What Did You Do In The Garden?

flowerbug

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we went out to pick cucumbers and tomatoes today but first i had to show Mom the cluster of melons on the vines. within a few feet of each other there are five or more melons and they're all looking good. can't wait to try one out when they get ripe. i think we're going to have to give some of them away as they're looking like they're mostly going to finish about the same time. haha. love it. :)

we picked seven five gallon buckets of cucumbers of which four buckets were way too big to be used for anything so those were discarded (under the lilac tree). there are actually still some cucumbers that have grown through the fence and are into the back pathway that i'll need to get picked eventually, but that wasn't happening this morning. i tried to talk Mom into pulling out three of the four vines. we just don't need that many and my brother isn't going to be around for a few more weeks. it's just wasting time to have to pick them and then throw them away and she can't process all of them either right now. it is coming up on tomato season and that means we're going to need our energy for those along with keeping up everything else.

we also picked a few quarts of cherry tomatoes and a five gallon bucket of the larger tomatoes. we'll eat some of the tomatoes today and tomorrow (on burgers and just mixed with a little mayo and bacon) and perhaps i'll can them today too as Mom is planning on making some blueberry muffins so the oven will be on anyways. it won't take long to do a few quarts. normally a five gallon bucket of tomatoes is 7-8 quarts when processed for us, but we're going to eat some of these and a few are greenies.

if i don't can them i'll put them in the freezer until we pick again to get enough to make turning the oven on worth it. when we get up to the third picking or so usually i'll be doing 14-24 quarts at a time.

now though i gotta get 10lbs of taters peeled and cooked up for tater salad...

Mom is having bacon, tomato, mayo and toast for brunch - says it is delicious. :)
 

flowerbug

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today was a minor day outside. i only buried some canning debris and did a short garden tour but it was already too hot to linger.

a nice thing i did get done yesterday was i finally weeded around a hole i'd dug a few months ago so i could get the bucket of stuff out of there (i put the bucket there because the stuff in the bucket was meant to get used in that garden) and then once weeded i could bury it in there and some weeds too for more worm food. we've gotten to the stage of the season where buckets get short and we can use them so reclaiming that one was the impetus for finally doing it. then i could also level it out again. it may have only taken me a half hour or less to do, but i've needed to do it for a few months and yesterday was finally the day i could check that off my list. as the tomato season comes along i'll get more and more of this garden weeded and turned under as bury the tomato leftovers from processing.
 

Zeedman

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Everything in the home gardens is starting to ripen. We've been harvesting beans, chard, water spinach, yardlong beans, tomatoes, okra, and bitter melon. The dry seed harvest from MN 150 cowpeas is almost done, and Shiraz peas are starting to dry. Two soybeans are nearing maturity - if I can keep the voles from harvesting the seeds before they dry, the rodents are horrible this year. :somad

Bitter melon is one of the more unusual vegetables. They would be an interesting & eye-catching choice to cover a trellis, even if you did not intend to eat them. The flowers are sweet scented, but the foliage when touched smells like tomato foliage. The "melons" and vine tips are highly nutritious vegetables - if you can tolerate their strong flavors.
20200807_144727.jpg

Bitter melon "Thailand". As a rule, bitter melons with pointed warts are more bitter; those with smooth warts are less bitter. This variety has a very short DTM, but is the bitterest one I grow. A milder smooth-warted variety is growing in the rural garden.

When ripe, the fruit quickly changes color, and splits open to expose the seeds. The fruit is inedible at that point. The red gel (aril) surrounding the seeds is sweet & considered either edible or toxic, depending upon who you talk to. :huI've eaten small amounts with no ill effects. The seeds themselves are toxic. The slimy seeds often drop to the ground if I don't check the vines for a day, but no worries, they won't self-seed where the ground freezes.
20200812_102902.jpg
 

flowerbug

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Everything in the home gardens is starting to ripen. We've been harvesting beans, chard, water spinach, yardlong beans, tomatoes, okra, and bitter melon. The dry seed harvest from MN 150 cowpeas is almost done, and Shiraz peas are starting to dry. Two soybeans are nearing maturity - if I can keep the voles from harvesting the seeds before they dry, the rodents are horrible this year. :somad

Bitter melon is one of the more unusual vegetables. They would be an interesting & eye-catching choice to cover a trellis, even if you did not intend to eat them. The flowers are sweet scented, but the foliage when touched smells like tomato foliage. The "melons" and vine tips are highly nutritious vegetables - if you can tolerate their strong flavors.
View attachment 36592
Bitter melon "Thailand". As a rule, bitter melons with pointed warts are more bitter; those with smooth warts are less bitter. This variety has a very short DTM, but is the bitterest one I grow. A milder smooth-warted variety is growing in the rural garden.

When ripe, the fruit quickly changes color, and splits open to expose the seeds. The fruit is inedible at that point. The red gel (aril) surrounding the seeds is sweet & considered either edible or toxic, depending upon who you talk to. :huI've eaten small amounts with no ill effects. The seeds themselves are toxic. The slimy seeds often drop to the ground if I don't check the vines for a day, but no worries, they won't self-seed where the ground freezes.
View attachment 36593
interesting! Mom would never try something like that, i'd try it once to see if i liked it as i don't usually mind strong flavors. is it comparable to grapefruit?

i had a bite of broccoli yesterday that was very bitter. no, i didn't particularly like it but i figure when i cook it that it won't be as bad.

picked and canned tomato juice again and one red jalapena.
 

digitS'

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Bitter melon is one of the more unusual vegetables. They would be an interesting & eye-catching choice to cover a trellis ... if you can tolerate their strong flavors.
Can.not.tolerate!

I once had several vines started in the temporary hoop house. That may have been the year I left it up right thru June. When I pulled the plastic off, the vines had already begun growing up the pvc pipe hoops. I left them and, at 2' spacing of the hoops, the bittermelon almost created a "shade house." Arbor, anyway.

I'm wondering about my soybeans. How easy is it for them to cross? The plants seem to be in all stages of development with some growing taller every day, other shorties with pods developing, some with lighter color foliage, founder leaves ... those have the pods but it's the other plants that look the strongest.

I grew Beer Friend most recently, convinced that Bei wasn't doing well. Beer Friend didn't either but I don't think that I had more than one variety at a time. Multiple varieties goes back several years ago and in that more soy-friendly garden.

Steve
 

flowerbug

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Can.not.tolerate!

I once had several vines started in the temporary hoop house. That may have been the year I left it up right thru June. When I pulled the plastic off, the vines had already begun growing up the pvc pipe hoops. I left them and, at 2' spacing of the hoops, the bittermelon almost created a "shade house." Arbor, anyway.

I'm wondering about my soybeans. How easy is it for them to cross? The plants seem to be in all stages of development with some growing taller every day, other shorties with pods developing, some with lighter color foliage, founder leaves ... those have the pods but it's the other plants that look the strongest.

I grew Beer Friend most recently, convinced that Bei wasn't doing well. Beer Friend didn't either but I don't think that I had more than one variety at a time. Multiple varieties goes back several years ago and in that more soy-friendly garden.

Steve
beans being mostly self-fertile will give enough off spring true to type that i would not worry about it too much that you will lose a seed line. i do think you may need to cull some eventually as if there are native bees around they can do some mix-master workings of the Motherly Nature sort. :)

i see reports of percentage being as low as 1% for soybean fields and slightly more for mixed fields, but i'm not growing many soybeans at all here and have had poor luck due to animal predation that i stick to the other beans more.
 

Zeedman

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I'm wondering about my soybeans. How easy is it for them to cross? The plants seem to be in all stages of development with some growing taller every day, other shorties with pods developing, some with lighter color foliage, founder leaves ... those have the pods but it's the other plants that look the strongest.
Soybeans can cross, but not easily. I grow different varieties about 20' apart, and try to avoid adjacent varieties of the same maturity group, seed color, or flower color. To date, I am on the third round of regeneration for about 70 varieties, and have had two crosses.

I once had several vines started in the temporary hoop house. That may have been the year I left it up right thru June. When I pulled the plastic off, the vines had already begun growing up the pvc pipe hoops. I left them and, at 2' spacing of the hoops, the bittermelon almost created a "shade house." Arbor, anyway.
The vines are tall enough & dense enough to make a beautiful shade arbor. White-flowered gourds are even better, but need more heat.
 

Cosmo spring garden

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we went out to pick cucumbers and tomatoes today but first i had to show Mom the cluster of melons on the vines. within a few feet of each other there are five or more melons and they're all looking good. can't wait to try one out when they get ripe. i think we're going to have to give some of them away as they're looking like they're mostly going to finish about the same time. haha. love it. :)

we picked seven five gallon buckets of cucumbers of which four buckets were way too big to be used for anything so those were discarded (under the lilac tree). there are actually still some cucumbers that have grown through the fence and are into the back pathway that i'll need to get picked eventually, but that wasn't happening this morning. i tried to talk Mom into pulling out three of the four vines. we just don't need that many and my brother isn't going to be around for a few more weeks. it's just wasting time to have to pick them and then throw them away and she can't process all of them either right now. it is coming up on tomato season and that means we're going to need our energy for those along with keeping up everything else.

we also picked a few quarts of cherry tomatoes and a five gallon bucket of the larger tomatoes. we'll eat some of the tomatoes today and tomorrow (on burgers and just mixed with a little mayo and bacon) and perhaps i'll can them today too as Mom is planning on making some blueberry muffins so the oven will be on anyways. it won't take long to do a few quarts. normally a five gallon bucket of tomatoes is 7-8 quarts when processed for us, but we're going to eat some of these and a few are greenies.

if i don't can them i'll put them in the freezer until we pick again to get enough to make turning the oven on worth it. when we get up to the third picking or so usually i'll be doing 14-24 quarts at a time.

now though i gotta get 10lbs of taters peeled and cooked up for tater salad...

Mom is having bacon, tomato, mayo and toast for brunch - says it is delicious. :)
Yikes! That's a lot of cucs! I was drowning in cucs last year so I only planted 5 this year and that's more than enough to eat and share.
 

Cosmo spring garden

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Everything in the home gardens is starting to ripen. We've been harvesting beans, chard, water spinach, yardlong beans, tomatoes, okra, and bitter melon. The dry seed harvest from MN 150 cowpeas is almost done, and Shiraz peas are starting to dry. Two soybeans are nearing maturity - if I can keep the voles from harvesting the seeds before they dry, the rodents are horrible this year. :somad

Bitter melon is one of the more unusual vegetables. They would be an interesting & eye-catching choice to cover a trellis, even if you did not intend to eat them. The flowers are sweet scented, but the foliage when touched smells like tomato foliage. The "melons" and vine tips are highly nutritious vegetables - if you can tolerate their strong flavors.
View attachment 36592
Bitter melon "Thailand". As a rule, bitter melons with pointed warts are more bitter; those with smooth warts are less bitter. This variety has a very short DTM, but is the bitterest one I grow. A milder smooth-warted variety is growing in the rural garden.

When ripe, the fruit quickly changes color, and splits open to expose the seeds. The fruit is inedible at that point. The red gel (aril) surrounding the seeds is sweet & considered either edible or toxic, depending upon who you talk to. :huI've eaten small amounts with no ill effects. The seeds themselves are toxic. The slimy seeds often drop to the ground if I don't check the vines for a day, but no worries, they won't self-seed where the ground freezes.
View attachment 36593
Bitter melon is good for diabetics. But it's so so so bitter! My mom loves it but I just cant eat it.
 

Zeedman

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Bitter melon is good for diabetics. But it's so so so bitter! My mom loves it but I just cant eat it.
The health benefits of bitter melon are one of the reasons I grow it. We also have friends who love it, and it produces almost as prolifically as cucumbers. And it attracts bees... has almost no insect or disease issues... and makes a good wind break.

There are varieties that are less bitter (such as the one in my avatar) but I think the health benefits are tied to the bitterness. For those put off by the bitterness, you can juice bitter melon, then drink it mixed with other juices.
 

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