Sunday was Litha, or Midsummer, so it's the time of year when the gardens are really starting to look good. It's not quite hot or dry enough for things to die yet, and everything is green and lush and full. I got back from a week and a half of vacation, and found that in my absence my tomato plants had shot up a good three feet, the sunflowers are as tall as I am, and the beans and cucumbers are not only climbing their trellises but also the neighboring fence.
The herb circle looks good, if a bit sparse -- I mulched it this year with straw, which makes for an odd appearance but far less weeding. The basil is nice and green, and the three sage clumps I transplanted back in the spring have survived nicely. They're flowering, so I plucked those off, and gathered up some lovely white sage to dry and burn. I trimmed back the nearby lemon balm, in hopes that better light will get to the rosemary, which seems a bit wanky so far. It's getting taller, but not much fuller.
Of the eight corn stands I put in at Breanna's request, five are looking good - about chest high already, and I can see where the cobs are beginning to form. The other three look sort of meh - I suspect the dog may have taken a nap on them when I wasn't looking. The greens are nice and thick, so I thinned them out, and so far Mr. McBunbuns has not been nibbling on them, so that's a good thing. First picking of the season, and here's what I got:
Two pounds of green onions
Half a pound of parsley
A boatload of basil - enough to make a full quart of pesto sauce
Enough arugula to fill TWO gallon-size ziplock bags
About a half pound of romaine lettuce
Also, in the interest of working smarter, not harder, I tried something new this year. Usually I pick my stuff, toss it in my giant basket, and bring it all in to clean it up in the kitchen. This leads to about four pounds of dirt and several surprised spiders in my kitchen sink each time, which I have to clean up. This year, I finally figured out that if I spray all the stuff off with the hose OUTSIDE before I toss it in the basket, there's a lot less dirt to sweep up in the house. It only took me a couple of decades of gardening to grok onto that.
So lunch today was an open-faced turkey sandwich on homemade bread, smeared with pesto, and a boatload of onions and arugula. I swear, my favorite meals are the ones I can get fresh from my back yard.