August 27, 2009

Fresh from the garden: Raspberries!

When we were putting in 25 plants on a hot spring day, I don't think my husband was too impressed with my idea of planting raspberries. However, it was worth the effort. We are getting some every day and will soon have enough extra to save for wine and ice cream. This years "special" will be a raspberry, black currant, elderberry and grape wine because well.... that is what we have. It is fun to be able to make wines that are entirely from our "vineyards". Our other plants are doing well too but this cool summer has affected things. The cucumbers, ground cherries and tomatoes are very slow to ripen. Hopefully we have enough warm weather ahead to still get a good harvest.

August 18, 2009

Ground cherry adventures

Ground cherries have been an interesting plant to grow. The first year we had them I bought a few plants from a garden center and they did well. The next year, I started some from seed and had volunteers all around the gardens from the previous year. Both the ones started early indoors and the volunteers did equally well. It was a bumper crop for fresh eating, wine-making and recipes. So this year I decided to just count on the plant reseeding itself. I left ground cherries where I wanted plants and figured they would take care of the rest themselves. Well, it didn't quite work that way.

I have ground cherries in odd spots where I never grew them and ZERO plants where I encouraged them. The ones I have are gangly because they popped up among the squash, tomatoes, beans, raspberries and other plants that shaded them. We will get some to try in recipes but not as many as I was hoping for.

Next year, I will go back to starting some indoors to make sure they grow where I want them to. Oh well. Never a dull moment in the garden. Besides I had an appetizer of just picked "chocolate cherry tomatoes" and raspberries tonight out in the garden so I am happy!

August 12, 2009

Tree house?

We saw this on our travels through Chippewa County in Wisconsin today. Couldn't resist stopping for a picture. It was a gorgeous day for traveling through the scenic Wisconsin countryside.

August 10, 2009

Happy gardening

Another happy day harvesting and weeding out in the garden. Now it is time to put together a meal including a cucumber from a neighbor, a small white/yellow cucumber, mountain rose potatoes, salad burnet and a few other herbs from our raised bed gardens. I snacked on a few raspberries without sharing. Please don't tell my family. The grapes are Swenson Red and are nicely turning color. I'll share those.........maybe.

August 6, 2009

Berries, wines and other garden treasures

This isn't the first raspberry from our garden this year but it is the first one we didn't munch before we could take a picture. We planted these this year and so far we are pleased. It is called Autumn Britten and they are huge with a delicious tangy sweet flavor. It looks like we should have a good yield with plenty for eating and sharing with a little left over for wine making.

We started a wine this week with our red currants and blackberries from a friend. So far the flavor is very good. Hopefully the delicate fruity taste will survive the fermentation process.

Our cool weather this summer is slowing down the tomatoes a bit. However, a few are taking on a hint of blush and we hope to have some ready to eat by next week. The green peppers look good even without warm temperatures.

I planted one squash variety this year: Thelma Sanders sweet potato squash. The seed catalogs identified it as being "enormously productive". That is proving to be true in my garden (maybe I shouldn't have planted so many). I hope they store well! I guess it is time to get my husband working on improving our basement storage area for squash and potatoes. However, I also don't want to distract him from his latest project which is making more raised bed gardens for me. I definitely need more room for corn and potatoes next year.

Thanks for visiting!