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In Our Maine Garden: Patience Delivers a Harvest

Okay, okay. It wasn’t patience that delivered our harvest. It was planning, planting, weeding, watering, sunlight and warms. It was things both in and beyond our control.

Over the last week or two, we’ve harvested at least nine pounds of string beans — green haricot verts, purple string beans and wax beans. We’ve also harvested buckets and buckets of peas.

The downside of having so much ripened at once is that we lost some stuff. Our radishes, for instance, bolted. While we harvested many radishes, others were rendered inedible. When the plant bolts, the radishes get woody — even cooking them doesn’t soften them again.

That said, picking them sooner wouldn’t have helped much. Although the radishes seemed to grow quickly above ground, the radishes below ground didn’t develop as well as they should have.

Nonetheless, we have two pints of pickled radishes canned and waiting on a shelf.

Meanwhile, there’s so much more to harvest in the coming weeks. The tomatoes look lovely, for instance. I hate to get excited about them since tomatoes can be so temperamental, but the smaller cherry varieties, larger big boys and other varieties are looking good so far. Fingers crossed.

And all that waiting has paid off for our broccoli. It’s finally developing heads. They’re tiny, but growing. I cannot wait to eat the broccoli we’ve grown.

The carrots are quickly growing too. And the beets look like they will ripen … sometime.

I’ve been fighting with the cucumber vines, which are really obstinate. But they are starting to grow up the trellis. And there are fledgling cucumbers growing too.

There are more peas still to be harvested. I am expecting to pick most of the remainder by Wednesday, given the mix of sun and rain we’re getting.

And then there’s time to do a second planting. We might just have fall peas this year. We’ll also be doing a second planting of lettuce.

Overall, I am feeling really good about our harvest so far. Although there have been failures (pretty sure we’ll have no peppers this year at all), so much has gone well.

Next year, one thing I do want to do differently though is to plant a slightly larger variety of vegetables. I wish we had squash, for instance, and Swiss chard would have been nice too.

What’s happening in your garden?

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Kate

Monday 29th of July 2019

Everything looks great! Your garden is beautiful!

Sarah Walker Caron

Monday 29th of July 2019

Thank you!!! I was psyched to find the first tomato of summer when I stopped at the garden today. I cannot wait to harvest more.

Dianne

Monday 29th of July 2019

What's your favourite recipe for the purple string beans? We have an over abundance of these beans this year. Have you blanched and froze them?

Sarah Walker Caron

Monday 29th of July 2019

We've frozen some (I packed them in airtight Foodsaver bags and froze them without blanching -- blanching isn't actually needed for beans), are transforming others into dilly beans and will use the rest in meals. Basically, anytime I would use a green bean, I can substitute a purple bean.

We have tons too. And tons of wax beans.