Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How does your garden grow?

With all this rain we've had in June, some things look great - like the grass. It's growing fast, green, and strong! But, the rain has also taken a toll on the crops.

Here in the Southcoast of Massachusetts, farmers are noticing "Late Blight," a fungal pathogen that attacks potatoes and tomatoes, on some of their crops. Remember the Irish Potato Famine? Late Blight's claim to fame. I am interested to see what will happen over this and next summer - if infected tubers are not removed, the disease can last from one growing season to the next.

I'm also noticing the crops are taking longer to produce fruits and ripen. Corn is a little late here in RI, while our berries are slow to ripen - see here...

Strawberries - typically a June fruit - has a longer (later?) season. Look at this beauty I spied in our patch today. Sliced strawberries with some delicious Balsamico from our Italy trip as a sweet treat after lunch? Si! Si!

I spy a raspberry! One good thing about spending the summer here in RI is that I will have ample time to pick raspberries and blueberries and make jam! It's one of my most favorite things to do. If I get ambitious enough, I might add some peach-raspberry crostatas and blueberry pies into my repetoire. Do you think people would buy my homemade jam if I sold it -- what do you think?

When we re-landscaped the garden, we planted new berry bushes, and added a newcomer: blackberries! I am not really a fan of the blackberries I've eaten to-date from RI (tart much?!), but I've had some big, fat juicy ones from the organic Driscoll's box. Now, if I can keep the birds at bay, will these grow to be that big? We'll see...

Houston - we've got BLUEBERRIES! The bushes are overflowing with berries, it's just that they're not quite green. I've been tasked to monitor the bushes to see if the birds and crows are eating the berries (if so, my dogs better live in fear of me - time to train them to scare the crows!). More for us, less for them! I can not wait to make blueberry pancakes, blueberries on my turkey sandwiches, and blueberries on my yogurt!

Having grown up and spent time in Maine, I can appreciate the little wild blueberries, too (I actually prefer these at times). My father loves the little berries and insisted that we plant some. Just for him. Of course, no one is complaining. I think these berries make better blueberry jam than the big guys...but the big guys are perfect for pies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for commenting on my blog, you must have the most wonderful garden! I love berries and preserve any that I cannot eat.We live high on the hills and can't grow a lot because of bad soil but have a lot of wild berries. I make elderberry jam and elderflower jelly, blackberry in syrup and sour cherry preserve. Blackberry is great on pannacotta! Ciao, Letizia