About Our Family · Gardening & Urban Farming

Garden and CSA Update 7.15.17

Hi friends!  So obviously my summer-every-two-week-blog-post goal didn’t happen!  Yeah, it’s been a month.  I guess I was being very optimistic about how much time I’d have available to devote to blogging.  Jason and I both have full-time jobs, we have two boys, and we started a CSA this year with a garden that needs constant attention.  Oh, and we’re still trying to enjoy all the fun summer has to offer.  But don’t get me wrong: I’m so happy in the gardens that sometimes I literally need to be pulled away.  On the plus side I have lots to show you!!

Let’s dive right into an update on the state of the gardens and then I’ll show you the last several CSA shares we’ve had.  (If you want to see a comparison from last month check out Garden Update 6.17.17.)

Here is a view of the large garden taken from standing right inside of the fence.  As you can see a month has dramatically changed things!  Everything is flourishing and our CSA bags are getting full!  It’s hard to see the scale of things but for reference many of the tomato plants in the back on the left side are 5 feet tall.

The next few pictures will be close-ups of a few things that are doing amazingly.

Here is one of the many zucchini plants.  The large zucchini is about 10 inches long.  We don’t let them go past that size.  We are getting between 6-10 that size EVERY DAY.

The cucumber plants did as they tend to do for me; slowly start and then burst out of nowhere!  These ones are the vines that we trellised shortly after this picture.  You can see that we companion planted scallions along the cucs in the same row.

Tomatoes are finally here as well!  We have a total of 38 tomato plants, of which we have 8 different varieties.  There are a few cuttings that we are growing in pots too, but I didn’t count them as they are experimental.

Bell peppers!  These will be orange when they ripen.  With our WI weather we have never been successful with peppers before so this is especially exciting.  We have 6 different varieties growing.

These are the green and yellow pattypan squash plants.  We hadn’t grown them before but they are my absolute favorite so we added them to the list.

I’m happy to report that they are not only doing amazing but they also taste phenomenal!!  Jason eats them straight out of the garden (and he doesn’t normally like squash!).  I love them sauteed in butter with shallots; yum!

Along the opposite fence are the marigolds.  They are huge!  They we have Pak Choi (that I am letting go to seed for fall planting), cauliflower, broccoli, cabbages, watermelon, Tigger melons, and a few more zucchini plants.

Here we have the green beans and the herbs.  The beans have flowered and are starting to form baby beans.  For herbs we have been very successful with cilantro, chives, basil, and parsley.  We have a small amount of hyssop, thyme, and tarragon.  My little strawberry transplants took off so well that I’ll have to transplant some again!

Yay for the rhubarb!  We have given the CSA members rhubarb in 3 bags and I have made a total of 24 jars of strawberry-rhubarb jam…and it is just still coming!  This amazing plant grew from a transplant Jason took from his childhood home.

Here are our three cement block beds that we’ve had for a couple years.  The closest bed in the picture has become our turnover bed; we have rotated through a few crops already this year in it.  Currently it has radishes, some Red Russian Kale, scallions, and mesclun salad mix.

The middle bed has 5 rows of radishes that we interplanted so that we are getting a constant crop of them.  The other half of the bed has white and purple kohlrabi.

The last bed holds 4 different types of carrots.

Kohlrabi are one of my favorite veggies to eat!  Here is a perfectly formed white kohlrabi.

Our radishes are definitely a gardener’s best friend; they are ready to harvest just 28 days after sprouting!  Perfect little spicy globes!

We interplanted corn with green beans as an experiment.  The corn is now at least 5 feet tall; we definitely met the “knee-high by 4th of July” recommendation.  The sunflowers behind them are insane – between 7-9 feet tall.

And they are starting to bloom!  My sweet 6 year old Becker (who’s favorite PB&J now contains Dandelion Jelly) asked me if I can make him Sunflower Jelly.  Looks like I’ll be developing a new recipe soon!

This is the old strawberry bed that I transplanted them out of.  We have Rainbow Swiss Chard and Miner’s lettuce trials in here that are doing well.

In the same bed are the russet and red potatoes.  I started these myself over the winter and I am so happy to report that they are flowering.  Looks like a potato harvest is around the corner.

For the cucumber trellis we purchased a 100 ft roll of welded wire fence for $50.  It is very sturdy and was an economical choice.  The cucs love it and are climbing it well, with just a little help from me.

And now to the CSA shares! (For pictures of shares for week 1 and 2 check out Garden Update 6.17.17.)

Week #3 CSA Share: Mesclun Salad Mix, Red Russian Kale, Spinach, Purslane, Rhubarb, Baby Pak Choi, and BONUS: TackleMayhem Farms Ranch Mix (for my recipe check out one of my older posts: Ranch! Mix, Dressing, and Dip).

Week #4 CSA Share: Mesclun Salad Mix, Red Russian Kale, Pak Choi, Herb Trio (Cilantro, Parsley, Basil), Mild Radish Microgreens, Zucchini, and BONUS: Susan’s Dandelion Jelly.

Week #5 CSA Share: Vienna White Kohlrabi, Red Russian Kale, Herb Trio (Basil, Cilantro, Common Chives), Cherry Belle Radishes, Zucchini, Mild Salad Blend Microgreens, and Pea Shoots.

Week #6 CSA Share: Mesclun Salad Mix and Red Russian Kale Blend, Zucchini, Scallions, Rhubarb, Vienna White Kohlrabi, Carrots, and Cherry Belle Radishes.

I want to share an Instagram post with you that I did recently because it really captures how I feel:

“Harvesting, packing up and making everything look pretty and delicious for our #csa families is the highlight of my week! I love seeing their joy and excitement about what is new in each share.
This picture is from last Sunday when I was packing everything up after washing; everything just looked too pretty not to snap a picture!
Did you know that we have 9 families in our CSA? And this is our very first year. We have pickups two days each week and we harvest fresh each morning of pickup.
How #blessed I feel to have found my calling in life 💜 Thank you to the families that are supporting us by letting us experiment on you!! You are allowing us to live our dream.”

And thank you to all of my loyal readers!  I appreciate all of you who take the time out from your busy lives to see what is going on in mine!

I’d love to hear about what your greatest accomplishment is so far this summer!  Drop me a comment down below or check me out on Instagram as tacklemayhem_susan.  You can also follow Jason and I along on our new TackleMayhem Farms Facebook page.  As always, have a beautiful and blessed day! 💜

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3 thoughts on “Garden and CSA Update 7.15.17

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