Wow, the garden is REALLY cranking out the goodies this summer!! We went from kinda sparse to "uh oh, what am I going to do with all of this" in the blink of an eye....
Having said that, the raspberries aren't producing crazy amounts all at one time like they can in some years, but I figure there's a few factors here. I didn't heavily fertilize the plants during their development, and I feel like my dad has always said they love to be fertilized. I just went through a 50 lb bag of fertilizer from Ohio Earth Food the other day, and only after I emptied the last little trickle around the base of a peach tree did I realize I forgot to give any to the raspberries. Also, it's been reeeeeally dry. I've actually watered the raspberries a few times - not something I normally have to do! And finally - the lower quantity of raspberries right now SHOULD be a good thing that I forced to happen! I pruned the raspberries this spring into three different heights. The third of the bed closest to the house was pruned down to maybe 8" or so, the middle third was given maybe a couple feet of height, and the last third (which is producing right now) just got the dead ends pruned off. So HOPEFULLY I'll get a longer harvest, which more manageable quantities at any one time. Most will go to the freezer for jelly making later, but I can have small snackable portions as I want them, and hopefully over a longer stretch of time!
The basil is also going gangbusters! I've been pinching out blooming tips, but we haven't really used a ton of it yet. This time I decided to pick a big boquet of it, and then pick all the leaves off to load up the dehydrator trays. Even after about 5 hrs the leaves still weren't fully dry, so they're getting a little more time even as I type this. They don't look as attractive as storebought dried basil - we'll see how it turns out.
Oh yeah, and some went on caprese pizza. MMMM!
Then there's the beans. OMG the beans. With the picking you see here, I had almost 7lbs worth stashed in the fridge from just the last week!! I ended out taking the oldest bag, cutting them to about 2" pieces, blanching for 3 minutes, drying, and then bagging/freezing into several quart freezer bags. We haven't been fond of home canned or frozen beans before - at least not as a side dish - but at this size they should be great for adding to soups later.
Also a heavy producer this year? Zucchini/summer squash. This is just one afternoon's picking. Just the day before I'd unloaded about this many on coworkers. I now feel like I've picked as many squash in the last week that I picked all last year!! (Last year was not a good squash year for me if I remember right)
Annnnd the cucumbers are starting up. There are more blooms on the cukes this year than I think I've ever seen on cuke vines before. They're NUTS! As you can see, even though I've been checking their growth, a couple snuck past me....oops.