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Lettuce, Broccoli, Peas, Strawberries … Post Produce!

The lettuce has been fine this spring, but that’s coming to an end. At least half of my romaine plants are bolting and my Ithaca lettuce heads are shriveling. Ithaca lettuce remains my favorite for flavor and crunch, though the heads tend to be small and loose enough that I often find critters living deep among the leaves. Record-setting heat is making the lettuce bitter, and I may remove the plants as early as this weekend.

That’s my Post Produce story for June. What’s yours?

Post Produce is my effort to celebrate homegrown food with other gardeners. On the 22nd of each month, I encourage bloggers of all stripes to post about whatever they’re eating from their own gardens. Posts can be status updates on what’s growing, photos of recent harvests, recipes that include your own fruits and vegetables, instructions for preserving your produce, and even articles about using your preserves. Write about what foods you’re using from your garden and/or how you’re using them.

Once your post is up on your own blog, return here and use the Linky widget (at the end of this post) to link a trail back to your story. I follow all the links and comment on all the posts, and I encourage everyone who participates to do the same.

What’s Ripe in my Small Kitchen Garden

The photos show what we’re eating from my garden, and captions provide a bit of information about each crop. I look forward to seeing what you have to share. Find the linky after my photos.

A few broccoli heads got away from me; they went from “looking good” to “oops, in bloom” just before I figured to harvest them. Still, my daughter’s 16th birthday dinner featured a head from my garden, and there are more on the way. Already, plants are putting out side shoots; we could be eating homegrown broccoli for many more weeks.

Is this not a lame strawberry? I bought a 25 pack of bare root plants and created a hanging planter out of a four-inch PVC pipe. The experience deserves a blog post or two, but this isn’t one of them. Sadly, the strawberries have been small. I hope to create a dedicated strawberry bed before next spring and use the plants from this experiment to get things started there.

Oh how I love fresh peas from the garden. Oh how I love fresh peas IN the garden. When I’m out there, I pop open pod after pod, scrape the peas into my hand, and pop them into my mouth. As a pod holds just a teaspoon of peas, it takes at least a quart of pods to serve a family of five. I once estimated that to feed a family peas once a week for a year, you’d need to plant a row nearly 300 feet long—the length of a football field. In a good year, I plant about 45 feet of pea plants and manage to freeze about a gallon of peas (after we eat another gallon or so).

Weren’t expecting blueberries, were you? Neither was I. Still, I found this handful of berries ripe on two bushes my wife planted at least a decade ago. We’ve been poor stewards of those plants, but I’ve read up on blueberry culture and hope to get decent production from them in coming seasons. I was surprised to find ripe berries because in past years I’ve seen robins eating unripe blueberries days before the berries would have been ready for harvest. This handful went directly from the photograph into my mouth.

Your turn to Post Produce. Link to your blog entry here:


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10 Responses to “Lettuce, Broccoli, Peas, Strawberries … Post Produce!”

  • Sue:

    Glad to see you got some blueberries. I often feel I’m doing nothing but provide bird food with my bushes.

  • Love the blueberries.Mine are just turning blue and will be ready in a couple of weeks I hope. I tried linking but not sure if it worked.

  • TC:

    I love home grown broccoli!! It’s probably my favorite fresh-from-the-garden to eat!!

  • Daniel Gasteiger:

    Kristin: Thanks for participating. There was an error in the link you provided, but I was able to edit it so it works now. As I commented over on your blog: your produce looks great!

  • Daniel Gasteiger:

    TC – Thanks for your comment! I’m not a champion broccoli-grower. As I said in the post: I often misjudge when I should have harvested and end up with a lot of pretty yellow flowers instead of succulent broccoli crowns. It sure is good stuff when I guess correctly!

  • We’ve had such a wet spring that the only garden produce we’re eating is last years- good thing we planted lots of potatoes and carrots!

    The pea plant drowned and rotted, as did the spinach. It hasn’t rained for three days now, so hopefully we’ll be able to get some starts into the lake, er, garden.

  • Daniel Gasteiger:

    Sue – We have never managed our blueberry bushes as though we care so it’s a fluke that I got any berries at all. I intend to change that tendency In the next two or three seasons–I’m replacing my lawn with food plants, and establishing a thriving bed of well-maintained blueberry plants is part of the plan. I think to beat the birds, I either need to plant way more plants than yield estimates suggest, or devise a plant cover that lets the sun through while keeping birds away. I’ve seen some interesting solutions to this problem. I’d rather share than argue with the birds, so I’ll wait to see how well my plants produce before I rig covers for them.

  • I love the pics. My favorite would have to be the strawberries. I hope your luck is better with your dedicated bed. I would be interested in seeing your hanging planter for them and reading about the experience.

  • Daniel — Love this idea…so glad to participate. Just once per month? Will see you again in July (but probably late again….as I won’t quite be back from vacation). I hope this catches one. Best – Rochelle

  • I just found your blog and really enjoyed reading it. We have 5 kids and started our family garden 3 years ago. This year was our first at trying broccoli. We just harvested it and fortunately it turned out great. I am going to add you to our list of garden blogs I want to follow on our blog.

    Keep up the good work. Looking forward to learning more about gardening from you.

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