"Every house where love abides and friendship is a guest, is surely home, and home sweet home for there the heart can rest." -Henry Van Dyke

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Growing corn and more

The corn in the garden is not ready for harvest but I wanted to share the progress of my first time growing organic corn. I find it interesting that the tassle is red in some of them. I grew only one variety called Fisher's Earliest (70 days), open pollinated, yellow corn with multi-colored stalks. I'm thrilled to eat homegrown sweet corn and I'm hoping they're successful for us. I have many recipes I want to try using corn!
  
Isn't it pretty? The corn are ornamental too. If only my garden wasn't so messy and I have the cottage potager I envisioned. Well, someday. 

I fertilized the corn with all-purpose organic fertilizer and alfalfa meal a month ago. I recently fertilized them again because I learned that corn demands plenty of nitrogen. In addition, they need phosphorus, adequate amounts of potassium and micronutrients. Perhaps I gave them enough fertilizer and the corn will thrive.
   
Leeks are doing well. It's also my first time growing them and I didn't sow from seeds. I ran out of time and bought starter plants. Leeks are essential in my cooking. We love the mild onion flavor.

I came up with this recipe: Whole wheat penne with fontina sauce, garlic and leeks sautéed with butter served alongside crispy beans. Everything was yummy with lemon-garlic and thyme roasted chicken. Cooking is also better with fresh herbs from the garden.

Beans are abundant so I'm freezing them. Beans from the garden are super tasty. I can't imagine buying them at the market since they're easy to grow and the flavor is exceptional.

I grew Red Winter and Italian Lacinato kale thinking we'll be blending them with healthy smoothies. Guess what? We hardly do that and I don't know why I continue to plant seeds every year since I don't usually cook kale. I know how nutrient-dense they are and my family should eat them! Maybe I'll make kale chips. In the back to the right, you can sort of see the Swiss Chard. They're good sautéed with olive oil or butter and I'm planning on making a hot Swiss Chard dip.
  
I'm disappointed with my squash and zucchini since I planted 16 of them from seeds. For the first time in 4 years, my plants were attacked by squash bugs and their eggs were everywhere. At first, I was able to keep up with the pests using homemade natural pesticide. I also squashed the bugs and removed the eggs by hand then I got busy… 

Not only were the weeds overwhelming in the garden, I had to deal with those annoying bugs in the heat of summer. It's sad I only harvested 3 zucchini and 3 squash. I doubt the plants will produce anymore, BAD bugs! I think they destroyed my cucumber plants too. I have to move on and try again next season. My vegetable garden is bigger this time and it was crazy to keep up with!  

What's growing in your garden? Any trouble with pests?        


3 comments:

  1. Your corn looks beautiful, so glad it is working out for you. I have neighbors down the street from me that grow corn every year. I didn't have too many pests this year in my garden...first time I encountered cucumber beetles, but they didn't seem to impact my cucumbers too much. I guess I picked off enough of them. I actually didn't grow any squash this year because I just didn't have enough space.

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  2. Amazing that you even grow corn at home!! This year, well, last two years too, I just grew herbs, salads and tomatoes..last year I did try with eggplants...wasn't successful at all. A lot to learn from you, Priscilla.

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  3. Your plants look so healthy, and ready togive you great harvest. Happy gardening!

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♥ Priscilla