I’ve been remiss in postings lately. It’s not just because I’ve been consumed with raspberry and pea pickings, although that’s been adding to things. Did I mention that raspberries are the new tomato? They are that monkey on my back that needs to be picked continuously lest the fruit drop and rot under the vines and bring a host of diseases. Luckily the rats don’t seem to be interested in them, although we’ve found plenty of berries with snail trails on them.
I’ve been picking a colander or two per day for nearly two weeks now with likely another full week of picking to go. But what a problem to have! My freezer is full of berries that will hold their perfection until I have time to make jam and scones and pie. Oh Tullameen raspberries, where have you been all my life?
I’ve also had the pleasant distraction of visiting reporters peeking into my pantry, my freezer and my garden, a few garden tours, a tv pilot filming in my yard, and my parents who now reside in Arizona and a nephew from Alaska convening here. It’s been a busy two weeks!
I’ve also been harvesting the spring/summer carrots, the beets, loads of greens and feeding the bolted spring greens to the chickens. And did I mention the peas? Because at this point I’m closing my eyes when I walk past them. La, la, la, can’t see you. I’m ready for the peas to be done. I’ve blanched and frozen some and we’ve been eating stir fries constantly but they just keep producing. I’ve stopped watering them so the pods dry and I can save the seeds. The vines will go to goats up the street. In return I’ll get some nutrients to add to my compost pile, or perhaps some milk to make cajeta or chevre.
The garlic is ready for harvesting and braiding and the early potatoes are just about done as well.
How are your gardens coming?
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 www.UprisingOrganics.com. 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?