The Sunburst squash is continuing to produce a good supply of sunny yellow patty pans, but you wonder if it was named after the color of the fruit or the exuberance of its flowers. The other story in this picture is the persistence of the powdery mildew this year. I have sprayed with various organic-approved concoctions including Green Cure and Serenade, but the strain of mildew this year seems resistant to everything and does not go away and it is affecting even the “resistant” varieties like Dunja and Summer Dance.
Despite the powdery mildew plaguing most of the squash and cucurbits, I recorded four firsts this week: from the left, first Dunja zucchini, first Summer Dance cuke, first Green Fingers, and first Jackson Classic pickler, with more on the way if I can keep the vines healthy. The Crystal Apple cucumber has also set several fruit so I should be able to try those soon.
Every couple of days now I am picking a large pile of beans, so I won’t show all of them. Above are the four types of bean I am growing this year. Top from left: Provider bush, Trionfo Violetto pole, and Fortex pole. On the bottom are the Jade beans which are just now coming into production after almost all of the first planting failed to germinate. In this photo you can see the difference in color from Provider and Fortex. Jade is a much darker green and one of my favorites. Below is a close up of Jade (top) and Provider.
With all these beans coming in, there is pressure to do something to preserve them, even though a lot still go to the local food pantry. I don’t like freezing them. It’s a lot of work blanching them and I don’t like the mushy texture or even the taste, even when I vacuum sealed them. Forget canning them. Dilly beans are on my wish list but will probably not happen. I do make batches of stewed beans and tomatoes and freeze them, which works well. But then I ran across this article on freezing beans without blanching. It is simple enough, just trim the beans and throw in a zippered freezer bag. I am trying this method this year as an experiment. I am also labeling the variety of bean so I can compare which type freezes better. Now I just hope we don’t have another week-long power failure this winter.p>
Finally, the Beedy’s Camden kale is prolific this year and is being used in many creative ways. My garden neighbor mentioned using it in a “massaged kale salad” and said her kids, who are otherwise allergic to the color green, like this salad. She described sprinkling chopped kale with salt and lemon juice and “massaging” it for 5 minutes, then adding olive oil. I’ll leave it to your imagination how you massage kale leaves, but I did try this classic method and it was very good. If you search the Internet for “massaged kale salad” you will find dozens of variations that can even turn it into a more substantial main dish. So there’s hope in getting through piles of kale like the one below.
This is a sampling of what came from my garden last week. Check out what other gardeners around the world are doing in their gardens by heading over to Daphne’s Dandelions, out host for Harvest Monday.