Vegetable Garden 2014 – Update

VegetableGarden2014Another year of gardening, filled with organic and fresh greens and vegetables in my backyard gives me joy and peace during this hectic summer. This year the harvest is quite delayed due to excessive rains, overcast skies and low temperatures. We have abundance of tomato plants but very low yield with beans and corns.
IMG_7787This is late spring, when greens were just coming out. You can see little cucumber seedling on the left and half-foot of corn on the right. Chick Vader is checking out the progress. There is new fence on the right and bird net on the left side to protect the plants from the chickens.
IMG_8045These are wild purslanes that grow in my garden every spring to early summer. They look like weed but they are very delicious and healthy.

Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular) than any other leafy vegetable plant. 100 Grams of fresh purslane leaves (about half a cup) contain 300 to 400 mg of alpha-linolenic acid. One cup (250 ml) of cooked leaves contains 90 mg of calcium, 561 mg of potassium, and more than 2,000 IUs of vitamin A. A half-cup of purslane leaves contains as much as 910 mg of oxalate, a compound implicated in the formation of kidney stones; however, many common vegetables, such as spinach, also can contain high concentrations of oxalates. Cooking purslane reduces overall soluble oxalate content by 27%, which is important considering its suggested nutritional benefits of being part of a healthy diet. (source Wikipedia)

WildPurslane I prepare purslane in two different ways.

  • I mix purslane with yogurt and minced garlic and make yogurt salad
  • I saute chopped onions and purslane along with mince meat and spice it up with paprika.

IMG_8694 The peppers and this squash plant didn’t like the roof garden on top of the chicken coop. Zucchini squash have been blooming this gorgeous yellow flower every morning but did not produce one squash.

IMG_8695 The long ping tung eggplant I got at the end of June.

IMG_8696I planted these Indigo rose dark tomatoes for the first time.

IMG_8699This part was allocated for greens and herbs but at least 10 tomato plants grew from last year. Mostly cherry tomato plants. I cannot get myself to pull them out, so they grow wild.

IMG_8700Two basil plants next to corn.

IMG_8702Corn at the end of June.

IMG_9297These are the first harvest, I got from the garden.

Chards were very fruitful this year. Luckily, my husband loves it.

What I love most about gardening and chickens is to get out in the morning, pick ingredients, cook our meal and eat right away.

IMG_6945These are last week’s harvest. Lots of tomatoes and few delicious corn. I planted sugar pearl in addition to silver queen seeds I got from last year. Silver queen didn’t come out for some reason.

IMG_6950Tomatoes are ripening slowly but surely.

IMG_6953I am not sure whether these eggplants are supposed to be round or grow longer. The tag has gone missing.

IMG_6957 We fenced around the tomatoes to protect them from the chicken this year. They figured, they could put their necks through the holes. So I covered the fence with a bird net.

IMG_6958Here are the grown corns on the right side and cucumbers on the left side. I really like my new tumbling composter I got through the city’s rebate program.

IMG_6959Pole beans and cucumbers growing together. There are no pole beans in sight but few and unfortunately tasteless bush beans. Despite the fact that I cooked them with all kinds of veggies and spices the beans did not have any taste.

IMG_6960Kale and two broccoli plants covered by dill seeds.

IMG_6961And here is the tomato jungle what was supposed to be salad and greens veggies.

IMG_6962There are tomatoes on the cucumber side as well. Cucumber plants bloomed a lot, yielded rather disappointing number of cucumbers and now seem to be dying.

We have used our rain barrels few times. It rained a lot so the barrel was full all the time but because of too much rain, we didn’t need to water the plants. I purchased this sprinkler hose to evenly water the are near the barrel. It’s much better because, no matter how much you elevate the barrel, you don’t get enough pressure to properly use a shower head.

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