Summer Garden Story: Little HQ and the Humble Harvest

July 14th, 2009 - filed under: The Farm » Flora


Summer days bring beautiful bounty, reaping the benefits of spring’s endless labors. Here at HQ the crop is starting to yield; the first plants invested are the first plants to profit. Snow peas sown in early February, beets planted in February and transplanted in April, Carrots seeded in April – these were the flagship endeavors of HQ Food Forest 2009.

The peas were the first to bear fruit, producing their pods in early June and just now dying down. These were the first to mature, and we’ve imbibed a steady diet of snow peas ever after (including tonight, in fact) :


Next to come up were the beets. And Oh! The beets . . . Deeply hued and delicately patterned, these heirloom beauties are epic-ly delectible. EPIC.




So truthfully, the carrots aren’t quite ready yet. But the hens got into the root veggie bed and scratched the tops right off a few. I couldn’t waste them! Deeeelicious.


And finally, the little blue treasures. We added two young blueberry bushes this spring, potted in decorative planters out front. These made the best buckwheat blueberry pancakes we’ve ever eaten.



I’ve also been snipping off broccoli stalks here and there, and of course there was the cherry tree harvest (pie!). No pictures of these, but I promise they were purty.

What about you? Have your gardens been good to you guys?


  • me3

    I’m apartment gardening and trying my best on our balcony. The limited space is allowing for some pretty green plants but because of the limitation in size (they’re all potted!), I fear the growth has been too stifled to allow them to produce fruit.

    What do you use as a guide for which kinds of plants (or flowers) to plant during which time of year? I’d like to give it another go with whatever is appropriate to plant now.

    Love the blog.

  • Andrew

    Fantastic work. My cucumbers are the star producers in my garden, and I didn’t do anything for them but throw them into the dirt as seeds and keep ‘em watered. Next time I’ll trellis them, at least.

  • Kelly

    I’m not a fan of consuming beets, but yours are certainly gorgeous. I LOVE the colors!

  • Dylan

    Great Garden there! Would love to bite into one of those baby carrots there (right when they came out with a little spit to wipe them off!)So I had previously started a long rambling response, bragging about my garden successes when my system hiccuped and I lost it all. So.. this will be just the facts. If you want more just say so!

    What: Tyfon (Brassica napus x rapa) Commercially available named cultivar (Territorial Seeds)that is a deliberate cross between turnip and rapeseed. B. rapa (turnip/Chinese cabbage/bok choy!/rapini or broccoli raab) for an edible root and B. napus (rutabaga/rapeseed/canola oil) as a fast growing, cool weather, cold hardy, soil penetrating cover crop for overwintering. The roots are too woody to eat unfortunately, but the tops are the best rapini I have ever grown. Vigorous and self sowing I did absolutely nothing except avoid trampling them down and had numerous harvests of tender, succulent buds in April/May.(Four times larger than my true rapini, the leaves are good eating too).

    Who: Steve Solomon, author of “Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades” and one of the original founders of Territorial Seeds, here in Oregon.

    Why: He was always trying to develop maritime climate suited cover crops that were also edible, permaculture style.

    What: Allaria officinalis (garlic mustard)collected from the wild, not available commercially (probably because it is considered an invasive weed). Biennial, sprouts in fall, overwinters with little or no damage(through last winter’s ice storm!)and is easily the first green available in my garden. Eventually grows to six feet or taller, flowering and now dying back with mature seedpods (silicles). Tastes like a mild mixture of garlic and mustard flavors. The flower buds make a nice rapini like garnish for salads, and the roots reportedly taste like horseradish.

    Who:Frank Morton, Wild Garden Seeds (, Philomath, Or. Used it in his original Wild Garden Salad mix sold in area restaurants (e.g. The Bijou Cafe).
    Now just a seed man, developing many awesome varieties you have probably heard of or used.

    Where: I started my patch from a seedling collected on the side of the road at Tryon Sate Park (where it probably is hated as an invasive weed and is the first place I ever saw it growing).

    Why: it is so good tasting, surely highly nutritious (in the same family as Brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli), and so easy to grow (I’m a very lazy gardener). Self sows, doesn’t need to be pampered with either fertilizer or water (though responds to those very well). All you really have to do is control their spread and harvest (from March through May).


  • :: smo ::

    i loooove beets! i used to despise them when i was younger but earlier this year i ventured to the market and picked some up somewhat unknowingly [i thought they were some crazy black radishes...ignorance!] but when i got home and cut them open and they were so brilliantly colored i was hooked! funny, for someone who doesn’t eat meat i get really excited when my vegetables look like they’re bleeding all over the cutting board!

  • Sayward

    @ me3 – Good luck with the container gardening! Your plants should definitely be able to bear fruit in a small pot. It may be a reduced yield, but they should still produce! =)

    What you can grow depends on where you live. There are different ‘zones’ depending on your frost dates – info here. Your local nursery will probably have a cheap guide for planting in your area. I use the Maritime NW Garden Guide, which works for Portland – Seattle. But no matter where you are, it’s not too late to plant! There’s a whole slew of fall crops you can do, look out for my post on fall gardens coming up soon!

    @ Andrew – Oh my cukes just flowered last week and now they’ve got the teeniest tiniest little cucumber buds on them – so cute! That’s great you’re already getting full cucumbers. Jealous!

    @ Kelly – Have you tried them recently? I’ve known SO many people who hated them as kids/young adults, but then revisited them as grown-ups and discovered a new love. Looks like :: smo :: had the same experience! =) Either way, thanks! They really are just crazy pretty.

    @ Dylan – Wow that’s awesome! Sounds like you’ve got some really interesting stuff, and low maintenance too! =)

    @ :: smo :: – Black radishes! Ha, I love that! Isn’t it great discovering a veggie you thought you didn’t like? I recently re-fell in love with mushrooms, and now I just can’t get enough of them. SO GOOD!