It’s been a long time since I’ve posted an update. We’ve been really busy, and were just out of town for a little while too.
We just got back from vacation (more about vacation later), and a lot is happening in the garden. It seems everything took off in the garden when we were gone. Much gratitude to my sister Laurie, who watered the garden for me when it needed it! Our perennial flowers have mostly burst into full bloom as well. We’re getting lots of pollinator visitors which we are happy about.
Getting back to the garden, we harvested our first potatoes and blackberries. The potatoes that were ready to harvest were in grow bags. We also have potatoes in a raised bed, but they still appear green and upright. I harvested the grow bags because the plants were turning yellow and drooping a bit. It was a decent harvest for a family of four and I was so excited to cook them! This is my first time growing potatoes. I sauteed them with butter, salt, and pepper. They were delicious! The blackberries have also begun to ripen, which is early for this variety (prime ark 45). I love these berries, they are big, sweet, and juicy. The only drawback of this variety is they do have thorns and seeds. Our blueberries are also close to ripening, so only a few more days to go until we can snack on them. Another thing that is ready is basil. I am going to buy ingredients this week to make pesto (pine nuts, parmigiano reggiano, etc.). The season of harvesting summer stuff is at hand, which is good because a lot of our spring stuff has bolted.
Our pepper plants and tomato plants have flowered, but it’s going to be a while before we get any fruit. I pinched some flowers on both before we left. Pinching off early flowers or fruit encourages the plant to put energy first into developing roots to later produce even more fruit. The same can be said for picking your first fruits slightly underripe. The plant’s genes kick in to make more fruit because it doesn’t feel that it has successfully reproduced.
I am super excited about pepper season. I’m ready to make and experiment with different hot sauces. We’re growing many varieties of peppers: Bell, two kinds of Jalapeno, Habanero, Habanada, Panamanian Creole pepper, Thai Dragon, and Carolina Reapers. We will eat some fresh of course, but many are intended to make hot sauces to get us through the year. Speaking of hot sauce, on vacation in Myrtle Beach I came across a hot sauce store called Pepper Palace. We got to sample a few hot sauces and Maria, my older daughter and I tried the hottest sauce (Mr. Pain). I ended up buying a sauce called Curry On made with peaches, a lot of spices, and peppers. It is really good. I hope to make at least one sweet and spicy hot sauce, possibly with mango. That store was pretty awesome for spicy food and chili pepper lovers.
That is about everything going on in the garden. As far as the vacation goes, it was amazing. We bought some watermelon and peaches at an SC Produce farmstand and they were delicious. The kids had a great time swimming, seeing ocean life, and just enjoying themselves. We also stopped at America’s newest national park, the amazing New River Gorge National Park. It was a brief stop, but so breathtaking. I hope to spend more time there in the near future. This park has a lot more to offer than just the view of the bridge. There are adventure sports, hiking trails, scenic overlooks, historic relics, and much more.
As far as the nursery we don’t have any plant material ready for sale right now. We do have several things propagating from cuttings that are rooted, but it will be some time before they will be in saleable condition. We may purchase some perennials and shrubs to sell in the fall, and if we do we will update this site and let you know.
Now that gardening season is underway in earnest, I will try to provide more frequent updates. I love taking pictures and documenting what we do in the garden. I also love to hear about and see other peoples’ gardens. Do you have garden pics or videos that you share? If so, where? Let me know in the comments below!