Sunday, July 24, 2011
Summer Settles Upon the Backyard
After writing this post a couple months ago, I thought it might be fun to write a little update on what's going on in our garden. With Mr. W out of town until September, I'll be enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor by myself for awhile. But the little butternut squash above may not be ripe until close to the time he comes home. I cannot tell you how excited I am about that squash. Butternut is the candy of the squash world. Love.
The zucchini has been extremely plentiful—and as you can see, the bees love it. Mr. W and I made ricotta-stuffed zucchini flowers once with blossoms we bought at the farmer's market, but we've yet to try it with our own stock. If I'm feeling adventurous, maybe I'll give it a whirl on my own. Just have to remember to get all the bees out before plucking them...
Apparently artichokes come back even better the following year if you let them flower. So we let our last few go and have thoroughly enjoyed their vibrant lavender spikes. 4 out of 5 resident bees are also big fans.
We have no idea what kind of squash this is. It's a total little rogue that just popped up near the tomato plants. We thought maybe it was summer squash or acorn, but the fruits don't seem to last long enough to take on their adult shape. They keep rotting on the vine as little green balls. I'm hoping the warmer weather will push them into maturity so I can finally figure out what they are!
I think we have about 7 tomato plants in the backyard. The cherry tomatoes have been awesome and I just ate a few of our larger tomatoes tonight—they didn't disappoint. The very first big, fat red one we had in the backyard was stolen by a furry backyard thief. Perhaps our the skunk who lives next door. Mr. W had been watching it for days and when he went to pick it and discovered that someone else had beaten him to it, I got an IM message with the f-word in it. He's very protective of his tomatoes...
This has become a very common sight out back in the mornings. The hummingbirds love our fountain and regularly take baths in it. We're pretty sure a sweet little hummingbird couple has built a nest up near our barbecue. Mr. W kept seeing a male up there sort of guarding the area. Naturally, he decided we should name him George. I need to come up with a name for George's wife. Maybe Martha.
We have a hummingbird feeder hanging off one of our trees, but I'm glad to see that the kids still go old school and drink out of real flowers. They're so cute I could just watch them forever.
I wonder if I'll be tired of zucchini and tomatoes by the time summer is over. I'm sure I'll be more than ready for a fall crop of lettuce and maybe some root veggies. Backyard food is seriously the best!