Coastal Gardening: July!

happydog
Waking Lucky up from her nap in the front flower garden – she is definitely enjoying retirement!
ducks
The ladies all decided to take their kiddie pool bath together this week in the garden. The front three (Blondie, Betty and Cocoa) we’ve had since they were 2 days old, the one with the Afro Puff in back is Lucy who our neighbor gave to us when her duck population grew too quickly 🙂 Note: Their water comes 100% from our cistern gathering rainwater from the roof, and then we reuse it to water our squash, tomatoes and peppers…all which LOVE it. Perfect use (and reuse) of this resource! 🙂

Harvesting a TON of garlic!  Holy moly! 90+ mostly huge heads (did I buy that many seed cloves?) that are now curing in the not-so-hot-house for the time being until I can get them moved into the barn for some shady-yet-breezy-yet-dry curing time. Last year at a local garden event I bought four types to experiment with flavors and support a local grower out in Clatskanie, and they turned out BEAUTIFULLY! Planning to try my hand at preserving minced garlic with my neighbor’s pressure canner as I think that gadget just might be in my future sooner rather than later because of harvests like this (and because I want to still be able to eat this garlic in 2021! (Mt Hood Porcelain, Kilarney Red Rocambole, Italian late artichoke, chesnok red purple stripe)

Someday I’ll figure out a way to both be outside and have my camera ready (and at a high enough speed) to truly capture the beauty of our local hummingbirds feasting upon the flowers we, in all honesty, planted for them. The crocosmia I planted last year has absolutely taken off and these birdies adore it. Stare at the photos for a sec and you can see one in flight and in the next, one taking a quick rest. (note: these are taken from my home office hence the really lame lighting)

 

first sunflower
The first sunflower of the season! Have never grown these on the coast so was pretty stoked to see it peeking out the back door this morning ! With the coastal wind I wasn’t sure if it would fall over if I planted it in the garden, so instead I planted a bunch in a big old galvanized tub (retired from the duck run after it started getting little tiny rust leaks) on the back porch and, voila!
cauli-veronica
So I’ve never grown cauliflower before and I decided to just plant one start to try it out. Personally, I’m not a fan of it raw but once I tried a recipe for fried rice with the cauli ‘riced’, I was totally sold. I’d covered up the top like recommended then my husband said, no this is a Romanesco (part of the broccoli family) and so I uncovered the head and one sunny day later it started to darken on top, and the leaves were so big it was covering up my nearby serrano plant, so I decided to just harvest it now (and will cut off that brown bit and we’ll eat the rest). Cost/benefit analysis? Don’t buy starts, since these don’t regrow like a green onion, etc. I may try a dedicated bed for it next year and freeze a bunch of the rice, we shall see. But an interesting experiment for sure!

 

 

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