Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Real food

This time last year I was about 20 weeks pregnant. I had started a summer garden but had no hopes of seeing it through because I was conserving every bit of energy (both physical AND mental!) trying to get this baby to the age of viability. 

 We delivered a beautiful and healthy baby girl...
and my garden went to the birds and bugs.

I'm OK with that. 

 But this year I have grand plans to feed that baby girl pure organic fruits and vegetables grown by her mama. This year's garden is all about non-hybrid, non-GMO, and no pesticides. So far I am loving the varieties that are growing. All the seeds came from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company and I foresee purchasing all our seeds from them in coming years (that is, what seeds we don't save through our own garden!).
This tomato is called Costoluto Genovese.  It is an Italian tomato and is the most lumpy thing I've ever seen! It is extremely prolific and the plants are gorgeous!  It's growing along side a non-GMO variety of Amish Paste that I will use for canning. Will most definitely be growing this one next year.

This enormous thing is a cucumber called Telegraph.  They are HUGE!  They are very sweet, very prolific, and very few seeds.  They are an excellent slicing cucumber.  Growing with them are my pickling cukes, Solly Beiler.  I have to admit, not a big fan of those!  They are small and I've not had a good harvest of them.  I know it's still early in the season, so I'll reserve judgement until fall!

And now the staple of the garden, crooked neck squash - Early Golden Summer.  With this variety we could have squash every night of the week!  Will be putting lots of this in the freezer for the winter.  I just love it!

This is my Danny's favorite thing in the garden, Dragon Tongue Bush Beans.  They are a beauty in the garden with plants producing purple and white flowers.  Then the beans emerge with purple stripes on green beans.  Danny's favorite way to eat them is roasted with garlic oil and Parmesan cheese.

A variety that  I am very excited about is this little melon, Rich Sweetness.  I decided I was NOT going to grow a standard variety melon this year and this one sounded fun.  I cannot wait to try them!  They are growing alongside Charantais, a French heirloom melon that should be quite beautiful and tasty!  Of all the things I grow, melons are my favorite!

Then there are the peppers.  I love the pepper patch and they LOVE this Texas heat!  I have so many varieties growing right now, above is Quadrato D'asti Rosso.  There are also heirloom varieties of cayenne, habanero, jalapeno, and Tobasco peppers.  Yup, we like things spicy around here!

This beauty is Costata Romanesco zucchini.  It is very prolific and very tasty!  The sweet flesh has very few seeds.  We will grow this one again next year!

We will be saving the seeds from all our fruits and veggies.  Saving seeds not only insures that the lines remain non-hybridized but plants are smart!  They will acclimate and adapt to our area.  They will learn how to fend off disease and pests that are common to south Texas and each year they will get a little stronger.

I suspect the bugs and birds will return as the summer progresses, after all, they had a virtual buffet last year!  And although I may loose some of the battles to them, in the long run I think we'll come out on top!

(You can click on any of the colored words on this post to be taken to that vegetable
 on the Baker Creek site!  Really, you should check them out!)



Anonymous said...

WOW! and WOW! I am majorly impressed. ( and I was proud of the lemon tree actually bearing lemons this year - last year none).
Good job all of you.
"Aunt" Nancy

Therese said...

Wow JoAnn, what a great summer garden. I love all the fresh salads from the garden.

Yvonne said...

JoAnn do you use the Back to Eden method of gardening? I'm seriously considering it, and would love your thoughts (when you have time -- right ;-0)

JoAnnC. said...

My niece and nephew do the Eden method and it works well for them. I kind of used a modified Eden method. I have garden boxes that I mulch each spring with a thick layer of newspaper and hay. Hay is super cheap out here and our town doesn't do the wood chips thing. I've found that any organic, thick mulch works wonders for the garden. I am in my third year of doing this and my soil is very rich. Try it!

Anonymous said...

Eden method? I haven't heard of this. Hay is super expensive here!! :) Thank you for the garden variety hints and links!!! The garden is beautiful. Mine is just now getting started setting fruit. The only thing we can eat now are the herbs and the berries. Our fruit trees are producing but our one Charlie Brown looking peach is as usually just standing there as usual ... :) Sarah

JoAnnC. said...

@ Sarah, check out:
most city parks dept. have wood chips for free!