It’s all Downhill from Here

This time of year I could just stay inside and cook all day: with so many vegetables coming in I could make practically anything!  If I had time.

We’ve been harvesting tomatoes from the high tunnel over the past few weeks.

Cherry and grape tomatoes too!

When we have too many cherry tomatoes, I pop them in the solar oven and make sun-dried tomatoes for the winter.  We don’t do a lot of preserving, but we make time for sun-dried cherries because they are so delicious.

We have really been loving having fresh celery from the garden.  It has the best flavor.  I like being able to use all the leaves too.  But the plants grow so tall, it’s hard to fit them in the fridge!  I’ve been making a dirty rice dish by sauteing some local pastured pork sausage (from IdleWild Farm), then adding the celery, onions, peppers and fennel, and finally mixing in rice and tomatoes.  Top with cheese and you’re in heaven.

We’re growing many different varieties of onions, including these Tropeana Lunga torpedo onions.  People like to ask me how the onions taste.  I am going to have to do a side-by-side taste test of all the different onions we’re growing this week so I can answer them.

Cipollini onions.

Chieftan potatoes.  Red skin and white flesh, great for those red potato salads.  Or buttered red potatoes with parsley.

Salad mix.  It’s hard to coax it out of the ground in this heat.

Our winter squash are setting lots of fruit.  This is a Red Kuri squash.

The acorn squash are looking good.

This is ‘Fama’ Scabiosa.

Cherry brandy Rudbeckia.

Lots of weeds to contend with.  The worst is morning-glory.  But there about five other ‘worst weeds’ I could name.

The Japanese beetles are doing their thing.  They don’t seem to be as bad as last year.  Maybe it’s because we are growing twice as much and they have more room to spread out.

It’s challenging to work outside at mid-day this time of year with temps ranging from 90 to 100 degrees.  But there is still plenty to do!  Nevertheless I can’t help but feel we are on the downhill slope for the season now that we have passed the summer solstice.  And yet there are still four months of market days to go!