My garden is producing some excellent veg for us right now. I have been picking mustard greens for my salads, bok choy and swiss chard for my stir fries, as well as all the peas my kids can eat. I always want to have enough peas to freeze for the winter, but it never works out. And to be honest, I much prefer raw peas, shelled straight from the garden. It seems like a waste to try and save them for the winter, they just don't taste as good. Plus, my kids prefer them raw. In fact, when I cook frozen peas, they typically turn up their noses. Perhaps they have been spoiled from the fresh peas...
Out of my 5 winter squash hills, it appears that one is without squash bug and cucumber beetle damage. I'm not entirely sure how that has happened, but I am happy that at least one of my hills has survived. The others are still alive, but seriously stunted, and I am not sure they will recover with our short growing season. On the plus side, I have found that my chickens LOVE to eat squash bugs. I have been flicking them into a jar, and the putting them in the chicken coop, where they are immediately devoured by my chickens. Have I mentioned lately how much I love them?
It is a good thing that I love them so much. Why? Because when I went to check on my potted plants (mainly peppers and tomatoes) I noticed that some of the small peppers had been pecked, and I actually watched one of the chickens eating all the tomato flowers...I'm trying to come up with a solution to that. I haven't figured anything out yet. We don't have our pots in a fenced area...or our garden...or our chickens for that matter. We are kind of letting everything be as close to natural as possible. For the most part the chickens leave the garden alone, and the potted veggies. There is one that really enjoys pecking though...We are planning on eventually having some chicken wire enclose the chicks, but they seem so happy roaming freely around our very small .25 acres of land, I don't have the heart to fence them in. In fact, I am even learning to love what we suspect is a rooster. He helps to corral the girls into the hen house at the end of the day, and I will be sad to see him go because he is very good with the kids. Maybe I am wrong, and he is actually a she, and that would make me happy! But, I don't think we are mistaken.
It has been extremely satisfying to be able to go outside and gather small amounts of veg for our day to day eating. The peas for snacks, the greens for our salads or stir fries. I typically only grow the typical summer veggies like tomatoes/peppers/cucumbers/summer squash. I am learning a lot about what we like, and that my kids will try anything that they plant and/or pick from the garden. My carrots are doing extremely well. I have gotten impatient and pulled a couple just to see if they are, in fact, producing purple carrots. They are, and Emma is extremely excited to have those as a snack someday soon.
This week I will be pulling the rest of the peas and some of the greens, hopefully planting more carrots and more greens for later in the summer. Maybe some slicing cucumbers and more summer squash if I can find seedlings for them. I have no clue if it is too late to plant some of those things for later in the summer...maybe I will attempt it just to see, since I already have seeds.
I am linking up to the Barn Hop and Ginny's Saturday Garden Journal!
Don't forget to enter my giveaway for The Journeys of John and Julia here. It is a great book!