Veggie Tales: food for the soul

I’ve been working hard lately, holed up in our home office on the computer. It has been raining alot, which makes it easier to be stuck inside. This evening I headed out into the garden to get some sugar snap peas for dinner. I puttered around, snipped of a dead leaf here, adjusted a plant on the trellis there. I ended up harvesting some swiss chard as it just looked so good. In fact, everything looked positively lush and green after the rains. So far my tomatoes look fabulous, but I don’t know how long it takes Late Blight to set in, so I’ll be watching nervously for a while. 

The smell of those tomato plants is heavenly. That combined with wet, rich earth was so incredibly soothing. It constantly amazes me what joy a garden can bring. It is an excuse to step outside, and when I do I always come back in with my soul feeling refreshed. Regardless of how much food I harvest, having that garden has brought much into my life. 

Here is what’s happening in my little garden these days:

I saw my first display of colour on the tomato plants. This is a SunGold tomato. I was so excited to find it! And then to my delight I spied these hiding deep in the bushes:

Oh Goddess of the Gardens please spare my little babies from the Blight!

Here is a Purple Russian:

I can’t wait to see how these turn out. 

The sugar snap peas are a tangled mass as they’ve seriously outgrown their 5′ trellis. They remind me of a giant section of matted hair!

But while I’m still getting a decent harvest of peas, there are signs that not all is well with my sugar snaps. First, there is a dusty white mold on several of the leaves:

And some of the other parts of the plants are appearing to bleach:

Most of the plants are still a healthy green, but sections are a very pale yellow. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m still getting peas, lots of flowers, and even if the whole thing should die tomorrow I’ll at least feel like I got a good bunch of peas out of the harvest. Still, if anybody knows what it is I suppose it would be helpful for next year. I will be giving the peas much more room next year, as well as a much taller trellis! 

The saddest member of my garden has to be the cucumber. It has barely grown since I planted it several weeks ago. Some of the leaves look curled up and diseased, and yet the plant hasn’t actually died and the damage doesn’t seem to have spread.

And today I noticed this little baby growing underneath. Perhaps there’s some hope, or perhaps it will be one, lone, tiny little cucumber. 

I’m not a big cucumber fan so if this plant doesn’t make it I’ll probably dispense with them next year.

On a happier note, my buttercup squash plant is spreading nicely, and has two flowers! One seems to have gotten beaten by the rain, but the other one looks healthy.

I also have Dragon Tongue Beans! I don’t think they are ready yet, they are very thin. Or maybe they are supposed to be like that. You’d think I’d look these things up, huh? It just seems more fun to wait and see – all the more surprises when you are ignorant, lol. 

This photo doesn’t really capture the purpleness. The pole beans are climbing like crazy and are full of lovely red flowers, but I don’t have a good photo of them (they’ve gotten lost in the tomato plants).

The chard is still going strong, and I hear it does well in the cold, too. That will be nice, to have them around for a while:

Isn’t the colour lovely? Rainbow chard is definitely a beautiful (and healthy!) addition to any veggie garden. 

Finally, my onions tops are definitely looking brown, but they’re still pretty small and there are green stalks standing (I hacked most of them down last week as they were falling over and crushing other plants). I think I’m supposed to leave them in the ground until the tops have totally died off. Hopefully they are busy right now adding sugar and substance to the bulbs so I can have some nice fat onions later!

So that’s the way it’s growing these days. Despite the fact that I’m currently harvesting sugar snap peas, carrots, and chard there is a lot of empty space in my garden beds. I really need to get to the garden centre and buy some stuff to plant for late summer/fall. Or maybe I’ll head to the farmer’s market instead and buy some starts. 

I’ll leave you with this last photo. This is a single harvest one day last week. The broccoli was a little late but tasted delicious nevertheless. And the onions really aren’t ready, although sadly I didn’t get to taste them because I accidentally burnt them (!). Still, I was amazed at what I was able to get from such a paltry little garden. I mean, after the salad was done I seriously wondered what the heck else there was going to be to eat. Oh me of little faith! 

Oh, and you know another blissful aspect of summer gardening? Smelling tomato plants on my hands long after I come inside. Sigh!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Congrats! When will MY tomatoes turn color? I have so many green ones, I want them to turn red!!!!


  2. Hmm. Your cuc looks like mine. What’s the deal! And the powdery mildew? Honestly, I’ve never had a crop of peas or snap peas that didn’t succumb to it eventually. At least you have tomatoes!


  3. I think your garden is lovely! I am having some similar problems with my peas – they just seem to have decided to die and just after they started producing. No mold yet but they looking really rough! And my beans have been taken over by japanese beetles – very sad! And my squash is rotting on the ground – still very small. I think we have just had too much rain!!! I may try a different approach next year – even considering a greenhouse!


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