Monday, July 6, 2009

Berries, ets.

It has been fairly busy around the Big G home. We have had company with lots of kids and toys to entertain us. It has been fabulous. And busy. And loud. So this afternoon when I found myself alone (the kids had all migrated to Grandma's), I immediately took a deep breath and savored the breeze coming through my open window. I could hear some birds talking to one another and the sun was breaking through an afternoon rain shower. It was delightful. I decided to head outside and see what was happening in my garden. I strolled. I weeded. I snacked. I photographed. I thought I'd share.

Last year I wrote about the berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and chokecherries) in my life--HERE. I am happy to report that our yields are lining up to be much greater this season.

The strawberries this year were out of control! We ate only about 4% of the crop and birds and squirrels took care of the rest. We were out of town when most of them were ripe, but we still were able to eat to our hearts content. They are now sending out their shoots and a smaller second crop will be produced thoughout the summer. I will let them continue spreading.

The blackberry is going nuts! Not only is it flowering like crazy, it is also sending out new growth for next year's crop. My berry book says that it is 40+ days from bloom to berry.
Each blossom turns into a berry. I am holding a small cluster in my hand for perspective. You can see there are lots of clusters. I didn't realize one bush would set so much fruit. I am giddy!

Then I checked out the raspberries. Once again, I wasn't expecting too much because there are probably only 5 canes that will have fruit. Hopefully this picture shows just how many berries there are on just the end of this one cane.
I picked the first ripe berry today. It tasted even better than it looked. They aren't huge, but they are tasty. They seemed to really mature faster once the weather got hot. Gabe just came in and saw this picture. He is now outside looking for more.

This year my apple trees set a lot of fruit. Last year there were late freezes that got my blossoms. This is a branch on a tree that is about as tall as I am. Although it isn't very tall it set the most fruit. There are 5 trees total. Most of them have quite a bit of fruit that will mature later in the summer or fall (I can't wait to find out!).

I have 3 chokecherry trees but only the 2 in the front of the house set fruit. I think the 3rd is too shady out in the backyard.This year there was a soft freeze while they were blossoming and it really thinned out the clusters. The berries will turn dark red when they are ripe. I am hoping to beat the birds to them this year and try my hand at making chokecherry syrup.

My SFG is faring all right this year. The cool, wet summer has kept it alive (we need to quit traveling in June if I ever want to grow my own vegetables).The corn is growing as are the peas and carrots. It took the warmer weather before the tomatoes did much. My melons along the edges especially have basked in the higher temperatures-they are actually finally growing. I never have grown a melon successfully before the frost comes, but maybe this is my year!

Everything is coming right along. I am still amazed at the amount of enjoyment I get out of growing things. It is all new to me but I like it when I have success. I REALLY love it when the kids get excited about it too. On our mountain trip we actually saw some wild onions. We recognized them because we had planted some in our flower beds. FUN!


April said...

I'm jealous. Someday I'll have a garden if I can ever figure it out. It's amazing how much fruit you have.....mmmmm...just sounds delish!

Keryn said...

Wow. I am so jealous of your raspberries. I've got to get some planted around here.

Sunshine said...

Your garden is amazing. I really want to plant one, but I am sure I would just be making daily lunch for all the wildlife in my backyard... For now I have to settle for herbs and tomatoes on the balcony...

Mimi said...

My SFG didn't do too well this year either. I've talked to several people who said they think the colder weather into June made it difficult for some of the seeds to germinate. I'm getting the idea that you have to replant if you don't see germination in the appropriate time for different vegetables. My successes were green and wax beans, yellow and zucchini squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant (believe it or not) and some lettuce and spinach. I'll probably get about 5 carrots and 5 beets...not exactly what I was hoping for:)! But I'm like you, it's new to me and I really enjoy it. Hope to enlarge each year. I'm going to try to get some bare root fruit trees in this year. You are inspiring me with your berries. I have to learn more about them!

Kelly said...

Looks great! I'm jealous. Someday I'll live in a place with a real backyard and I'll hopefully be able to expand a little.

The Childrens Nest said...

You are AWESOME!!!! Look at all of that fruit!! I LOVE IT!!! Just had to say hi :o)