The vegetable garden is finally ready for harvesting!
On Sunday we picked tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, lettuce, and even a bit of broccoli, and we ate the carrots for afternoon snack and made dinner with the peppers and broccoli that same evening! (We made pepper steak served with rice, and my husband and son gobbled up most of it with me.) We actually waited a little too long for the tomatoes, since a couple of them were so red and ripe that their delicate skin ripped off as I picked them. We'll pick them sooner next time; there are so many on the vines that we'll have a plethora of tomatoes this season.
On Saturday my husband uprooted one of the carrots to see how they were doing, and it was disappointingly small, dry, and not orange at all -- yes, despite how lush and full the carrot top was. We tried again on Sunday and came up with three decent edible carrots (albeit not very pretty), though the large one was blaaaaand. We're not sure what went wrong, but we'll probably tweak the soil and watering for the next round of planting. (We're planning to plant sweet corn next year as well. My mother-in-law tells us corn is one of the easiest things to grow.)
I took the following photos last week Tuesday and Wednesday, and the tomatoes and bell peppers were especially ready for harvest by Sunday.
Bunches of tomatoes turning orange and red (we should have picked them then):
The broccoli developing florets, slowly but surely:
Eggplants dropped from their flowers over the course of a day. The second photo on the right below shows an eggplant that we didn't even realize was close to coming out. We'll need to wait until they're substantially bigger before picking them, however.
The bell peppers are particularly large, beautiful, and plentiful. Some of them are supposed to be red bell peppers, so we don't know how long to wait for them to turn color. But we couldn't help picking four of the larger ones for dinner on Sunday night! They were nice and crispy and smelled wonderful:
This is how tall the bib lettuce is getting. Sadly the leaves all have a bitter aftertaste now, but my son still likes to eat them freshly picked:
To harvest, we poked holes through the mesh just big enough for our hands to reach through. So far the mesh seems able to maintain its structural integrity. We'll see if any rabbits or squirrels figure out that there are holes big enough for them to get through or to tear open even larger. So far, so good.