Garden treasure hunt

After being gone for a week, it’s always neat to come back to see what the garden has been up to in my absence.  We got a lot of rain this past week, including some hail, so Hubby didn’t have to water the garden much while I was away.  My new potato plantings were up and growing vigorously, and the few that didn’t come up left me space to plant snow peas for a fall crop.  I did that this morning after I bought some new tomato cages to use as trellis.

While I was watering in the new pea plantings, I noticed that several of my mature potato plants were yellowing–time to harvest!  I love harvesting potatoes because it’s like a treasure hunt, especially when I’m too lazy to write down which varieties I planted and where–then I’m always surprised by the colors that show up…will I see purple, red, yellow?  Fingerling or regular potatoes?  Who knows?!  I only harvested 4 plants tonight, but I got a pretty good haul out of them.  Most of them are Purple Viking, which are purple with swirls of pink (so beautiful!), but I have a few Yukon Gold in the mix (or are they Kennebec? I guess I’ll have to wait ’til I cut them open to find out.).

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I was surprised at how BIG some of the potatoes got!  I don’t hill my potatoes after I plant them, so I don’t get as large a harvest as I would if I did, but I’m not at all disappointed in what I pulled out of the ground tonight.  I still have about 10 mature plants to harvest, plus my new planting of 12 plants that I will harvest as late as I possibly can this fall so that the tubers have as much time to grow as possible.

In addition to potatoes tonight, I took some more chard, a few bunching onions, and the first red peppers of the summer.

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Also while watering the garden this morning, I noticed a VERY large carrot sticking out of the ground where I planted carrots last year.  I had a few volunteers come up, so I just left them alone and thought they would flower and provide some food for my pollinator friends.  However, this particular carrot did not flower, so I decided to pluck it.  And when I pulled this treasure out of the ground, I was in shock: 

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But wait!  It gets better…

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Apparently this guy was so in love with the garlic (also a volunteer) that it just couldn’t let go.  What the…..?  I have grown a few weirdo carrots in my garden over the years, but this one takes the blue ribbon for oddest oddball. 

I suppose that is one reason why I like growing root crops.  Since everything is underground, you can’t watch the good stuff develop, so you have no idea what might be happening down there.  It could be that nothing is happening down there, which would be utterly disappointing, but usually the harvest treasure hunt turns out alright, if not downright exciting. There certainly are lots of treasures in my garden.

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