Just about two months after planting, the garden is coming into its own and providing food for the dinner table. I have had salads and greens a-plenty in the intervening weeks, but now there is real variety in the produce. Here’s today’s dinner:
- yellow pattypan squash, grilled on the barbeque with a black pepper
- roasted Purple Chief potatoes with thyme
- roasted baby beetroot (Detroit Red) with rosemary
- Aladdin peas
- and a grilled halibut steak from the Antigonish Farmers Market
What a great meal! And there’s much more to come. The purple Blauhilde beans have been grazed by deer to about 5ft off the ground but there are plenty of beans above that. Strangely, the only other deer damage was to my garlic shoots. They don’t seem interested in the onions though. There are aubergines (eggplants) filling out and masses of green peppers waiting for sunshine to ripen them. We ate the first ripe tomatoes at the weekend — a delicious yellow cherry. The first red tomatoes are not far behind. We have a globe artichoke ready to eat, and more to come. While the broccoli is nearing its end there is still a red cabbage to eat, and the kale is recovering from the caterpillar onslaught. I have continued to pick off caterpillars but the wasps are always buzzing around the kale plants and have done most of my work for me. Soon the first sweetcorn will fill out enough to eat. There are wild raspberries on the edges of the woods around the house, and the fall berries I planted a month ago are already starting to form.
How quickly the excitement of the first of a crop ready to eat can turn into hair-pulling over a glut. The first cucumber was exciting – this is something I hardly ever bother to grow in England, as I don’t eat that many and they are readily available and cheap from local growers. I’m not sure why I thought it would a good idea to put some in my Nova Scotia garden, but I did, and they grew and grew to the point that I am desparate to give them away. There is a saying here that you don’t need to lock your car except in August — otherwise you’ll come back and find your back seat full of zucchini. I don’t have the zucchini glut – in fact my ‘mixed summer squash’ seed packet has yielded a monochrome of yellow squash so far. But I do have far more cucumber than anyone can reasonably eat. Pickles anyone?