Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Raspberries are ripening, flowers are blooming...

... and weeds are strangling anything that doesn't move. Oh, July... too hot to accomplish much without feeling whipped after only a few hours in the gardens...ugh! I tell you, I cannot wait for autumn, glorious autumn! Even winter weather suits me better than heat and humidity. But I am grateful for this weather on account of the gardens; both the floral variety and the edible ones! (My apologies in advance for the dark photographs)

It has been a curious gardening season. I still have only a handful of spinach to show for my time and efforts at planting five different times in several different places. I just put in another sowing in the new kitchen garden I made... up next to the house. Time will tell if I will reap what I have sown! Come have a look at my gardens with me... I'll share what's been up.

The perennials are thriving in this hot weather... the rudbeckia and shast daisies are thick and tall this year. The beebalm (monarda) provides enough blooms for the many hummingbirds the flitter about, but they are not as spectacular as in previous years.

The vegetable garden is slow to provide this year... onions are doing well, as are the brussels sprouts, pumpkins and summer squash; but pole beans, peas, and greens are not, so I'm putting my faith in sowing most of these for fall crops. Cucumbers are slowly coming along, as are the potatoes, but I remember now that I planted late this year on account of all the rain we had.

Down around the barn, the shasta daisies are competing with the bee balm and rudbeckia, but they are getting out of hand and will need to be transplanted come fall. I still need to complete the bottom half of the stone wall that I started rebuilding last year.

This is the tiny kitchen garden I built a few weeks ago... I finally got a few things planted in it. I got the stones from a beautiful old stone wall out in the woods. I put this right off the porch near the kitchen out of sheer laziness! It will be so much handier to step out the door to grab that snippet of basil or chives, or a handful of mint, without having to run out to the main garden. (I ought to be ashamed of myself!)

Now here is the pride and joy of my berry garden this week, and will be for several more til I get tired of picking (and eating!) them. One whole length of the garden is full of these beautiful raspberry plants! This year they are stretching towards seven feet tall in places! They are just coming on...

This is the summer-bearing varirty... not as tall as the fall-bearing, but tasty just the same. They are just beginning to ripn well, and with the fall-bearing crop, I will continue to harvest berries daily right up til a hard frost kills them in late autumn. I believe this variety to be Heritage Red raspberries, and I recommend them to all Northern gardeners in Zone 4... they are fantastic producers!

They are good pickins', and my very favorite thing to throw on top of a spinach salad, along with a handful of walnuts and a healthy dollop of Caramelized Balsamic Dressing. if you were here for luch, I'd serve you this. But at least I'll share the dressing recipe with you! I devised this quite a few years back when I had a similar salad at a now-gone diner up north. I couldn't find anything that tasted like that thick, sweet and vinegary dressing, so I came up with this. It's perfect for a greens and fruit salad. I LOVE it with raspberries and blueberries together, but it goes well with any combination of fresh strawberries, peaches, blackberries, mangos, etc. And if you don't care for walnuts, try sliced almonds! For the recipe, you can check in my blog archives from February 25th, 2011, or click here... http://wildenbluefarmjournal.blogspot.com/2011/02/fire-up-those-stoves.html


  1. Everything in your gardens are looking glorious! All the color and berries..I'm sooo drooling here.That is my favorite way to eat spinach and berries too with almonds, well any kind of nuts I can get my hands on. LOL and only now I use your drizzle. =D yum yum!! Oh and I started crumbling goat cheese from neighbors farm..its a meditaraian spice blend on top of the whole salad...me bad. I might try it with peaches since they are coming into season and they are bringing them up from the valley at the farmers market. I'm hoping someone will have a huge batch so I can do some up.Oh I hope you get to put up tons of jam this year!!! Then you won't need to worry about anyone finding your last freezer berries =D xxooxx

  2. Your photos look like paintings! How pretty! I envy you those raspberries :)

  3. I love your pretty little kitchen garden! Those raspberries look so good. The photos are really cool looking, I like the way they look.

  4. That's not shear laziness? That's common sense! Every home had a kitchen garden in the past and it was a huge time-saver. I just got home from a Permaculture class and they encourage that! :-)

  5. Hi Pammy, The goat cheese sounds like a wonderful addition to the salad! Sounds plain yummy by itself too!!! I so love peaches... FRESH peaches. Oh, to be able to go out a pick a peck and make a homegrown peach pie, or peach salsa, or to have a bowl of peaches and cream... sigh! Am only getting a few quarts of raspberries a day at this writing, but they're coming on strong! Hope you've gotten a goodly amount of rain since last we spoke. I worry about your gardens...

  6. Thank you for the compliment Granny Sue... I took these pictures with a free camera app on my phone... ggreat fun experimenting with all the fun cameras it has! Wish I could send you some raspberries!

  7. Thank you for stopping over, Mama-Bug... how have you been? I think this new little garden is going to be very handy next year... once everything fills in> I planted spinach and lettuces in the empty spots to fill in... they're sprouting up! Have a lovely weekend!

  8. Thank you for the encouragement, LaVonne! A time-saver it will be, as when you're right in the midst of preparing something, its the difference of walking a few hundred feet versus a few steps just for a handful of chives or green onions, etc. I appreciate your outlook... many thanks!