the promise of roasted brussels sprouts

brussels sproutsTHE PROMISE OF ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS is what keeps me from turning under much of the vegetable garden, after record rains brought havoc to some crops. I’ve harvested five cherry tomatoes and as many beans so far, sigh, in a season that began with an abundance of asparagus but then fizzled. At least my salad bowl‘s been full nonstop. I like the way the tiny buds of sprouts-to-be are developing in the leaf axils of this Brussels sprouts plant, and the dreamy nature of the photo; it all seems to fit the kind of dreamy mindset I need to stay in to believe that there will be a plentiful harvest of something, after all that effort, and all that hope. You? Any crops coming into focus?

  1. Jayne says:

    Margaret, We are all at the mercy of Mother Nature it seems! I am astonished when I go to our local Farmers market, that they have anything to offer! Their lettuce, like mine and yours, is the one bragging point. I bought two very small tomatoes there this A.M. and said to my husband ,”this is what $2.00 will get you – remember that when our tomatoes ripen.”(if they ever do!). My pole beans have started to the Jack in the Bean stalk thing – I planted them late. I have “high” hopes for them. But the cucumbers and tomatoes are pitiful.

  2. Kathy says:

    Here in NE Wisconsin the cool nights, lack of substantial rain, and in general not a good growing season finds our farmer’s markets lacking also! I hope for an extended autumn so I can harvest my veggies. How I lust for a home grown juicy tomato ! Even the strawberry crop was pitiful…not the bursting with flavor juicy berries this year. The raspberries look to be in the same sorry state!

  3. Amy says:

    Each year starts with such hope, and the garden was stunning in May! And then the rains…. Pluses and minuses. Also had a bumper crop of lettuce and arugula. Still harvesting sugar snap peas, usually long gone by now. All the tomatoes are green, even the so called early ones. It will be a race to see if any ripen before the wilt diseases kill the plants. Green beans are just getting plentiful. Spent the day trying to cope with my best “crop” —- weeds!!!!

  4. LindaSonia says:

    And I thought it was just me having the minimal harvest. The only tomato plant I’m getting ripened tomatoes from so far is the Early Girl and trust me, July is not early. Have had a combined handful of grape tomatoes so far. Slow and steady wins the race. Only problem is I’m short on patience. LOL

  5. Cathy says:

    Well, here in Utah I planted giant cabbage that weigh 11 lbs each. The yellow squash & zucchini are coming too fast. But the heat is so hot that all my flowers are wilting & I can’t keep up with the watering.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Cathy. 11-pound cabbage, wow. That’s a lot of slaw. Hope to hear more of your progress as the season wears on, and thanks for visiting.

  6. Johanna says:

    Mmm I’ve had great broccoli and basil and kale and outer cabbage leaves (not much heading yet). The potatoes bloomed so I hope something’s going on in there, too. Can’t wait for the brussels sprouts — just mentioned to someone that they’re one of my very favorite vegetables! Putting in fall plantings of chard and beets soon. Frost will probably be early on top of all the rest of this goofy weather!

  7. John at JWLW says:

    Margaret, Its been a tough year to figure some things grow like crazy and others just sit there and look pitiful. We did get some good peas and broccoli, they came in late. One thing that did really well was some early cabbage in spite of being attacked by slugs. We had one head absolutely delicious. Two days later the other 6 where gone, down to a stub.

    A lot of other vegetables seeds did not germinate, Summer squash did, was ok until eaten by unknown, coming back now will produce if not eaten again. Tomato’s are just there not doing much. About 20 plants and so far 2 little green tomato’s

    a lot of animal damage this year, don’t know why last few year minimal damage from Critters. Flowers same things some did great and others are just there.
    one good thing so far this year, almost no Japanese beetles.
    Hey I could ramble on for hours about gardening this year but i think you get the drift. We are both in the same boat or is it an ARK.


  8. God laughs and surprises me with giant gourd vines continually popping up around my roses and other flowers. I will never accessorize the window boxes with gourds in the fall again.

    We’ve had several dinners completely from the garden. Peas, green beans, broccoli and tomatoes in stir fry over rice. Our pumpkins are doing nicely, too. Rain avoids the Twin Cities this year, and the lawns are brown. We put in a new fire pit just in time for a ban. Oh well.

  9. Fred from Loudonville, NY says:

    This week, after being away from my garden on vacation, I have found that my BUSH beans have produced, MORE beans than one person can eat. I got enought for myself, and a lot to pass on to my mother to enjoy. FInally the cucumbers, that sat there, at about eight to twelve inches tall, have started to RUN, and I saw a flower tonight. The Better Boy tomatoes, are getting big, and I know in a few days, I will have some Cherry tomatoes. The mammoth DILL is living up to it’s name, and the Brussel Sprouts are looking NICE like Margaret’s. Last year, I was still able to harvest Brussel Sprouts into the middle of January. I picked off all of the bigger sprouts around December, and left the plants there, with their LITTLE “Dots” (cabbages). The Little Dot Cabbages got bigger, and a bit burgundy-purple colored. I picked them, pulled off their outer leaves, and cooked them. They were Tasty as can be! I left the plants in place until Spring clean up, to see what would happen to them. They TRIED to start growing again, but, I pulled them out, and got new replacements.

  10. Andrea from NC says:

    Like John, I’ve had Critter Troubles this year. A bumper crop of strawberries entirely devoured in the spring and something has been dragging my corn over my fence. Crazy. But I’ve had great luck with my blackberries, beans and figs so far and the cantaloupe and tomatoes promise to be plentiful. I planted several kinds of hot peppers for my son and am tickled at how plentiful and funky-looking they are! I may not eat them, but I enjoy growing them!

    I’m very disappointed that my favorite tomato plants, heirloom yellow pear, are wilting/dying. I practice crop rotation- of the 5 varieties of tomatoes, these are the only plants affected. Any words of wisdom for next year?

  11. MacGardens says:

    Well year is a different story isn’t it? I brought in 25 ears of corn this afternoon. The garden has been bountiful in the extreme but wouldn’t have made it without additional watering. We had three weeks with zero water until the last three days of thunderstorms. Cukes and zucchini coming out of our ears and tomatoes and peppers just starting but in quantity also. But your photo is a good reminder to take some more closeups in the garden, though I did post a nice picture of a hummingbird in the corn recently :)

  12. Andrea says:

    We’ve had two wet chilly springs in a row, so the garden is late. No peppers ready yet, only a couple tomatoes ready so far, but lots of tomatoes and tomatillos on the vines. Only one of our rhubarb plants survived the rains, and the rabbits have been eating our beans, greens, and flowers. Even with rabbit fencing something has still been sneaking into the garden at night and doing damage.

  13. Cathybytheriver says:

    Margaret, I twittered you my pickings from my sister’s small backyard garden patch–she is away & I’m in charge of watering & picking. Well, forget watering, the ground has to be saturated at this point we’ve had nonstop rain–I’ll water the hanging baskets later if they need it. The sun is out today and the temperature is above 75 right now so there maybe hope for summer. Ah, but the pickings are abundant–zucchini–I like to pick them when they are small–heck, I’ll pick the blossoms–snow peas are on the trellis almost as tall as me–and green beans hanging green for the picking. It will be a vegetarian lunch as pay back for keeping an eye on things and bringing in the mail and paper. Fair trade.

    And Buffalo is hosting the annual Garden Walk this weekend—I want to go again today to see how other gardeners are faring.

  14. marné says:

    Here in the mountains of Southern California we’ve had late frosts (the last on June 22!) that killed not one but two sets of tomatoes, zucchini, beans and cucumbers. And now my chickens have found ways to slip under and over the fence to my little vegetable plot and seem to think it’s their own personal dust spa.

    One cherry tomato plant has shown remarkable resilience, however, and it’s quite huge and covered with blossoms. I planted a single sorrel plant, and it’s also doing well. I managed to salvage one lovely radish (Salad Rose, it was 6″ long and just beautiful!), and have planted some more radish seeds. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll get some potatoes, a lemon cucumber looks like it might produce a few fruit, and if I’m lucky, the peppers will catch up and start blooming so we can harvest a few before it freezes again in October. It’s been quite a learning experience in my new little vegetable garden!

  15. Margaret says:

    Sounds like we are all either feast, or famine. So helpful to have all your comments about what’s up with you, thank you.

    Welcome, Marne. I am into some serious do-overs times 3 as well, shockingly enough, so I hear you. But it sounds like you are savoring every tender tidbit, which I think is the attitude to adopt, definitely. I think all my crucifers (my kales, collards, Brussels sprouts) will be good, and I am hopeful that the beans will now produce since the plants look good…but we shall see. And hopefully we shall see you soon again, too. :)

  16. Janice says:

    We had our wet year last year, which wreaked havoc on all the warm weather crops. I recall harvesting our first tomatoes sometime in september, and forget the peppers, eggplant and squash! This year we’ve had hot weather, and I have all kinds of bug issues (root maggots, leaf miners, pill bugs!) AND I’ve had a devil of a time trying to keep the rabbits out of the beans (I had to start one batch 3x, as they nibbled down the seedlings to the ground). AND, the hot weather this year meant all the spring oriental veg were VERY unhappy Never a dull moment!

  17. Rosella says:

    Northern Virginia here — got off to a very wet and cold start, but then came the five-week dry spell, and now a week of thunderstorms in the forecast. Early Girl tomatoes-three have ripened, otherwise Costoluto Genovese and Aussie are just sitting there thinking about things, and the cherry toms the same. Zucchini taking over, although I have had to hand-pollinate some, an unnamed squash is roaming far and wide, cucumbers have the wilt (again! What to do?) eggplant are outdoing themselves (why did I think I needed four plants?), lettuce is still going, and a few carrots are growing–very poor germination there this year. Lots of beet leaves, very few beets, and Swiss chard doing really well. Getting ready to plant spinach in a week or so, when I pull all the onions. All told — not a normal year, but there are some consolations. Oh, and the Trionfo Violeta pole beans are producing mightily and we are supplying several families from them.

  18. Our problems are the opposite of yours, Margaret – hot and dry – and the yields are pitiful but how can one not try? I’ve never grown Brussels sprouts in Austin – imagine they’d be a winter crop here – but your mention brings back a memory from last December when one of the Divas of the Dirt brought roasted Brussels sprouts to our holiday party. I hope you are lucky and get those sprouts!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  19. martina says:

    I’ve tried to grow veggies before. Last year went well except the cat gained access and no one, including myself, wanted to eat the veggies after that. This year I got all new soil and compost for the beds, arranged them in better angles, fenced it off and put raised plastic net over the top and sides of each bed. SUCCESS! No kitty or other animal/avian guests. The word all visitors use when seeing it is fecund. Peas, carrots, radishes, shallots, onions, lettuce, basil yum. The peas, radishes and lettuce are done. The tomatos are just starting to ripen as are the cucumber and Thai pepper plants. Tomatos are Sweet Million, Early Girl and Roma, cucumber is lemon cucumber. Basil is Genovese. The Ball Book, canning kettle and jars are at the ready. Now I need to know what to plant for fall crops.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Martina. I am impressed at your cunning…keeping everyone out. Victory! I think I am going to have a good onion crop and you remind me that the peas were good, too…yes. More bright spots: a record crop of elderberries, it looks like, so I will just live on jam all the next year. :) Thanks for sharing news of your harvest, and do come again soon.

  20. Nancy says:

    Not very much ahead of your yield – seven Sungold cherry tomatoes and two cukes so far for us in Kent. Had a good crop of peas in June, though, and more radishes and lettuce than we could eat. I planted most everything else so late that there are no bean flowers yet, or female squash flowers. One lonely green bell pepper coming along with one hot pepper. Lots of green tomatoes craving sun. Don’t give up, Margaret! August will be sunny for sure!

  21. Jayme says:

    What a small world it is. I just now found this website, and here I see my blog pal Marne’ here! :-)

    If I were depending upon my garden for survival, I’d be in deep troubles. I’ve got a few nice tomato plants that I hope will produce by the first frost! I mowed the beans down, there were pitiful. My gourds are doing well! Corn is looking ok. The good news! Strawberries and raspberries were a bumper crop this year. And my flowers….well…my flowers, oh how beautiful they are. My soul is full. My belly…not so much.

    Lovely website Margaret. I’ll visit often.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome Jayme, friend to Marne. Thanks for your tally, which sounds like a beautiful and sweet year, if not across-the-board success. Soul definitely counts. Fill it up! See you soon again.

  22. Maya says:

    Well at this point in the growing season my Ideal Market pole beans are the winners. Growing quite vigorously up the newly installed fence my darling boyfriend helped me install. I have 1 Golden Midget watermelon that is almost yellow and ready to be picked! Since I planted my 2 types of tomatoes, Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge and Large Red Cherry, very late this year the ridiculous rain earlier in the season did not effect them. They are doing pretty well but I haven’t seen a red or purple (!) fruit yet. In addition, I have 1 healthy Early Golden Summer Crookneck Squash plant which has been quite tasty. My 17×17 Delaware garden isn’t doing too bad overall for my first year….if we don’t count the corn!

  23. fern says:

    Here in CT, my beans have done quite well. I harvested a pound of yellow wax beans and string beans, then another 3/4 of a pound a few days later. They mature quite quickly.

    I’m also harvesting more cucumbers than i can eat. The lettuce was plentiful, though it’s recently bolted.

    Lots of tomatoes, but still green.

    the potatoes have recently died back so i will dig shortly to see if anythign magical happened. I’m not at all confident becus slugs were absolutely terrible.

    My squashes are forming flower after flower, but nothing’s developed after that. blossom end rot?

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