Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Summer Bounty from the Garden

You've seen my floating garden from spring planting, through the "Junco Wars" to save our seeds, to sprouting in mid-May. But come see, it's now in full summer harvest mode.

We pick fresh greens daily for salads. I tried a new one this year called Tom Thumb. It has small compact heads of crisp curly leaves. I pick the lower ones and leave the crown to keep producing. We also have baby romaine and curly leaf lettuce. Our onions from sets are all gone and unfortunately I can't find any more in town. I've started some from seed, but they are much slower growing.

My Red Norland potatoes are ready. They produce firm fleshed small potatoes good for frying, baking or cooking on the grill. I have two beds because they take up quite a bit of room. One is on the floating garden (handy for quick picks) and another up on the cliff where I am creating a small planting bed. My herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley, mint, savory and and basil) are doing great. I keep them in pots so they don't take over the beds. My carrots have bright green tops, but still need some more time to develop their roots. As picking opens up soil areas, I replant (primarily lettuce) for future harvests.

The strawberries are finally ready for harvest. Everything was delayed about three weeks because of the late cold and rainy weather. They will continue giving us a taste of summer through September. The first wave began last week and they were the best ever! I was worried about their survival because of the exceptionally long, cold winter and an infestation of grubs. But as you can see, they are pretty resilient plants.

Powell River is currently participating in a 50-mile diet challenge and has earned the unlikely title of "Local-eating Capital in North America." I try to get to the farmer's market on Saturdays and Sundays, but when I can't I have some VERY local food to add to our diet. Have you ever participated in a diet challenge focusing on locally produced foods? Let us hear your stories. Happy local eating!! -- Margy

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We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy