Sunday, August 3, 2008

Garden Eats

Oh goodness. I have not been very good about documenting it, but we have been eating like royalty around our house these days and keeping fresh bouquets in the house at all times. Huge, luscious Cherokee Purples & Black Krim tomatoes, still with the cucumbers, fresh dill, basil, our own red peppers, sunflowers, bachelor buttons, gladiolas, cosmos, black eyed sues. Green beans, summer squash, fresh corn from the farmer's market and friends. As I observed a few weeks ago, summer gardening is just so different from winter gardening, and right now if I had to throw my lot in with one or the other I would say that I'm a winter gardening gal. Contrary to perception, I think it is way easier. The soil is warm when you plant your seeds, the temperatures are cooler so watering is not as much of an issue, and most pests are naturally hibernating in an egg somewhere. This summer gardening, whew! With the heat and the watering and the bugs (overnight we suddenly got a party crew of Harlequin Bugs, lovely to look at and satisfying to smoosh), goodness be. I will confess that I definitely planted too many "winter" veggies - I really thought that my love affair with kale was an all year thing, but it turns out that this is not really the case. When it's hot as hell outside, I want dinner that doesn't require much effort or much stove time, just like everybody else. So a lot of our kale and chard and beet greens did not get eaten, which I have the capacity to kick myself in the shins about BUT: now we have chickens and I just pat myself on the back for growing lovely organic chicken food. I bet those Harlequin Bugs make for tasty eggs! Anyway, next year's summer garden will feature fewer deep leafy greens and even more peppers and summer goodies.

Anyhoo, in the meantime: more beans. At Rachel's enthusiasm for them, we cracked open the Eye of the Goat beans, and oh goodness, aren't they something to look at? We cooked them up with a strip or two of bacon and a carrot and an onion and some thyme and a bay leaf and they were just divine. Simple, sturdy, plump, they kept their shape and their skin. The first night we ate them all alone with slices of fresh tomato and cucumbers in vinegar and dill, but the second night we smashed a goodly few of them and warmed them up for Huevos Rancheros with homemade salsa. Ooph, the life.

May you all be eating well out there.


rachel said...

Cutest beans ever for cutest girl ever.

cake said...

sounds like our place. we've become obsessed with canning this summer. not all from our garden, but all locally grown, fresh food.