Okra that is now too big and tough to eat

The garden is different every year. It is planted with different crops in different rows and the size has increased somewhat each year. I am already thinking about where the expansion will take place next spring. But it always surprises me in some way. This year we planted a few new things including corn and okra. The corn was a minor disappointment (bugs got more corn than we did), but the okra was a real winner. We planted two varieties and I think one did better than the other, but both are still producing. I even planted a second half-row which is only now starting to flower and bear fruit. It looks terrific. Now this might not be as exciting if you don’t like okra, but I do and I am very pleased with the results. I have been eating a lot of it mostly broiled. With the new crop coming in, I hope I can get some in the freezer.

fried okra

fried okra for dinner

Another new crop this year was edamame. This is just a variety of soybean. I have never grown regular soybeans, so I really don’t know what the difference is. They have taken a long time to mature and are now just about right to start picking. They were planted a few weeks after the squash and about the same time as some as some other beans. The beans and squash are pretty much done producing, but the edamame is just beginning.

It seems like peppers always have a long growing season and this year is no exception. We have a good crop of Hungarian Wax which are my favorites – not too hot, not too bland, just the right amount of ‘heat’.

The thing that changes every year, of course, is the weather. Like last year, we had a drought this year. It was earlier this year than last occurring in June and July. Since then we have had a lot of rain. Like today, for instance – it’s been pouring for a few hours. The garden loves the rain in the long term, but without enough sun and hot weather, the plants just make lots of green stuff and not much fruit. The bees aren’t out pollinating when it is raining.

Spider guarding the tomatoes

Spider guarding the tomatoes

Most of the tomatoes have rotted or split open and they become chicken treats. I haven’t had a nice tomato for the kitchen in several weeks. I’m not sure if the rain helps or hurts with insects, but I did see a beautiful spider on guard in the tomato patch.

I still have hopes that we will get more tomatoes and that we can even can a batch or two. But it will depend on the weather. It probably won’t happen unless we get a stretch of dry hot weather in the next couple of weeks.