Garden 2014

 

The summer of 2014 was our 5th year as gardeners.  

 

Returning Plants this Year:  cabbage, banana peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes, greens, strawberries, zucchini, onions, Brussels sprouts, okra, oregano, and basil

New Additions this Year:  blueberries, black cherry tomatoes, marjoram, spicy globe basil, tarragon, and chocolate mint

Dropped Plants this Year:  watermelon, Thai basil 

 

Changes:

My father has more space to grow melons, so we decided not to grow any this year.  Instead, we decided to try our hand at blueberries.  No one in our extended family grows them.  This will give us something new to trade with family.

 

 

 

Our Garden

Our Dishes

Successes

 

  • This year was our most successful year of growing strawberries.  We constantly had berries to eat.

  • Most years we have grown basil.  This year the basil seemed to grow faster than we had time to use it.  We discovered a wonderful pesto recipe which helped us to consume the basil quicker.

  • Not only did our basil grow well but all of our herbs did.  In 2015, we are still have not used up all of herbs we dried.  

  • Our zucchini plant had a slow start and struggled with pollination and disease, but once those problems were solved we had lots of zucchini.  We made zucchini pie, different variations of zucchini bread and zucchini relish.  We did not tell our family and friends it was zucchini relish before they tried it and most were shocked.  They could not even taste a difference. 

  • This year our boys had a better understanding of gardening and learned about the concept of pollination.

Struggles/Disappointments

 

  • Although we had many strawberries, at the beginning of the strawberry harvest season we had trouble with chipmunks.  We covered our strawberries with netting and used bricks around the perimeter to secure it.  Unfortunately, two chipmunks attempted to eat our strawberries which led to their demise.  The net got caught around their necks and choked them to death.  After this incident, we purchased a pop-up net that we secured with oversized landscaping staples.

  • Not only did we decide to grow pole beans, we decided to grow them from seed.  The first round of seed planting failed.  The seeds just either rotted or the plants started to grow and then died.  On the second round, we mixed the topsoil with some peat moss, moved the plants to the sunniest spot in our sunroom and watered them a little less and then we had success.

  • Caterpillars...even reflecting on this makes us frustrated.  Although we did harvest plenty of leafy greens, those pesky caterpillars got their fair share also.

New Experiences

 

  • This year we learned how to preserve more than just jelly.  We learned how to preserve our special barbeque sauce recipe, zucchini relish, dilly beans, applesauce, and apple butter. 

  • This was our first year growing pole beans (a few years ago we grew a few bush beans).  We grew them from seed and in 2015, we still have a few bags of frozen green beans.

  • We grew spicy globe spicy instead of Thai basil this year.  We liked the Thai basil, which is purple and has a unique taste, but we decided to grow the globe basil instead because of the smaller leaf size.  The leaves are the perfect size to pick and drop right into a dish.

  • We decided to add two dwarf blueberry bushes to our garden.  We should have blueberries to harvest in summer 2015...time will tell.