Today’s post is an update on the Wee Kitchen Garden; filled with photos of the garden’s progress since its move. It is also the precursor for Canning Week! All this week, I’ll be sharing recipes with you for canning fresh garden produce! Get those canning kettles ready!
Earlier this year, I moved my Wee Kitchen Garden from its old location in a field down by our barn to a better, sunnier spot on a bank near the edge of our property. Here’s where I told you about that project.
Here are some photos of the Wee Kitchen Garden, the harvests and what I’ve done with the bounty from it.
I planted the Wee Kitchen Garden on the 29th of April. Here it is one month later, at the beginning of June:
There are three sections of the Wee Kitchen Garden. Sixty by One-Hundred-Twenty of Cutting Garden, Sixty by One-Hundred-Twenty of Herbs and Sixty by One-Hundred-Twenty of cucumbers and Tomatoes.
I planted a boatload of zinnia because I love them so much. They are such happy flowers and they really make me smile. I moved the gladioli and the Salvia from my other garden location. Here is the Cutting Garden in June:
I moved parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and chives from the old location. I also planted basil, dill and mint. Here is the Herb Garden in June:
I planted cucumbers because we love them. We love to eat them raw, we love pickles. There are three vines. Little did I know what these vines would put out when I took this photo in June:
And I planted tomatoes. Mr. Saucy requested that I plant tomato plants just for harvesting green tomatoes. He wanted plenty of them for me to pickle and he wanted Baked Not Fried Green Tomatoes on a regular basis. I also planted a different variety of tomatoes to harvest ripe for eating. Once the tomatoes were planted, I created this grid tomato cage to be able to tie them up. For the ties, I bought some green fleece fabric and cut it into strips. Not only does the fabric stretch a bit, but it’s soft, so it won’t hurt the vines. It has worked really well!
On June 9th, I had my first little baby tomatoes!
One June 13th, I harvested the first cucumbers! The first cucumbers of MANY cucumbers!
June 18th brought more cucumbers and my first flowers from the cutting garden!
And the flowers have kept coming! I told myself when I planted cutting flowers that my goal was to not purchase flowers all summer. I love keeping flowers in the house. I keep them in the kitchen to keep me company while I cook; I keep them in the keeping room; I keep them in the guest bathroom and guest bedroom…I love flowers everywhere! I haven’t purchased a single flower all summer.
There have been so many flowers, I have started making up vases to give away to friends and neighbors!
I had critters eating my flowers, and dill and nibbling on my parsley. So I bought garden stakes with shiny butterflies on them to discourage the garden raiders. They worked! Then July came and here’s how the Wee Kitchen Garden grew:
Remember those first baby tomatoes? Here they are ripening!
And once the garden munchers left off with the introduction of the butterfly stakes, the cutting garden really started filling out. No matter how many I cut, there are always so many more to keep the garden filled with beautiful color!
And the produce came and came and came!
So, I pickled and canned:
And…believe it or not, the garden is still producing! While the cucumbers finally succumbed (after over 9 gallons of pickles, 16 half pints of dill pickle relish, eating cucumbers constantly, giving them away) the tomatoes are still going strong! I had crows pecking the tomatoes, so I installed a plastic hawk (see him on the tomato cage?) and they have *fingers crossed* stopped eating my tomatoes. Here it is as an early August Wee Kitchen Garden:
As I said, this post kicks off a week of recipes for canning! While I have posted a lot of recipes for canning, which you can find here, this week I’ll be bringing you recipes for Dill Pickle Relish, Tomato Jam (unbelievable addition to a cheese board), Bruschetta in a Jar, Preserving Basil and Tomato Sauce.
So, stay tuned! And get those canning kettles and jars ready!