Zucchini Everywhere

Zucchini abounds. The weather and growing conditions are a perfect storm. Last year we harvested a few measly zucchinis and no cukes. This year…whoa. I cannot pick them fast enough. They make great giveaways but I’m running out of neighbors!

The zucchini bread turned out exceptional as did the minestrone soup. Zucchini is good on salads and tossed in many stir-fry recipes. Any other ideas on how to deplete the zucchini shelf?

First Harvest of Zucchini, Tomatoes, Green Peppers, and Potatoes

13 Aug 2008: The first zucchini was harvested yesterday. Here we go. Zucchini are big producers and I expect to have a plethora of them in a week or so.

The green beans harvested were enough to make a small potful but bugs are getting to the leaves so I don’t expect to get much more (though there are a lot of flowers on the bean plants).

I harvested a bucketful of Yukon Gold potatoes mixed with a few Red Pontiacs. Naturally, I made a batch of herb-roasted potatoes to compliment kick-butt pork chops.

Green peppers are starting to come in. I’m going to let a few hang until they turn orange or red as they are sweeter and tastier. The jalapenos are looking good and I’ll try one in a few days.

The first Roma tomato was used on dougthecook pizza last night. Also picked a few Big Boy tomatoes.


First Green Bean Harvest

July 14, 2008 – I picked two big potfuls of green beans. We boiled up a bunch and they were delicious! There were plenty of small beans in progress and flowers signifying new ones. Bugs have eaten holes in many of the leaves. I may put sevin dust on them but prefer not to. Last year we had four pickings of beans, each one generating less.

Our variation on the classic green bean casserole is the next recipe for beans.


Cherry Tomato Harvest

My wife has been waiting forever for cherry tomatoes. Finally harvest time is here. I have been out several times to the single plant we have and brought back several dozen cherry tomatoes each trip.

The cherry tomato plant has branched out and is about 6 feet across – at least that was today. It has been fertilized with 12-12-12 when the fruit began to appear. We have had several rains of around an inch so the plant has got deep root watering.

I had to hand water it a few times earlier. Before watering, I break up the soil crust with a hoe, watching that I do not go too deep. The idea is to get the soil loose enough so the water soaks in rather than runs off. It is a good idea to break the soil crust every few days just in case it rains but also important is to let air in.

DtG Doug the Gardener

Vegetable Garden About Done – Sep 26

Only tomatoes and green peppers left in the garden. I managed to find several red onions now that the weeds are chopped down to a few inches. Nearly all the tomatoes are green and the few red ones that remain are rotten. The peppers show several flowers and have a few tiny peppers growing but now it is the race to the freeze. Temperatures are getting to the low 40s at night.
Our neighbor had a good pepper year; we did not.
The popcorn harvest was a dud. Most of the ears did not fill out and the ones that did had small kernels.
Like the Cubs fans always say: wait until next year!


First Zucchini – Jul 10

Ahh, the first zucchini from the garden. I pick it when it is about 8 inches long though we have eaten much larger ones. The large ones tend to taste woody. Our favorite recipe is zucchini bread which has gone over well every time I make it. A delicious variation on this recipe is to add 1/2 cup of pineapple and reduce the zucchini to 1 1/2 cups (thanks to Angie, our wonderful neighbor).
I’ll post my recipe for minestrone soup which uses zucchini later.
Zucchini on the grill is excellent! Cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes, thread on a skewer, brush with olive oil and grill on the rack about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
I use a small shears to cut the zucchini from the plant – tearing it off sometimes breaks the stem off the zucchini. Leave one inch of stem. Wrap in paper towels and refrigerate asap.
I have frozen zucchini successfully but when it unfreezes it has a lot of moisture and its resilience is lost but it is still good in zucchini bread.
DtG – Doug the Gardener

Harvesting Spinach and Lettuce – Jun 15

Harvested another large crop of spinach. One or two plants have started to bolt so I don’t except much more. There are about 30 spinach plants in total.
The lettuce (about 10 plants) is starting to mature so I took a few heads (though they could have grown some more). I just yanked the entire head out of the ground to harvest it.
It hasn’t rained significantly for a week so the ground is very dry. 1/3 of the garden got a deep watering. The rest will tomorrow.