Monday, May 28, 2018

Asparagus season!

The end of the flowering shrubs is in sight, which means the lilacs are out!

And, after a lengthy period of doing whatever it is that they do, the potatoes have finally pushed out of the ground.

The summer flowers are also underway, with these self-seeded poppies brightening the front porch.

On the weekend, Jenn and I rode down to the farmer's market and picked up several bunches of asparagus. We ate some fresh and the rest I started processing. Most of it was snapped, blanched and frozen for pizzas or veggie pot pie in the coming months.

I used some of the left over stalks and the water from blanching to make soup stock. I also put some of the ends of the asparagus in the dehydrator to make asparagus powder.

Over about 20 hours, five trays of split asparagus stalks lost about 90% of their volume. A quick whirl in the coffee grinder and they were reduced to about a half a cup. The powder will go into soups over the next winter.

The first of the radishes are ready out back. We harvested them along with a first cropping of lettuce for a salad last night.

I have done a second sowing of lettuce in some of the bald spots in the lettuce bed. We also planted from scarlet runner beans in behind the peas (which are up about 8 inches).

Jessica and Jenn also cut some rhubarb and combined it with some of last year's frozen strawberries (freeze clean-out time) to make a lovely pie.

We're forecast to get a bit of rain and a break from the heat this week. That's good as the watering demands have been crazy these past two weeks.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Lettuce, fruit blossoms, and zucchini

We finished planting out the garden over the past week, including putting in the corn starts that we grew inside plus the peppers an the rest of the tomatoes. I think we'll seed some beans this weekend in behind the peas and we're likely done for the season

The lettuce and radish bed has germinated and are starting to fill in. Some volunteer lettuce growing out the side of the raised bed was the furtherest along but is quickly being overtaken as high temperatures (+25C and more) are really encouraging growth.

The fruit trees and bushes are all in bloom, with the apples (above) and saskatoons (below) both promising good crops.

Some of the direct seeds crops are also germinating. The zucchini (below) is in a foot race with the onions and garlic. I'm also seeing the first of the carrots and the chard poking up.

Jessica's yard-long cucumbers also germinated. Trying out new varieties often leads to disappointments so seed the germinates is a good start. No sign of the potatoes yet but it is still early.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Bulbs, sap, oregano and peas

Spring moved into high gear this past week, with the bulbs all breaking through the soil and leaf litter.

The sap is also running in the trees. Not sure why the cherry tree in the back yard has these nicks where it dies. I wonder about sap suckers?

The herbs have come back and we planted a bunch more of annual herbs this year. I have been interspersing them with flowers, mostly for aesthetic reason. I'm hopeful we can dry more herbs this year as we ran out of most of the usual kinds over the winter.

The raspberry canes have also started too leaf out and I will start to prune out the dead canes. I meant to do that last fall but ran out of energy.

Out front the peas have germinated and we also put in some tomato starters. I have a bunch more tomatoes and peppers that I picked up today but will wait until Friday to put the, out as the weather has cooled off slightly.

The early tulips are up out back and have added a shot of colour. We managed to get the rest of the carrots, onions, beets and bush beans planted in the back. There is just a small section that I will leave until June for some later vegetables.

The onions and garlic have started to come up. As have the radishes and lettuce. No sign of the zucchini or chard yet. Keen to dry some asparagus stalks to have on had for soup mixture.