Monthly Archives: July 2012

Summer Garden

We decided to give gardening a good faith effort this year. Instead of popping a few seeds in the old dirt and crossing our fingers, we actually brought in new dirt, planted seeds in a starter tray, bought cages for our tomatoes… the whole nine yards. Noah even learned to pick weeds, and was excited enough about it, I didn’t have any weeding to do! (The new dirt and newspaper helped choke out most of them).

 Our motivating crop was OKRA, of all things. Not only is it supposed to be drought-resistant (wahoo!), but my kids consume an absurd amount of pickled okra (weird, I know) and I was finally convinced that pickling/canning was not out of my reach.
 
 So, we took the plunge. And…

… it worked! We planted okra, zucchini, green beans, and two varieties of grape tomatoes. The zucchini started out strong, but have really slowed down in the heat of the summer. We probably got about a dozen or two, enough to keep us eating plenty for several weeks without getting sick of it.
The green beans didn’t do as well as I hoped. It takes longer to harvest enough to cook than they’ll stay fresh in the fridge, so we mostly just eat them raw. The two tiny tomato plants have turned into a jungle of vines, full of green tomatoes that ripen at a rate just fast enough to feed us with plenty to share.  The Tami G variety is Noah’s favorite, with teeny-tiny grape tomatoes, but it doesn’t produce nearly as much as the grape-roma Juliets.  Those vines are constantly full of green tomatoes, ready to ripen.

The okra has been nothing short of a smashing success. It is so easy to grow, and Noah hasn’t tired of harvesting it every day.  It started out as an easy job,

but has gotten tall enough to be a challenge lately!

He eats it raw (or pickled, or fried, or sauteed),
 
and loves to eat the blossoms (his idea!) so much that I had to give him a daily ration so that he leaves some flowers to grow into okras.  Okay, originally I rationed him because I wasn’t sure how edible okra blossoms were, but I’ve since looked that up and google says they’re okay.   Did you know okra is related to hibiscus?  Explains the gorgeous flowers!

Roar!

A new generation of baby Godzillas terrorize GeoTown.
Not unlike their big sister, years ago:
This time, we couldn’t keep the track built as fast as they could tear it apart, and trains (and princess passengers) were derailing, right and left. Good times!