Wow, what a busy week and what a busy day today as may be evident by how late I am posting. Lots of cycling of course. But the garden is growing big and there are things to be harvested! We had garlic scapes earlier in the week and still have some left to add to a stir fry or simply saute as a side. Bookman has his thinking cap on.

If you have never had garlic scapes before, oh doctor, you are missing out! They have a mild garlic zing without being vampire offensive. If you are lucky, you might find some at the farmer’s market. Or, you could plant hardneck garlic in the fall and harvest your own in the spring. It has to be hardneck, softneck garlic do not produce scapes. The scapes, in case you don’t know, are flower shoots. You cut and eat them long before the flower opens. Not only do you get a yummy treat, but you also make the plant put its energy into making a bulb of garlic instead of a flower. Pretty clever, eh?

I have arugula everywhere in places I planted it and places I didn’t. For some reason my garden is especially hospitable. Besides salad and pesto, anyone have any favorite uses for this marvelous green?

Cherries and honeyberries

It is berry time! I picked a big bowl full of honeyberries and there are still some left that aren’t quite ripe. At first I was going to despair because it didn’t look like there were that many. But honeyberries are clever shrubs, they hide the fruit under the leaves and even though they are purple like a blueberry, they are hard to see. Once I began lifting up leaves, there were plenty to be found. And maybe one or two fell into my mouth as I was picking.

I am also picking serviceberries. This is the first year we have had them. The shrub is still small so there won’t be a lot, just enough to make muffins or scones, enough to taste. And oh do they taste good! They are sweet with a slightly tart finish. Delicious!

And the tree cherries are getting ripe too. I have begun picking, pitting and freezing. We planted the tree last year and I am surprised at how many cherries are on it. There will probably be enough to make a pie when all is said and done. And then in August the bush cherries will be ripe and hopefully by then Bookman and I will have managed to build a solar oven and we can use the power of the sun to dehydrate them to be used in granola. There will also be plenty to bake with too. I love tart cherries.

In a couple days I will be starting to pick peas! I can hardly wait. Peas are my favorite garden vegetable. I can never grow enough. If you have never had fresh peas from the garden before you are missing out on one of the best things in the world. Bookman was not a fan of peas when I met him but when we started gardening and he tried them he became a convert. He is not rabid for them like I am but that’s fine because then we don’t have to arm wrestle over who gets to last ones.

Monarch caterpillar

The potatoes are doing great and it is time to start mounding up around them. We have quite a bit of milkweed growing in amongst the potatoes and as I was carefully adding straw I found a welcome resident, a big fat monarch caterpillar! Fingers crossed it makes it to butterfly. I’ll keep an eye out for the chrysalis. We had one a couple years ago and it hatched during the week while we were away at work. I’d love to see one emerge sometime.

Soggy Elinor

Today was coop cleaning day. Bookman and I took out all the litter, the nesting boxes, the roosts the silly Dashwoods still don’t use, and washed everything. I crawled inside the coop and scrubbed the walls and the floor and even did the windows. Outside when I was washing the nesting boxes, Elinor had to come investigate. For some reason she thought the soapy water drips were really awesome and kept sticking her head under them. She got pretty wet and was pleased as punch about it. None of the other Dashwoods were all that interested in the coop cleaning or the soapy water, but Elinor thoroughly enjoyed supervising.