Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The remnants

I slogged out to the garden after it started to drain and decided to pull out any survivors before they turned into a yellow, soggy slimy mess. I was very sad to see some of my strongest, greenest most promising plants reduced to yellow leafless sticks, but at least I've learned that I do have the ability to grow some of these things now. Although this garden ended in death and destruction (again) I've discovered an entire list of vegetables that I can keep alive (until a flood, of course), so I definitely got a tiny boost of gardening confidence this time around.

My Giant Musselburgh Leeks were not looking too happy to be floating in the muck so I pulled out the strongest ones. The other ones, only the size of scallions, will be coming out tomorrow if they haven't already succumbed to the pit of despair. But there was a light at the end of the gardening tunnel. I got 1 lb, 11 oz of leeks from the garden! I was quite happy with that because they were planted in October of last year and have been my longest-growing vegetable yet. I'll definitely plant some more of these later this Fall.

I made a delicious heaping portion of Leek and Potato Soup with these leeks and it was divine. When Farmer B was at work I poured a heaping bowl for myself for lunch with the leftovers and savored it while the boys munched down peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I then looked surprised when he came home and found there was none left.

The tomatoes actually surprised me. Granted a huge portion cracked completely open and were inedible, but I managed to save 6 lbs, 1 oz of them. They were bright red and everything you'd hope for in a home-grown tomato - sweet, juicy and bursting with flavor. I have about another 5 ounces on the patio right now ripening, but the rest are history. Because it can't hurt, I pruned up the remaining tomato plants just incase they recover.

Since I have so many tomatoes that are ripe and ready to be eaten, I've picked a couple of recipes that will help me put them to good use. The first recipe is Avocado, Tomato and Mango salsa that will be whipped up tomorrow for lunch and seems like the perfect summer salsa to go with my new organic corn tortilla chips. The second recipe is a Tomato Cucumber Salad with Mint. My mint plant has a never-say-die attitude, so I feel like I owe it to him to use him in as many recipes as I can.

So although I missed out on most of the yummy vegetables that I had dreamed of, I did get a few things on the table, which was a huge step up from last year. I'll take what I can get at this point!


Erin said...

The leeks look divine! They are some of my favorite, I just started growing them last fall as well, and can't wait to plant more this fall. The tomatoes may recover, who knows? We are now officially in the 90's and the humidity is here, so the garden is becoming more of a chore to go out there every day!

Engineeredgarden said...

Good for you, Kate! Since Mother Nature has ruined your garden 2 years straight, I'd throw her a curve ball - and install some pretty tall raised beds. That'll show her! The tomatoes look soooooo good..

Cheryl said...

Glad you were able to salvage something for your efforts. After things dry out do you think it's too late for transplants?

Dani said...

Wonderful Kate! Gonna try out those yummy recipes too!
Fingers crossed that some of your pruned plants will make a come back.

Tessa at Blunders with shoots, blossoms 'n roots! said...

Those tomatoes are making my mouth water! I can't wait for mine! Leek and potato soup is a favorite in our house- you'd think I'd try growing them :). It's nice to see that you were able to get some things from your soggy garden!

Caroline said...

I love that you weighed your veggies like a newborn babe.

Kate and Crew said...

Cheryl - about the only thing that grows in FL this late in the season is okra (from what I've heard) so we'll see if my okra plants come back... It's just so hot and so dry this time of year that it's very hard to start things up.

Thanks everyone!! I am quite happy I got SOMETHING out of the garden this time!!! Baby steps!

Linda said...

Hi there, just discovered your blog from down-to-earth, thanks for the potato recipe, I will be making it for lunch!

Kelly said...

Congrats on the harvest Kate, the leeks and tomatoes look so yummy!

Any leek tips for me, after your post a while back on the topic I went out and purchased some seeds...I feel as though they are growing no where fast....are the finicky?

Kate and Crew said...

Kelly - leek tips - YES! It's the only thing I've done right - LOL.

Some things I've learned:

Leeks should be fertilized every couple of weeks with fish emulsion.

The do well all winterlong (in cold climates) under a lot of mulch

They grow best if you have a lot of compost in your soil (so how I grew them is beyond me).

You should hill up the soil around their base. I read that it bleaches and sweetens the stems.

And be prepared to be beyond patient if you grow the long-season leeks. They take an eternity, but are well worth the wait.

Oh and leeks don't last too long in the fridge, so don't do like I was forced to do and pull up the entire leek crop in a week. You'll be making leek soup until you're swimming in it - LOL

Kelly said...

Ok, fertilizer may be what mine are missing, I will get on that! Thanks for the tips Kate, I have some serious leek envy. ;)

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