We got some much-needed rain last night, and the garden is finally beginning to look like it should in midsummer, though most things are still a week or two behind. In the past week, I’ve spotted the first okra blossom, pepper flowers, and baby Dragon’s Egg cucumbers. The tomatoes, too, are finally setting fruit, revealing that I planted three Amish Paste plants in the bed of slicing tomatoes (always clearly label your seedlings, folks).

As expected, the beans have taken off after that first small harvest last week, and I have a good pile of them for market tomorrow. I’m growing two varieties, both stringless bush beans. Provider is a crisp, flavorful green bean great for steaming, sautéing, freezing, pickling, or eating fresh off the plant. The colorful one is Dragon Tongue, a yellow wax bean with purple streaks, and it can be used in all the same ways as the Provider beans. I think they have even better flavor than most green beans, especially when pickled.

I also harvested the first few carrots today, and I’ll have them at the market tomorrow. The orange variety is called Chantenay, chosen because it grows well even in our Virginia clay. And I seem to have a theme going, because the purple ones are Purple Dragon carrots. Despite their plum-colored skin, they are bright orange inside.

So, tomorrow at my market table you can find beans, carrots, and chard, as well as crocheted and knitted items.

(And since I know you’re wondering, according to the Chinese calendar, 2023 is actually the year of the rabbit, which I believe makes next year the year of the dragon. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of dragon-themed produce then, too!)

See you at the market!