I’ve been so busy with the garden, chickens and turkeys, and my hobby soap making business that I’ve had a hard time keeping up with the blog lately, sorry about that! If you ever wonder what’s going on at the farm, you can always jump on Instagram and see the latest happenings @5rfarmoregon. The garden is off to a great start this year. We’ve been enjoying plenty of greens and fresh salads from the garden, as well as peas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, broccoli and basil. The lettuce and spinach have just bolted, so the chickens have been enjoying garden fresh salad of bolted greens. I just started harvesting potatoes and garlic a couple of days ago, and pretty soon it will be time to pull the onions, but I’m hoping they’ll get a bit bigger so I’m giving them a few more days. The leeks are doing well, those are always so easy to grow and I usually plant way to many so I did scale back this year and I’m only growing a couple dozen and they’ll be ready soon as well. The rhubarb is going crazy this year, I’ve frozen a ton for making jams and desserts, and you can’t even tell that I’ve harvested any because my two plants are still so huge.
I’ll be honest, even though I do consider myself to have a green thumb, there are always a few gardening failures every year. I haven’t grown carrots in a long time, and now I remember why. They end up stubby and deformed and not really worth the effort, although I did get a good laugh out of my carrots with legs this year so maybe it was worth it after all! The Chinese red meat radishes that I’m growing have started to bolt before they got very big, but I do still have some seeds left so maybe I’ll try them as a fall crop and see if they do better for me. The jury is still out on my three sisters planting of corn, beans and squash this year. I’m just doing a small test patch for fun, and even if nothing comes of it, it will be still be pretty, and that’s part of the reason I enjoy gardening is that I love spending time in it and admiring the lushness of a summer garden.
I have been picking raspberries and blueberries every other day for a few weeks now. I’ve been freezing a lot of raspberries for future jam making and desserts. I think I’ve got about 6 quarts of raspberries in the freezer already. I made blueberry jam for the first time this year, it’s a blueberry-lemon-basil recipe and it turned out really well so I’m planning to make another batch of it. I need to get started canning or freezing the chard and kale before it gets past its prime and the aphids set in. There’s always so much to do at this time of year, but I like to be busy and it’s such a great feeling to be eating from the garden in the summer and continuing to eat preserved foods from the garden throughout the fall and winter.