End of the Blackberry Harvest

life_in_maine_wild_gardenOur blackberry harvest is drawing to a close. We had a great crop, which we mostly froze to use over the winter. We kept some fresh for our breakfast, though. The blackberry canes in our field are starting to turn color. They tend to be the first signals of the ending summer, even while our golden rod remain in bloom. Click on the image for a larger view.

Vegetable Harvest

life_in_maine_vegetable_harvestAlong with tomatoes and blackberries, we are getting other veggies. On the left are Early Summer Yellow Crookneck Squash. Our beans this year are Kentucky Wonder, the large green pole beans, Provider, the mid-sized bush beans, Masai, the small bush beans, and Blue Coco, the purple pole beans. The small tomato in the picture is Gardener’s Delight. And last are our cucumbers. The round variety is Lemon cucumber and the other is de Bourbonne Cornichon pickling cucumber. Unfortunately, because of a lack of water or inadequate fertilizer, the de Bourbonne did not turn the green it is supposed to be. Click on the image for a larger view.

New Heirloom Tomato Varieties

life_in_maine_tomato_amish_black_russianThis year, we are growing two heirloom varieties that are new to us. The red fruit on the left are Amish Paste Tomatoes. As the name suggests, they are a great tomato for cooking and canning. Fresh, they are soft and sweet. The Black Prince is a rich tomato, great for salads. They are not large, but the plant yields a good crop. Click on the image for a larger view.

Tomato Glut

life_in_maine_summer_tomatoesOur tomato harvest is starting to reached the late summer glut. It is wonderful thing to see the garden so productive, especially since we were starting these plants indoors in early spring.

The yellows are Yellow Pear (smaller) and Yellow Banana Leg (the three long fruit). The top right red tomatoes are Juliet. The bottom left reds are Heather. And the bottom right is our favorite: Black Cherry. The yellow tomatoes and the Black Cherry are heirloom varieties. Click on the image for a larger view.

Raspberry Leaves

edible_weeds_raspberry_leafRaspberry-leaf tea is great all year round. In summer, we mix it with mint or Japanese green tea and serve it cold. In winter, we mix it with camomile and drink it hot. Raspberry-leaf tea is claimed to have various medical benefits, particularly for women.

In July, we harvest the new shoots of our wild raspberry. We air dry the leaves on the branches indoors, and finish by placing the leaves in a dehydrator. The tea is light and sweet. Wild raspberry spreads quickly and is considered a weed, but we value it as a herb and source of soft fruit. We have several varieties. Click on the image for a larger view.