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Some time back I posted a series of articles on various vegetables I was researching for this year’s garden and I thought it might be interesting to post an update on what I actually did end up planting.  So far all is well – my plants are up and doing well.  The weather has been good for the deep South although the temperatures are creeping up with a 95 degree heat index yesterday.  With the heat usually comes a decrease in the amount of rain we see and I’ve already watered the garden once.

We probably tripled the size of the garden from last year and instead of doing the whole thing with a shovel and broadfork we had someone plow it for us.  That let me expend my labor on seeding and weeding instead of breaking up the soil.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t done in time for early things like sweet peas and potatoes.

I chose Country Gentleman and Silver Queen corn and planted it as far away from each other as possible.  We staggered the plantings so the corn is varying heights and hopefully will be harvested over a longer season.  I have enough seed and space for perhaps another 10 rows and will put that out over the next 2 or 3 weeks.

Country Gentleman

The Blue Lake green beans look good as do the Fordhook limas.  I did two plantings of these to extend the harvest so while the first are about 5 inches tall, the others have yet to sprout although after watering, that should happen by the middle of next week.

I planted 3 rows of Pennsylvania Crookneck Squash that seem to be doing well.  I bought seed from Landis Valley but also saved the seed from squash we purchased at an Amish market when we were there over Christmas.  I decided to save the purchased seed and plant the seed from the squash and I do believe every seed sprouted.  There are pies in our future providing the bugs leave some and I keep them watered.

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Image of PA crookneck squash from the Seedsavers website.

I put out 60 tomato plants hoping to be able to can and freeze enough for the year so that we avoid the bad nasties in purchased canned tomatoes.  They were chosen for hot weather and disease resistance.  I have 6 Atkinson I bought and the rest are Big Boy and Better Boy that I started from seed.  They are blooming so I have the bacon and fixings ready for my first BLT.

I planted a row of Aunt Molly’s ground cherries or husk tomatoes if you prefer that have yet to sprout but if for some reason they don’t I have enough seed to replant.  I’m waffling in my decision as to whether to wait or reseed.

There is a row of salsify and a row of scorzonera.  The latter, which was referred to as viper’s grass in times past, is pushing through the soil surface and from its appearance it is easy to see how it got that name.

I had asparagus, but I’m waiting for it to be established better before cutting any.  I had about a 50% grow rate on my Jerusalem artichokes.  I’m not sure why only about half sprouted.  Moles or armadillos could be the culprits or perhaps the tubers weren’t as healthy as they should have been when they went in the ground.  I will probably harvest them and replant the bulk of them so as to amass a larger bed for next year rather than cooking them up this winter.

A couple of kinds of cucumbers and a few radishes are tucked away here and there, all up but not ready to harvest.

The basil, thyme, parsley, rosemary, shallots, and elephant garlic are in raised beds surrounded by chicken wire to keep hungry geese, chickens, and guineas from helping themselves.

There are baby ducks, chicks, rabbits, and a single gosling that have hatched so we butchered some of the older chickens and a couple of drakes last weekend and put them into the freezer.  Our ratio of roosters and drakes was higher than it should be so this helped to correct that and give the hens a break.  The roast duck followed by a nice barley vegetable soup made from boiling down the rest of the duck was pretty good.

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As always, gentle reader, I leave you with the wish for Blissful Meals!  ©  – Victoria, the Historic Foodie, thehistoricfoodie.wordpress.com.

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