Monday, June 21, 2010

Crazy Central Texas harvests

It's 97 degrees outside, just past the summer solstice, and we're harvesting root vegetables here in Austin. Jenny at Rock Rose is harvesting beets, and I pulled up more than a pound of carrots this past weekend.

The cucumbers are producing like crazy, outstripping our tossed salad needs. I've pulled out my copy of Marion Morash's Victory Garden Cookbook looking for cucumber recipes. Julia Child's cream of cucumber soup is there, along with a dozen cucumber salads, cucumber mousse, cooked cucumbers four ways, and a braised salmon with cucumber sauce.

The tomatoes are rockin' and rollin' in the Live Music Capital of the World. This tomato was pea green the night before, but had turned a lovely blush color by the next afternoon.

Unfortunately the birds got to it before me, followed by the ants.

The bird netting is now up. No more tomatoes for you, birdies!

I harvested my first ever homegrown okra pod this weekend. This 3 inch pod is practically as big as the plant it came from. Not much you can do with a single okra pod, but I suspect it won't be long now before its friends stop by.

What's exploding with abundance in your garden?

Words and photos © 2009-2010 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. Porter tomatoes. I'm over-run by them. A good kind of problem, of course. I probably picked thirty of them tonight, and used another 20 in some sauce. And that's all from just one plant.

    Your produce and photos are gorgeous!

  2. Marc, Jen at Rebar and Roses told me she got 75 tomatoes off one Early Girl plant -- then she gave me an Early Girl seedling! So I better start looking for some sauce recipes.

  3. oh it all looks great! we are getting about a dozen of the biggest cherry tomatoes i've ever seen, a day...yes...i said A DAY! and my regular size varieties are doing amazing as well...last year we got 3 total...this year, i can't keep up and am giving away as much as we are eating, if not more! cukes have started to come on too and i'm seeing a bunch of babies that will all come to maturity at the same time, so pulling out the books for sure. i'm starting to harvest potatoes as well. i kept it simple this season as last year i went crazy and of course it chose to be the hottest season in years and nothing produced. i'm starting more tomatoes for the fall...crossing my fingers on that! i'm also looking for jalapeno plants. once the tomatoes are out, i'm putting jalapenos in...

    i did plant carrots, but not enough to do much as my darling youngest would pull them out at their smallest and eat them right then and there. most didn't even look like much of a carrot! hahah! so next year i plan on a bed of carrots all their own.

    harvest is good this year...:) thank the veggies gods!

    love your pics...i wish my family liked okra, the plants are really pretty to me..haha


  4. That's fantastic! Nice photos, too. The only thing I have in abundance now is basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. My tomatoes got a late start because they were in too much shade, but they're doing okay now that the shading tree branch is gone. Hope I get some as pretty as yours.

  5. I am loving your cucumbers. I have beautiful plants, but barely any cukes! I'm wondering if we're lacking bees (but my melons are doing just fine...). So, last Sunday I hand-pollinated. Now I have three lovely cukes. Maybe it's early, and not the bees. I dunno. And here in Katy, Texas the melos are lovely.

  6. Cucumbers everywhere. I have taken to keeping a constant container with 3 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar and a pinch of ginger in it. I just slice and add cucumbers constantly and keep it in the fridge. Japanese sunomono salad at the ready whenever I need it. The kids love it as do I.