I got my first garden harvest of the year today. Radishes, Spinach, and Snow Peas! I ate the radishes before I thought to take a picture. They were outstandingly good. Both spicy and slighty sweet.
The spinach was great. I had never grown it before, reading that it was hard to grow. But I planted 6 square feet of it and nearly every seed germinated. I harvested the largest leaves recently.
Spinach is an odd crop. You cook it and it wilts away into almost nothing. A basketful of spinach is a small bowlful when cooked. But oh goodness it is tastier than anything I have bought in the bags in the grocery store!
A bit of olive oil or bacon fat in a large pot, heated moderately, spinach tossed in, covered 1 minute, tossed and cooked 2 minutes, served with a dab of butter and a dash of lemon juice and it is wonderous!
Here is the raw stuff...
My garden enclosure is working perfectly. No squirrel or groundhog attacks. The corn is growing great, I have tomatoes undisturbed, melons and squashes doing well, cole crops (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) of many kinds, and many small crops like carrots, chard, beets, carrots, etc. This is going to be a GREAT harvesting season!
I have high hopes for the tomatoes. I plant heirloom varieties because they just taste so good. So far they seem healthier than in past years. And I have 3 plants of 2 Brandywine hybrids developed by the University of Florida that were bred for flavor and disease resistance instead of shipping durability. One is a large main season tomato called Garden Treasure and one is a "salad" tomato called Garden Gem.
"Supposedly", they have an heirloom taste with good disease resistance. We'll see. This is a hard area for heirloom tomatoes. The humidity is very high in Summer, which encourages fungal diseases, and the Winters don't get cold enough to kill off soil parasites (nematodes, etc).
Meanwhile, I have the heirlooms Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Prudens Purple, Striped German, and Ponderosa Pink. And for backup, I have a hybrid called Big Beef which is the best-tasting hybrid I know of.
And I also have my upside-down growing cherry tomato plant. I grow it out the bottom of a 5 gallon pot hanging 10" above ground. More about that some other day. I just hung it yesterday, so there isn't much to show other than a scrawny seedling confused about which way is up.