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Monday, June 25, 2012

End of June: Growing Dome Update

Ahhh! Summer is here and the garden is growing like a 12 year old boy and almost as unruly. Bring out the nets and the twine!

When I say garden, I am talking about the stuff I grow in the Growing Dome. So far we have picked yellow zucchini, green beans, six cherry tomatoes, kale, basil, rosemary, and lemon thyme. We have had some warm days here, in the upper 80's, so my work in the dome must be done early or late because it gets hot in there when the sun is overhead. We do have shade cloth over half the dome, because high altitude sun is fierce.

Here are my cucumbers, the Poona Kheera variety I wrote about here.

I just couldn't wait, so did a little internet perusing and many growers of this cucumber, which is native to India, said it was okay to pick when they had  turned from green to yellow. So I took a couple yellow cukes and one that was turning from yellow to brown.

These cukes were sweet with no bitterness or astringency at all,  white inside and at the yellow stage, small seeds. As the skin gets brown, they will continue to be sweet, but the seeds will be larger.

When I am in the dome I like to wear an apron to keep my clothes clean. (My childhood nickname was Susie Slop A** because let me loose and I would be dirty in a minute!) An apron is handy, too, to carry the stuff you picked into the house if you forgot a container.

Below is a pic of the green bean harvest yesterday morning. They were a tight squeeze in my apron's pocket.

This is just enough for the two of us for dinner, steamed for 5 minutes, finished with a little salt, pepper, and butter. As summer goes on, we will get fancier, but the first green beans get the simple treatment. Here's another green bean recipe for later, if you are ready to move beyond basic.

Yesterday, though, there was a surprise in the dome, and not a good one. Check out this kale plant!

Since I am not familiar with kale and how it looks when it's growing, I missed this at first, but realized yesterday that even kale called Dinosaur Kale shouldn't look like this. This was Lacy Kale, which sounds like a great name for a country singer, but not for the stuff I am growing!

Upon closer inspection on the undersides of the leaves, I found the problem: Little wormy fellows having a feast. Eww!

This is when I wish I had chickens, because they would be standing nearby in their pen, pacing back and forth, ready for me to share some of these rare and tasty delicacies. Instead, I moved the green wormsters down to the creek for the birds to find. Bon appetit!

Then I cut the damaged leaves off and we will see what happens. I'm giving the kale about a week to start growing anew. If it doesn't recover, I have some nice bell pepper plants looking for a home.

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