Vegging out!

You might think of the title as literally vegging out, but quite the contrary folks, these six raised vegetable beds demand a lot of work, love, time and commitment.  These cold frame beds are located in Goodstay Gardens, a place where I volunteer once a week, and if you are a regular reader on my blog, you will remember the post where I wrote about these gardens a couple weeks ago.  Click on the green if you missed it.

We thought we’d try out some vegetables this year since the summer months are pretty quiet in the gardens; the enthusiasm and excitement that it generated in me was beyond words.  We planted a variety of vegetables as you will see and we have already harvested the Swiss Chard.  I cannot contain my excitement about an entire bed of sweet corn, I just hope that when harvest time rolls around we are here to enjoy the bounty.  I’ve been put in charge of the beds as I live just a 10 minute walk from these gardens.  I can’t tell you the number of visits I make each week, not so much to water or weed, but to check out the progression of the fresh produce.  I have come to think of these gardens as an extension of our own 🙂  We’ve had vegetable gardens before in some of the yards we’ve lived in, but they were pretty limited as we did not have as much sun in the back yard.  These beds here are drenched in sunlight for much of the day.  Come with me and take a virtual tour, the vegetables are happy and so am I :).    The five volunteers who faithfully come in each week will be enjoying this produce with me throughout the summer.

Some of the plants were started from seed, but the tomatoes and peppers were wee plants when we put them in the ground.  We have two types of beans, okra, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, sweet corn, sweet and hot peppers, large tomatoes and cherry tomatoes,

Building a bamboo trellis (for the beans) with Barry, one of the volunteers, was quite a learning experience.

I can’t wait to harvest some of the white eggplants seen below.

Swiss chard was one of the first vegetables we were able to harvest.  I have another bed that we planted with just seeds, and you can see the wee plants emerge, but in time they too will reach great heights.

Do you like these hand made labels?  Just cut up a used pot and use a sharpie to mark your vegetable plants.  We topped the beds with leaf mulch.

Here we have an array of fresh herbs too many to mention.  There’s Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Thai basil, African blue basil, Apple Mint, Parsley, Oregano, Tarragon etc.

With our first harvest,  I made a Crustless Swiss Chard quiche which was a great, quick week night meal and it didn’t heat up the kitchen as much.  I will pick up some baby bok choy in a couple of days.  I think the garden will surely keep us in fresh produce all through the summer.  We have pumpkin and watermelon at another spot.  Do you have a garden?  What have you planted this year?

Linking this post to Angie’s FF#75.  Her wonderful co-hosts this week are Julie @ Hostess At Heart and Josette @ The Brook Cook.

36 comments

    1. Thanks, they are pretty neat aren’t they? But since I posted this, I’m sorry to report that we were invaded a few days ago. I’m not sure if they were groundhogs, deer or rabbits. It is pretty disheartening, but there are some veggies that they won’t touch, so I’m making notes for next year. 😦

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    1. Thanks I can’t wait for the sweet corn either. I think we may have planted too many for our first attempt, so we ended up thinning out some of the rows. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  1. Beautiful veggie garden Loretta – I love raised beds too as you can grow so much! A cold frame is something I don’t have – maybe… You’re fortunate to have 5 gardeners to help as there is work involved but the benefits (the veggies) are well worth it. There is nothing better than growing, harvesting and making something (like your quiche) from your own garden. Continue to have fun this summer 🙂

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    1. Thanks Judi. After I wrote this post, we were invaded. I’m not quite sure who or what destroyed some of the veggies, it was pretty disheartening. Still, there are some that haven’t been touched, I don’t think the critters like tomatoes, eggplant, okra, peppers or corn. But they’ve destroyed the zucchini, yellow squash, beans etc. 😦

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    1. Thanks Donna, the markers are actually made out of plastic pots, we just cut them up in triangular shapes and put it in the ground with the pointed end in the soil. Since I wrote this post, we’ve had some destruction, and I’m not quite sure what or which critter got into those beds. Very disheartening for sure. By the way, I came upon an amazing website and thought of you….you might be following this blog already, but here it is http://www.agardenforthehouse.com/

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  2. How wonderful, Loretta! It’s even more fun than having your own garden, I think. At least you’re doing it with friends and the work is shared as well as the harvest! There’s nothing more satisfying than cooking and sharing your bounty, is there?

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  3. What a beautiful garden Loretta! I get so excited when produce is ready in my measly little garden. You manicure these beds beautifully, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a white eggplant. I had swiss chard for the first time this year and loved it! I have herbs, tomatoes and peppers growing right now. Have a wonderful 4th and happy FF!

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    1. Thanks Julie. We’ve never had as much sun in the backyards of some of the houses we’ve lived in before. I did have tomatoes, peppers etc. so when I saw those raised beds and the unlimited possibilities, I was beyond excited. Since I posted this though, we’ve had some critters foraging through the gardens, they especially love the cucumber and squash plants, together with the different beans we’ve grown. Oh well, you can win ’em all eh, I guess they need to eat too. 🙂 I hope you enjoy the produce in your own garden soon.

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      1. Some little critter ate every one of my strawberries the other day. I hope he gets a belly ache. 🙂 Awe I didn’t mind. You can’t win them all. 🙂 Tomatoes look good and I look forward to them. Peppers aren’t doing that good. Thank goodness for Farmers Markets! I don’t think we will starve regardless.

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  4. What a lovely garden–it looks like it’s growing beautifully! I’ll take some inspiration from your delicious crustless quiche as swiss chard is all we’ve been getting out of our garden, and I’ve already gotten a bit tired of it…although we do change it up occasionally with beet greens (unfortunately I struggle to tell the two apart!!).

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  5. Loretta! This is such inspiration! My garden fever just went up a few more degrees! How wonderful! I must admit that I envy the full sun that you have. Sun loving Corn and tomatoes taste the best picked fresh from the garden. wondering about your herbs – did you start most of them from seed or did you buy seedlings? Wondering which ones are worth growing from seed.

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    1. Ha ha, glad I provided you that inspiration. I envy the full sun too in those beds, unfortunately my back yard does not get too much sun either. I don’t believe we used seeds for the herbs, they were little plants bought from the nursery. We did sow seeds straight in the soil though for some of the vegetables. Corn, okra, beets, onions, zucchini and squash. We’re already trying to plan next year’s vegetables. Will keep you posted, much as I’d love to see your progress too 🙂

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