Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Notes from the Garden {8/16}



I haven't posted many pictures but the garden has been really really great this year.  The husband has been keeping up with it and the early summer drought actually helped us little gardeners out.  We had to water lots but the lack of rain kept all the nasty bugs away until the last few weeks so things were left alone!  
August has provided a few good soaking rains which is good but also brought out our normal culprits - cucumber beetles and stinkbugs.  I'm grateful we got a great yield on a whole lot before they began their attack.  The husband promises the boys a dime per stinkbug killed and they still don't like to do it.  Those things are large and stinky.

The kale has been out of control (which is slightly funny because none of us really like kale - even the chips).  The lettuce and spinach are kinda meh.  The crazy heat wave has made them pretty impossible but we hope to have another round in the fall.  We have been bursting at the seams with pole beans and bush beans.  I've frozen a bunch, given away bags full, and we've been eating them almost every night.  Same with the zucchini, summer squash, and cucumber.  They've been crazy bountiful.  The snap peas we never seem to have success with and only had a handful.  We got a measly lone bag of shell peas in the freezer.  Tomatoes have just started the last week or so and will hopefully yield bags and bags for freezing.  We've harvested two of the three types of potatoes. They didn't give as much as we hoped but we got a bushel and a half maybe?  They are delicious! The golden potatoes are still in the ground as are the carrots.  

What else?  Corn is growing tall and looks pretty but we shall see if they actually produce an edible ear.  We've tried it a few times with either no success or some really gross ears.  We wonder if they cross pollinate with the huge commercial farm feed corn that is right behind our yard and if that messes it up.  We didn't get any broccoli (we never seem to have success with that either) and we have one brussel sprout plant left that will maybe bear something?  There's one eggplant looking to possibly be something and oh my, David is just SO excited about it.  There's some other potential blooms but I doubt they'll have time to grow before it's too cold.  We also have some beautiful sunflowers mostly just for fun that have begun blooming!  

Oh, and we have pumpkins ready!  There's a few orange pumpkins and we've finally had success with some casper pumpkins!  I'm very excited for them but nervous to put them out for decoration. The deer have been eating some of my landscaping and even my hydrangea flowers.  I get unreasonably angry about it and would be so sad to have them ruin the pumpkins we've grown.  John Paul is very much desiring to begin hunting and if it weren't illegal, I'd be tempted to let him.  The pear trees aren't having a great year.  They seem to give every other year, it seems.  We'll be lucky if we get a bushel or two.

The deer also did a number one night on the garden itself.  The next day my husband had netting all around above the fence going up eight feet.  It's worked! 

It's not as weed-free as this perfectionist would like but when you're not willing to put in the work, I can't complain now, can I?  The straw has done a decent job keeping them down where it was laid.

 Tomatoes, harvested potato rows and the remaining golden potatoes

Kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, brussel sprout, carrots, bush beans

 Barren snap peas and a groaning fence of two types of pole beans 

Happy sunflower

Nervous sunflower


This boy has been an absolute joy in the garden.

 Corn to hopefully give us something edible soon?


And pumpkins!  I think there are six or seven white ones hiding in there.

Our precious eggplant

David has been long awaiting it and taking care of it.  I really really hope it survives and is good!


One of many harvests

We checked on the carrots and this one was great, though I think the majority still need more time.  The boys ate this one as is.

The zucchini and squash has given way to cakes, chips, breads, "fries", zoodles (and squoodles?), lots of shredded bags frozen, and even some attempts at selling that didn't pan out as lucrative as we hoped ;)


For the last couple of years David has decided that he wants to be a priest and farmer, grow a big garden, and feed the poor from it.  He also wants to allow any of the poor to come work on it and then they can live with him and be priests, too.  IS THAT NOT THE SWEETEST THING YOU'VE EVER HEARD?  The kid is starting his own order.  We decided that this would be a good way to go with that.  We didn't sell too many but it was a good reminder where our first fruits should go.  He went with me to take a few huge bags of food to the Carmelite nuns one morning and it was just so cute how excited he was to give it away to them (and use the super fun turnstile, of course!).

*****

It's been a good year overall in the garden.  Each year we learn more and more and know what's worth growing and what's not.  We learn little tricks and have successes and failures.  It's work but it's work worth doing.  We're reminded in our own little suburbanite way that everything we have is a gift from Him.  


"The eyes of all look to Thee and Thous givest them their food in due season.  
Thou satisfiest the desire of every living thing."
Psalm 145:15-16


8 comments:

  1. Here's a recipe that you could use some kale for: https://straightfromthefarm.wordpress.com/2007/10/22/bittersweet-greens/.
    I've found it a refreshing change from how I usually eat my greens.
    PS you're garden looks amazing!

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    1. Thank you! I made some salad that I really liked but haven't gotten around to making it again!

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  2. David is so precious. I love his dream! I hope he one day does start his own wonderful order. I am so glad your garden has had a good year.

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  3. jealous of your garden...mine was so sad this year.

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  4. It's DEFINITELY cross-pollination issues with your corn - 500 feet away from different varieties is recommended, but bees have a range of 2-3 miles so it's hard to have a safe distance... Some of our sweet corn did well this year and some was AWFUL probably because it got tainted by field corn. It's so fun to grow, though, and the chickens are happy to eat the bad stuff so I don't mind too much :)

    And David's idea is FABULOUS! You let us all know when he starts his order, OK?

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  5. Love the boys and the wagon!!! Also it is so good to see pumpkins - it means fall is a comin!! Hurrah.

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  6. Love the garden notes!! I think you used to have raised beds right? How are you liking the garden as it is now? What do you/Brian do to get the soil ready? We have a raised bed garden, but the sides are now rotting out, so I am trying to decide what route to go. We tend to need to add a lot of manure every other year.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and that's what happened to us, too! They started bowing and falling apart so we decided to move it to a higher part of the yard and put it right in the ground. he used a sod cutter to get the first layer off then borrowed a tiller. I think he also added a bunch of our chicken manure to it as well. It's further from the house but it's a better spot since it's higher and sunnier.

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