Summer Harvesting At Last

Peter Piper may have picked a peck of pickled peppers but I got a peck of peas instead.  And I’m pleased as punch.  This afternoon I went foraging again in the yard and came back in with all this:

The strawberries are starting to slow down now and I expect to probably get only another half flat from them over the next few weeks, however, the Tulameen raspberries are just beginning.

I’ve gotten close to 2 pounds of raspberries so far this week and they are just starting to ripen.  I have no idea what the final tally will be but I’m guessing several flats or more, despite us picking them every time we walk by and Chicken Little offering them to anyone who will listen to him.  These bushes line both sides of our drive which is about 30 feet long.  They are so amazing, so lucious and succulent, the perfect balance of sweet and acid that I am thinking about taking out the back lawn now and planting nothing but raspberries.  If I never eat anything else again I just may be happy.

We’ve also gotten a surprising number of cherries off both the sweet and the sour cherry tree this year.  I wasn’t expecting that since I just planted them last year.  These are the sour ones with hardy fuschia undercover and my thrift store scare crow which may have been a jello mold in a previous life.

The peas are also a joy right now.  I planted five kinds from  The Schweizer Riezen and the Maestro have been the clear winners.  They are crazy productive.  So far I’ve shelled a few pints of the Maestro shelling peas just from the 10 or so vines I planted and I may not even be half way through them.

These peas are a sheller’s dream:  long, full pods that minimize the work to shell and a rich, old-timey pea flavor.  These peas bear no resemblance to those cloying sweet crunchy things called sugar snaps.  For flavor, color, and ease of shelling these are da bomb.

The Schweizer Riezen are beginning to show early signs of pea enation but they have earned the right.  I’ve processed about three pounds of these snow peas already and may only be halfway done, not to mention what we’ve eaten off the vine or in stir fries.  The vines are taller than six feet high and loaded.  The best part about them is that no matter how large they get they remain sweet to the end, never woody or flavorless.  And processing is quick since you don’t need to shell them.  We’ll enjoy these this winter in stir fries.  I’m not planning on freezing many beans so peas will make up any gaps in produce we have this winter.

How about you?  Have you tried anything new this year that surprised you?

19 Responses to Summer Harvesting At Last

  1. Your harvest looks so good, I’m jealous. Most of my peas are not growing well at all. They seem stunted and I am really going to miss fresh garden peas, they are a favorite. I have been harvesting strawberries, spinach and lettuce daily, but nothing else. July will bring more.

  2. It’s our first summer in our house, so we’ve been thrilled with the red currants. I’d also been checking the raspberries daily, and they were such a deep red, I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t ripe- it turned out they’re black raspberries :)

  3. Wow. What gorgeous food. I’m drooling a little over here. :)

  4. Wow Annette! Your harvest is looking awesome! I can’t wait to plant more raspberries! And your peas look great! We haven’t been getting much except loads of lettuce, onions, strawberries and spinach. Yum though!

  5. Sense of home that is too bad! This is the first year I’ve had enough peas to process, mainly because the kids can’t get at them as readily in this spot. Strawberries and lettuce aren’t bad consolation prizes though!
    Joy wow, black raspberries! Yum.. I can’t wait for the currants to come on (maybe next year). I’ve been making pectin from apples but especially with raspberries currants would be a much better pectin source!
    Robin thanks! I’m struggling with a lot of pest issues right now, it’s not all the fun and games of last year. They have definitely found me.
    Meg you amaze me with all you’ve done AND the toddler AND working outside the home. My youngest is going to be 4 now and can entertain himself for longer periods of time. Just think where you’ll be next summer!

  6. I am so amazed-envious-in love with your garden! Your photos are making me drool (and also feel woefully inadequate!!). I really need a few lessons from you to better use my 450 sq ft!

  7. Love it! Our backyard raspberries gave us 3 berries this afternoon, and my little pots of Alaska Bush Peas have kept the kids in “hunter gatherer” mode for the last few weeks. Oddly, the pots on the lower deck bloomed and fruited earlier, with 3-4 peas per pod. The pots on the upper (hotter) deck were much later..but have at least 8 peas per pod! I was surprised to see such a big difference, since the pots were the same size, and held the same crops (tomatillos) last year, and the seeds were all the same packet.

    Looking forward to getting our front yard done- NEXT YEAR, I will have a real garden. One with sunshine ;)

  8. Lara, email me pictures! I swear by It will let you play around by dragging and dropping right-sized crops and let you see how you can pack stuff in.
    Myrnie that is bizarre about the peas! I wonder why? Can’t wait to see your garden next year!

  9. Well I think it’s time to replace the old rasp canes. Yours are looking killer! I got my stuff in a couple weeks late. But then we had a hard frost at the end of May….

  10. Absolutely gorgeous pics! I’m dying to get down to my p-patch tonight to see if some carrots are ready! What are your plans for your sour cherries?

  11. Lovely looking harvest, those peas look perfect.
    Interesting to hear about your raspberries. Do you have any trouble containing them at all? How easy do they send out other canes (?)

  12. Justine – were they ready? I think I have carrot rust. Wow what a crummy year for plagues!
    CityHippyFarmGirl they come up all over the place but you can just pinch them off or dig them up and rehome them. I don’t mind at all since they taste so amazing! I’m eating them right now. I was going for chocolate chips but these are better!

  13. Adam, where are you at? I couldn’t tell from your blog but the photos are great!

  14. wow your peas look so good. I went to buy some at a farm market here in Ohio and they want $5 for a small bag. There like gold around here!

  15. Peter who? Is that Peter Piper’s disreputable cousin?

    Love the pea shot.

  16. Annette, I’m jealous of your city heat units. The morning marine layer consumes the island, and leaves me about two weeks later than your harvest schedule–funny when we’re likely no more than 15 miles away as the crow flies.

  17. Cynthia I’m guessing that is about the same or less than they would have cost here as well. I think it helped that the kids can’t easily get to the vines this year. The last 2 years my youngest has fed them all to the dog.
    Joshua oh my, I meant Peter Piper! Now I’m laughing and blushing at the same time. I’m changing that text now. …
    Tom I have more heat units than most of Seattle as well. We are just on the backside of the hill that overlooks Lake Washington in the old officer’s housing from what was Sandpoint Naval Base. The houses are crummy warboxes and we are the scourge of Laurelhurst and Windermere but they can’t kick us out! I have finally, after 6 years, started remembering to bring raincoats and fleece with us when we head to the zoo because it can be sunny and nice here and rainy and freezing there. I don’t understand how. Even a 10 minute walk from our house down to Magnussen Park can mean freezing. It’s quite bizarre. But I’m rolling with it.

  18. Annette – How did you process your peas?

    We had snow peas (though I was *sure* I had planted sugar peas, Oregon Sugar Snaps from Territorial).

    I got three pint sized bags that I blanched and froze, and another three pint sized bags that I alternately dried, and blanched and dried, and just ate fresh.

    The dried ones just taste burned, though I was careful to rotate the trays and monitor their processes. Yuk. No difference on whether or not to blanch them.

    It was so disappointing that I haven’t thawed some of the frozen ones to try in a stir fry yet. The fresh ones were pretty good, but I think I’ll try your recommendation for Maestro next year.

  19. Hi Grace – I blanched and froze them and they came out just fine. Sorry about your burnt ones! Were you trying to get them like the trader joes snack ones?

    My dehydrator book says to blanch them for 3 minutes before drying. I actually meant to pickle some but never got around to it since we had out of town guests and things were too crazy. I bet they would be great though. Next year.

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