Harvesting from our Maine garden is one of the joys of planting and growing our own food. Here’s what we’re picking this week.
The first thin peapods appeared a week ago on the plants in our garden. Within a few days, the pods began to bulge with peas. By today, the first few were ready for picking.
We planted Perfection 326 Shell Peas on Mother’s Day, and they’ve come to ripeness right according to schedule. I expect we’ll harvest a lot more over the next week.
Meanwhile, our purple green beans — Velour Purple Filet Bush Haricots Verts from Fedco, to be precise — developed thin beans earlier this week. They’ve rapidly grown longer, thicker, ripe for picking.
Perhaps by week’s end, we’ll be picking those too.
Our other beans — Golden Butterwax Bush Wax Beans and Masai Bush Haricots Verts — aren’t ready yet, though we can see the beginnings of their fruits as well.
I’d been concerned that our broccoli (Umpqua OG Broccoli) and cabbages (Gunma Green Cabbages) weren’t going to ripen, since I wasn’t seeing florets or heads, respectively. But after referring back to the plant information that Fedco provides on their website, I realized that I inadvertently planted ones with a long growing period. These should be ready for harvest in August.
Disappointingly, I chose a cabbage variety that isn’t good for storage. Hopefully, it will be okay for fermenting though. We’ll see.
The shishito peppers we planted didn’t grow, which means this will be our first garden without those long, lovely peppers that I love to fry and serve with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Fortunately, the sweet bell peppers we planted — a yellow variety called Golden Star Sweet Bells — are growing heartily. It will be a while before they have fruit to harvest, but I don’t mind waiting.
Onions, carrots, beets, cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs continue to grow as well. They will be ready for harvesting later this summer.
And our radishes? Flourishing as usual, though we’ll have to harvest them soon. A few were beginning to bolt when we visited the garden.
I love that we do this together. But I especially love the lessons my kids learn as the plants grow. This season, they’ve seen how peas send off little runners that wrap around whatever they can to climb. They’re seeing how cucumbers do the same, while green beans and other related beans don’t need to be trellised.
And it’s teaching a lesson in patience — especially with late-blooming broccoli and cabbage in the garden.
How’s your garden growing?
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.