Jacob crawled up on an end table this evening so he could look at family photos on the wall, including one of the “Four Little Monkeys” shots from almost 6 months ago. *AND* Amelia and Noah asked to wear their pajamas that matched the babies tonight. *AND* We managed to get all four in PJs with a couple seconds to spare before bedtime… so I thought I better snap some new photos to document how much bigger everyone has gotten, before they grow out of the pajamas. 🙂 This photo shoot wasn’t much easier than the first one, as you can see:
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!