Wow, it's June already!! The year is almost half over and it seems like Christmas was just a few weeks ago. Time really does fly.
In the middle of February we broke dirt on our first garden. It was a bit of an experiment for us to be honest. I had always wanted to grow my own vegetables but we had heard from multiple people here on base that it was impossible to grow anything from the actual dirt here.. There are a few people who are able to successfully grow here but they all have raised bed gardens. So when we broke ground on our garden, we had high hopes but low expectations.
We knew we needed to add extra nutrients to the soil, so between Osmocote, blood meal, coffee grounds, manure and earthworms we added more to the soil then what was there.
Well, all the hard word we put into the garden has proven to be well worth it. So far, we have harvested tomatoes, kohlrabi, carrots, radishes, strawberries, jalapenos and bush beans from the very small patch of garden that we have.
There are some mistakes that we have made (overcrowding, not thinning out seedlings, planting thing things at the wrong time) but since this was our first garden, we're viewing it as a learning process and will adjust for fall. We've also said that we're going to go ahead and rent a tiller when we return from vacation and make a much bigger garden plot. Also, I think we need to make an actual barrier
With that said...
How's the Garden??
The tomato plants have gone into overload and are producing very well.. These four were the very first of the bunch. However, there are TONS of green fruit currently on the plants. The Solar Fire is so full that I'm not entirely sure how the plant is going to support the weight of all the fruit.
|Solar Fire tomatoes tightly packed
The Purple Cherokees tasted AMAZING!!! Charles and I sliced up the big one (Which I would guess was about 6 ounces) and ate it straight as it was. Both of us agreed it was probably the best tasting tomato we have ever had and we are looking forward to having many more of these in the future. As of now, we still only have two plants but we have two more really good sized plants that will be going into the garden soon.
I harvested the Kohlrabi today and couldn't believe how big they had gotten. After all were picked, we had roughly about 6 lbs of Kohlrabi. Tonight I cleaned, peeled, quartered and skinned the bulbs and then blanched them to be frozen. I ended up with about 2-3lbs of Kohlrabi which is more than enough to last us for a while. As this is a vegetable that we cannot purchase at the supermarket, we're very happy with how this crop turned out.. Charles and Garrett both enjoyed eating it raw but most of it will be shredded and used to make fritters.
|Do NOT let Kohlrabi get this big.. LOL (luckily it was still tender and not woody)
|A bag of Kohlrabi blanched and ready to freeze
Earlier last week we harvested all the carrots. Carrots were the one thing that we know for the future that we will have to make adjustments to. Our soil is just too sandy and rocky for the carrots to get full size and many of them were forked. However, they still tasted very sweet. I cleaned them up, peeled them, sliced them and ended up canning them. All together, we got 4 pint sized jars of sliced carrots and one quart sized jar of whole carrots.
We've got three Jalapeno plants that are doing very well.. We've already picked a few peppers from these plants. Looks like I need to pick a few more :)
The Brussels Sprouts plants are finally starting to lift of ghe ground and become vertical and the sprouts are starting to form nicely. In another couple of months, these plants will be very tall and ready for harvest. We don't plan on letting the sprouts get too big, as we prefer the taste of "baby sprouts" over the larger ones.
|A Golden Poppy
|Kids checking out all the tomatoes on the solar fire plant.