds that are all slimy and spaced out...to me they just add another layer of texture to the crunchy rind. And I heart the lemony flavor!!!

I am beginning to think that the winter squashes that I have in the back bed are not butternuts. I got them as starts from Fred Meyer and the tag said "winter squash" but it had a pic of butternuts on the label...so I just assumed...but even at this early point in the season, my first two squashes are fucking MASSIVE and showing no signs of ripening yet--in other words, my squashes are already 2X the size of any butternut I've ever seen and showing no signs of being done growing. I've google image searched for winter squashes to try and see what kind they might be but I can't seem to find it!

Not sure what the big deal is about scarlet runner beans. What do you do with them. Do you harvest the whole pod like green beans or do you just eat the beans like ripe favas?

Notes for next year: plant lots of radishes and summer spinach. Plant potatoes and sweet corn and sugar snap peas. Maybe some banana peppers. Maybe get some blueberry bushes! DONT plant red cabbage (it takes FOREVER to ball...if it balls).

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
creme_fraiche
Jul. 30th, 2009 05:02 am (UTC)
Scarlet runners are a dry shelling bean, not for eating fresh in my experience. I grew them once years ago, and forget at what point you are supposed to harvest them. I think I must have left them on the vine until the pods got dry, then picked them and popped the dry beans out of their shells to store. I think I'd remember if it had required an extra step to dry them. Anyway, they are super tasty- the size of a lima bean almost, but rich and meaty tasting. They are awesome in minestrone soup, for example.

I have total garden envy. Lemon cucumbers are one of my absolute favorite foods ever. Yum!
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