I often get asked what we have growing now. Sometimes the questions reflect an amazing lack of awareness of how and when food grows–another product of our cultural disconnection with raising food.
These days we are on the eve of a great explosion of food. Soon keeping up with harvesting will be our major challenge. Much is on the way.
The grapes won’t be ready to pick for a while, but they’re on the way. Because we don’t spray our grapes, we battle black rot every year. One of the necessary chores this time of year is picking off the affected grapes to try to prevent the rot from spreading.
We’ve let the asparagus go to fern and it is growing like crazy. The patch hums with honeybees enjoying the nectar on the blooms. This is the time of year we fertilize the patch (naturally, with horse manure). In eight or nine months we’ll be enjoying fresh aparagus again. Until then, we have plenty put away in the freezer.
Although the potatoes won’t be fully mature for harvest for another couple of months, they seem to be doing great. Fighting back the Colorado potato beetles is always a challenge, but we seem to have won. We’ve checked the tubers and they’re already large and (judging from the one I ate recently) tasty. We’re growing Yukon Gold and Kennebecks. The Yukon Golds taste better (in my opinion) but they don’t keep as well as the Kennebecks. So we’ll eat the Yukons first, and save the Kennebecks for late winter.
We’ve planted over 200 tomato plants, as well as a lot of eggplant, okra, cantaloupes, bell peppers, yellow crookneck squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. Everything is growing fast and when it all comes in it will seem overwhelming.
The English peas are winding down. We’ve put away a lot of them for the winter and we’ve feasted on fresh ones. Soon I’ll be plowing them under and planting blackeyed peas in the same garden.
We have a large garden of sweet corn–mainly the Silver Queen variety. When it’s ready, we’ll take a day to harvest and put it up. An annual event we call Corn Day on White Flint Farm.
We’re growing lots on onions this year. I normally aim to harvest them around July 4.
We also have lots of garlic in the ground. Usually we harvest our garlic at the end of May, but this year it wasn’t ready. Hopefully it will be soon.
The blackberries are starting to ripen.
We recently planted our sweet potatoes–mostly Oklahoma Reds, but also some Maple Leafs.
Finally, we have a large garden of Roma snap beans. They’ll be in soon too. Delicious.
In mid-August we’ll plant broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts in a garden that is now covered in sorghum/sudangrass (milo) that operates as a green manure. We’ll plow it in as biomass before planting the brassicas.
This fall we’ll also plant spinach, kale, turnip greens and mustard greens, as well as next year’s garlic. We should be picking apples and pears by then too.
I probably left some things out, but in case you’re wondering, that’s what we have growing now.