This has been a very busy summer for us with a lot going on personally. In some ways it feels like I’ve had more time to spend on the garden but I’ve also had a lot of other balls to keep in the air. So, I’m happy that I’ve gotten a fair yield without a huge investment of time and energy. Here’s some highlights of what’s been happening this summer.
The babies we got in April have just begun to lay eggs in the last couple days. I know this because the eggs are tiny and mostly brown. We had gotten rid of all our adult brown egg layers so it’s fun to see some color variety coming back into my egg basket.
On a related note, that new generation of egg layers left us with two more roosters. This white one, an Amberlink I believe, started crowing this week. The older rooster is not happy with his burgeoning interest in the ladies of the flock. We’ll see how things progress as the younger roosters mature. Hopefully they’ll all learn to live in peace…
My arched trellis has done beautifully this year. The cucumbers have grown up and over the top, leaving fruit hanging through the squares. I’ve picked several five gallon buckets of cucumbers and made many batches of pickles.
I would say my cucumbers have been my most successful plant this year though I have also gotten a fair amount of celery, summer squash, kale, onions and peppers too.
Tomatoes climbed up my lower and lean trellis nicely and I’ve been vigilant about trimming suckers to keep them down to a single stem. The plants have had an ok yield, not spectacular.
One element I’d like to change in future, which I believe effected yield a fair bit, is moving the tomato row to the other side of my garden in order to maximize sun exposure. They are somewhat shaded this year by the windrow on one side.
I’ve been collecting mostly smaller loads of tomatoes, enough to eat in a few days, so haven’t done a ton of canning this year. I love fresh garden tomatoes but we’ll miss having them stocked in the pantry this winter. One evening I helped my neighbor clean out her cherry tomato plants and came home with a three gallon bucketful. Those canned up nicely.
I got my first ever actual bunch of grapes off my grape vines behind our deck. I was so excited I ate them all right away.
Rita came over to help me pick wild cherries in late July. I put her up in the tree with the cherry picker first and she got all the lower ones. Then I went on the roof of my shed and got the rest that were in reach.
Once I pulled them off the branches, we ended up with a little more than 4 cups. I fermented them then added some whiskey. They’ll make a nice warming after dinner treat come winter. That’ll help ease the pain of not having many tomatoes put up.
Mid summer I harvested my garlic. Got these two big bunches of soft neck plus a basket of hard neck. This should be enough to get us most of the way through the year without buying garlic. And the flavor…so much better than store-bought garlic!
Summer’s not quite up yet, but we are beginning to wind down. Evenings are getting darker earlier and earlier. Temperatures are cooling a bit. I am so grateful to live in a place that has seasons. I always appreciate the coming of a new season, the shift of light and energy it brings.
What is your favorite part of the coming season?