Monday, July 5, 2010

Cucumbers and Chamomile - Weekly Harvest

It's that time again...Honestly, does it ever get old? I know it can be a bit repetitive at times, which is why I try to grow as many different varieties of vegetables as we can fit within the limited amount of space that we have. Also, I noticed this morning that for at least the past month or so, I haven't bought any vegetables from the supermarket aside from say the odd tomato, which I'm hoping will end very soon. Sometimes I feel like we, in the industrialized world, have a tendency to take for granted the fact that at any time, we can go into a grocery store and find the shelves fully stocked with food. (I know I do.) In growing your own food, it's somewhat comforting to know that despite all of the modern conveniences available to us, we can still become relatively self-sufficient if we choose to be.

This past week, we picked our first cucumbers (7 so far). I'm growing primarily Spacemaster cukes this year. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give their overall flavor a 6. They don't have the ultra crispy and juicy flesh I look for in a good cucumber. However, they more than make up for it in the amount of fruit they can produce. I'm pretty confident that we won't be purchasing cucumbers from the store anytime soon.

Despite the fact that my snow and shell pea plants are looking awfully overgrown these days, they are still producing relatively well. Nonetheless, I think I will put them out later on this week as we still have about 2 pounds of snow peas left to eat. On a side note, I'm realizing that I didn't grow enough shell peas this year. Sure they are not as productive as snow peas, but their sweetness is winning me over.

Finally, I'm starting to pick some German Chamomile. The fresh flowers have a wonderful aroma, almost like melon. I don't think I'll bother weighing them, but hopefully by the end of the summer, I'll have a decent amount of tea stashed away for the winter months.

This week's harvest:

Fava beans - 0.47 lb
Peas and beans - 1.91 lb
Carrots - 1.05 lb
Cukes (7) - 2.71 lb
Zucchini (5) - 2.92 lb
Beets - 0.71 lb
Broccoli - 0.25 lb
Tomatoes - 0.18 lb

Total this week - 1o.20 lb


  1. Your cukes look great. I 4 plants of an heirloom variety, Early Russian. I started harvesting 2 weeks ago and they have been great. So far we have over 20 cukes. I have never liked cucumber before, having only eaten them from stores or restaurants. These are the first cucumbers I can say I liked. They were crispy and sweet. Wonderful cucumbers that are producing very well.

    It's a lot of work growing your own food and trying to be self sufficient. But it is certainly worth it.

  2. The fresh shell peas are just so so good. I'm trying to figure out where I can grow more for the fall.

  3. Thomas, those are perfect looking cucumbers. Way to go!

  4. I envy that chamomile; mine is not looking too hot and I was sure hoping to make some tea!

    I couldn't agree more with what you stated at the beginning of yoru post about sustainability.

  5. Lucky you getting cucumbers already! My cukes are looking healthy and I saw a teeny tiny female flower forming - but I have a while before I get to enjoy tomato and cucumber salads. Those chamomile flowers are beautiful to look at - so cheerful!

  6. I'm also impressed, we've just got our first baby cucumber in one of the greenhouses, cant wait till its ready to eat, nothing tastes like fresh cucumber straight from the veg patch!

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  8. Don't worry about showing similar pics every week because its a record of what you've grown therefore its interesting. I fully agree with you and think we have got to rely on the supermarket far to much. I think that anyone interested in saving the planet should steer clear of them as much as they can because those places are like retail oil slicks when you think how all those shelves got filled. Think about how much oil and chemicals were used just to fill one supermarket, its frightening. Anyway I think you're doing a great job and an inspiration to others to join the fresh food store.

  9. I am getting cucumbers... (LOTS of them) too... today is pickling day.
    I have never had chamomile tea... maybe that will be something new for me to try next year.
    BTW... I Love Your blog.. something I look forward to every morning.

  10. My favorite cucumbers (so far) are Marketmore. I couldn’t find any seed this year, so I’m growing different varieties. Those ones you are growing are looking very good, too bad about the average taste.
    Will you freeze or can those extra peas?

  11. I just love the cucumbers. THey're perfectly beautiful. You're right. There's some adventure to the garden dictating what's for dinner.

  12. Thomas, I have wanted to add chamomile to my garden. Would be great addition to my lemon balm tea I steep in the winter. First I need to reorganize things a bit in the herb garden, so I will have room. Your post reminded me to put that down on my "to do" list for the fall. Thanks.

    Also, would love your pear butter recipe, if you are willing to share. Sounds like a great idea and I just love fruit butters. My kids do too!

  13. gardengrl - thanks! You'll have to share with me your pickling recipe!

  14. Fresh summer cukes are the best!

  15. I'm just about to pick my first cucumber (diva) here in New Hampshire. This year will be especially gratifying, because the vegetable garden is in the front yard, where my dog (little vegetable-eating Westie) won't be able to eat them fresh off the vine. I'm also growing lemon cukes for the first time, just to branch out.

  16. Wow, your shell peas are still producing! The chamomile looks beautiful, that reminds me I need to dry some of my lemon balm and try some tea!

  17. vrtlarica - Yes, I was able to freeze some peas...although not much mind you. I'd like to grow twice as much next year.

  18. Nice to have cucumbers already! Mine have yet to start climbing.

  19. Thomas, is it not wonderful that we don't have to buy vegetables at the grocery? Each night when we sit down to our evening meal, we do give thanks for that which is on our plate... nearly everything from the garden. A bit of work for an ole lady, but well worth it.

    We have 'blossoms' on our cucumbers!!! :) and only now picked our first snow peas. Peppers are forming nicely, but tomatoes are going slowly. Hopefully this warm weather we just received will give our garden a boost.

    By the way, sorry I'm late, but congratulations on your anniversary. Well done my friend. ;)

  20. Pretty harvest. I didn't pick any of my chamomile this year. I just didn't have enough time at the other house to do it. Too busy. And it takes so long to pick a lot. Hopefully I'll get a patch up here next year though. I did save some seed from the old patch.

  21. Hmm, I think my comment from yesterday disappeared. Just wanted to say that the colors of your harvest photos are stunning, as usual. That crisp contrast between red and green makes me feel like I can touch your beets through my screen!