1 As you may recall from reading this blog, the vegetable garden at the farm has been moved to a new fenced in area adjacent to the chicken coops. This was done to escape the infestation of mole crickets in the previous garden.
2 This is a mole cricket. These large ugly insects burrow and eat everything they come in contact with. In the past, many vegetable plants were lost to their voracious appetites and root vegetables were difficult to grow because they bored holes right through them.
3 Without the presence of mole crickets, things are growing extremely well. The corner where the peppers and tomatoes are planted was first covered over with black plastic mulch, which keeps weeds at bay. The plants also seem to benefit from the warmth generated from the sun heating the black.
4 The tomato plants are all very strong and will have to be staked soon. We're growing both hybrid and heirloom varieties and I'm hoping for a fantastic harvest.
5 The pink flowers are blooming on a climbing rose that was one of the transplants from my East Hampton gardens. It seems to be flourishing growing upon the garden fence. The fowl are happily roaming in their daytime free-range yard.
6 In addition to climbing roses, the fence posts are adorned with clematis integrifolia, which bear nodding, urn-shaped blue flowers.
7 Between the clematis, one side of the fence supports several varieties of climbing peas.
8 There are shelling varieties, as well as edible pods. The peas were all picked before the weekend and we had a pea feast over the Fourth of July!
9 I asked Ryan to pick all of the broccoli that was ready for picking.
10 I gave Ryan this sharp little knife to use in the garden. It's made by Victorinox Swiss Army and it really stays sharp.
11 This beautiful large head of broccoli is a variety called Arcadia. It is a rugged, vigorous broccoli that forms firm domed heads. We'll definitely plant more of this kind next year.
12 This amazing row is cabbage Alcosa. This looks like something out of a seed catalog!
13 Alcosa is a small, savoyed cabbage forming deep blue-green, crinkled heads. Its flavor lends itself well to cooked dishes.
14 Ryan used his knife to cut through the tough stem.
15 It's very satisfying for a gardener to grow something this impressive.
16 Super Red is another great cabbage for this area. This medium-sized variety is tender, yet crisp, and has a peppery flavor.
17 This attractive Purple of Sicily cauliflower forms lovely purple heads that have a fine, sweet flavor. The heads cook to bright green.
18 Ryan is so happy that this garden has no mole cricket problems.
19 This striking cabbage is San Michele, a regional savoy type from Northern Italy. This eventually forms a large firm head.
20 Celery Tall Utah yields vigorous, stocky plants with thick, solid, tender, yet crisp stalks. Fresh celery is so much more aromatic and delicious than store bought. It's one of the ingredients in my morning 'green juice.'
21 Each of these raised beds is a different variety of onion. Onions are harvested later in the summer when the underground bulbs are mature and flavorful. I always look forward to the onion harvest!
22 This corner of the garden is planted with varieties of potatoes. The salt hay on the pathways looks neat, keeps your shoes clean, and keeps weeds from growing.
23 Ryan says that when the potato plant begins to flower, the potatoes beneath the soil begin to form.
24 Sure enough, gently digging into the soil, he found a purple variety growing amid the roots. Ryan replaced the soil and will check progress again in a couple of weeks.
25 Wow! Alcosa and Jersey Wakefield cabbage, a longtime favorite with a distinctly sweet flavor - great for salads and slaws.
26 Occasionally, certain varieties of plants don't perform well in the garden. Cauliflower Snow Crown is supposed to have large compact white heads. But, it's been too hot for these plants and they've begun to flower. We won't be planting this again.
27 So, Ryan cut off the flowering stalks.
28 And fed them to the chickens. Chickens love cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Nothing goes to waste in the vegetable garden.