Dewberries, Squash Blossoms, Cucumbers, Garlic, A New Drip System And Two Watermelon Recipes

Beans reach for the sky while nasturtiums shade their feet
It's been very warm and muggy this week. Busy too, with harvesting and processing pie cherries, berries, garlic and shallots.
Here is the garden this week 

The wild Pacific dewberries, which grow in patches around my property and along the road, are ripening up. For me, these tangy little gems signal the true start of summer. They have a natural hint of spice and a high pectin content that makes them perfect for making preserves

Both the summer and winter squash have begun blooming. I'm really impressed by how large and healthy the winter squash plants are this year. The summer squash, not so much. I gave them a healthy dose of aged chicken manure last week so hopefully they'll take off and provide plenty of fruits for my Death by Chocolate zucchini bread

The pickling cucumbers are flowering. I make quite a few jars of both cold fermented and shelf stable pickles, so I devote an entire raised bed each year to cucumbers and dill

I harvested the hard neck garlic this week, 89 heads in total. Last year's garlic harvest was dismal. I planted 100 cloves and only harvested a little over 70 small heads. Last Fall I planted 200 cloves, anticipating the possibility of another sparse harvest. Instead, my total garlic harvest stands at 203 heads, three more than I planted! I couldn't be more pleased.

I cleaned up the soft neck garlic that was harvested 2 weeks ago. It's still a little green so it needs another week or so of drying before it's ready to string up

I also harvested half of the shallots. The rest need a little longer. They are a little smaller than I hoped for but there are lots of them, probably more than 150 bulbs in total

I found a great deal on garden supplies this week, so we bought the parts to set up an automatic drip system in the upper garden. I'm so happy as I've wanted one for a long time, to save on water and the hassle of moving a sprinkler all around the garden. I'll still have to use a sprinkler in the lower garden but it is smaller so it's not as much work

Weekly harvest: 

16 pounds 2 ounces cherries
4 ounces peas
10 ounces dewberries
9 pounds 3 ounces garlic

Yearly total:

44 pounds 15 ounces

Watermelon Recipes

Watermelons are in season and inexpensive now. Maybe you are fortunate enough to have an abundance of them in your garden (I have a hard time growing them in my climate), or maybe you picked up a few locally grown ones at your nearby farmers market or roadside stand. Either way, here are two ways to enjoy the seasonal bounty

Watermelon Lemonade 

6 cups cubed watermelon 
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4-1/2 cup honey or granulated sugar 
1/2 cup vodka (optional)

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Thoroughly chill or pour over ice

Watermelon Feta Salad

6 cups cubed watermelon
1/4 pound crumbled feta
1 tablespoon olive oil
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Toss ingredients together in a large bowl. Chill before serving