Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday Thoughts; Garden Update

Well, many issues cause stress in this rough economic climate, but I do find solace in my family and garden(s). I have now manually pollinated a zucchini and a summer squash, and I will create a tutorial if I ever am able to get decent photos while I am actually doing the manual pollination.On this summer squash plant, you can see the male flower (on the right) and the female flower (attached to the squash fruit on the left). When they were both open, it entailed taking pollen from the male with a paintbrush (or Q-tip) and placing it on the stigma, or center inside of the female flower. It is quite a feat to catch both flowers open at once, let me say! It only happens on one day, and only for about 4 hours. I will let you know how the fruit fares.
The cucumbers are coming along, and should be ready for picking any day now. These are Straight Eight heirloom slicing cucumbers. I have never grown (or eaten, to my knowledge) these, but I am hoping for bursting flavor.

One okra is ready. Perhaps we can boil it and slice it into portions? I hope the plant gets to growing bigger, or we will be harvesting one okra at a time all season!Meanwhile, the tomato vines continue to fill up and taunt me with succulent, plump GREEN tomatoes. Oh, the waiting! We may have to have some fried green tomatoes soon...
Today, I plucked the single ripe strawberry and sliced it into three portions to share with Amilia and Mr. Nature. And yesterday, I did actually find one single handfull of ripe raspberries, which we also split into shares.While we have not reached self-sustainability yet, this year has proven a wonderful adventure and a valuable classroom. Thus far, for my seed saving challenge, I have sugar snap pea, shelling pea, poppy, and now coriander seed saved. I will share my saving of the coriander seeds once they are dry enough to package.

Bringing forth food from the land is a very effective way to melt my stresses...
How do you melt yours?



Splendid Little Stars said...

It is SO hard to wait for those big tomatoes to actually get ripe. Therefore, I grow some cherry-type tomatoes. Let's see...we've had @ 10 of those already and more of them will be ripe today. I grow lettuce in the shade on my deck all summer. Then I just pick leaves without pulling the whole plant. Gardening CAN melt stresses away. Something about watching plants grow and flower and fruit is therapeutic--enjoying their textures, shapes, and colors. Ripping out un-wanted weeds works for therapy, too (sometimes).
Good luck with the one-at-a-time okra!

Little Monarch said...

oh wow congratulations on all your gardening! I have some cucumber plants growing in a box outside my flat in cold london. I was surprised that the seeds actually popped up since the climate is not too hospitable! how long does it take to start seeing little cucumbers start popping up?

Linda said...

Your Garden is looking Yummy!