Oh my, it is hot here, and not just by Maine standards. We hit 97* today, maybe higher. Everything is parched and crackly. I’m trying to carefully water my plants in the mornings and evenings, and when I forgot to water altogether several days ago, I thought all was lost. Thankfully most things bounced back, though my pumpkins have a few crispy leaves that won’t recover.
The tomatoes are loving the heat, though I do think they’re the only ones right now. I need to scout out some taller stakes and retie the long drooping arms. They’re trailing along our paths and are in serious danger of being trampled.
I’m told to expect three days of rain starting tomorrow, and while I am hoping that’s true, I’ll believe it when I see it.
The blackberries along the edge of the yard are still producing like crazy, and my girls are scarfing them faster than I can pick. My triceps and shins are scratched and scabby from the brambles, but I can’t pass up free fruit. Swee ate that entire pint above in the time it took me to water the rest of the veggies. It’s no wonder blackberries command such a price at market.
I’ve always been a hobby gardener, planting mostly tomatoes and peppers. I did two short rows of rainbow carrots one year, and the entire crop was just enough to use in a shepherd’s pie. That was eye opening. However, this year I’m truly getting a glimpse of how much space and work would be required to actually farm and produce enough for us to eat. This is the biggest garden I’ve ever had. We harvested the broccoli from five plants last week and it was barely enough to feed all of us at one meal. How many rows of broccoli would we need to plant in order to have several side dishes worth, and then put some in the freezer for winter? I don’t know the answer to that.
Our chickens are almost 16 weeks old, and from what we’ve read, could potentially start laying any time now. We’ve opened up the nesting boxes, though I haven’t seen any of them show any interest in exploring as yet. They do, however, like to snatch grasshoppers out of my hand and run away to devour them. June bugs and ants are also favorites.
So there we are. We didn’t produce nearly what I thought we would at the start of the season, but still more than we ever have before. I suppose that’s the way of it, hmm?
What are you bringing in from the garden this week?
3 thoughts on “in the garden: august 11”
Beautiful photographs! I am very pleased with my cucumbers this year. I’m just putting on a second batch of pickles this morning and we have had plenty to eat besides that. I have already made a double batch of hot pepper chutney as my peppers have been fantastic–more coming every day too. My turnips are huge and wonderful although we don’t eat many in a year. I grew them for the pigs 😉 Beets are fabulous and for the first time ever I have successfully grown a good carrot crop! A rabbit ate my bean plants off, and it doesn’t look like pumpkins are going to happen this year. It seems like you win some, you lose some, and every year is a bit different. We had a lot of moisture and good heat so none of this was actually much to do with my skills 🙂 I planned to add a bigger garden this year and try to be more self sufficient but it didn’t happen. I don’t think I could have handled the extra work this year anyways. It’s something I do hope for in years to come though!
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I recently harvested blue russian potatoes and I must admit, it was very exciting, I was squealing with delight, lol. I found growing potatoes super easy, next year I will plant more.
The kale and tomatoes are doing well. I also grew onions for the first time, I haven’t harvested them yet but I think they will be quite good. The corn was pretty disappointing, only 1 stalk.
I too would love to grow enough food for my family and be able to store it properly. Now that I am growing food on a small scale, I realize how much is involved. Every year I gain more confidence and knowledge. I make the soil better and am grateful for what I have grown, knowing that as I keep practicing, I will be eventually be growing more than enough for us.
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potatoes! I’d be squealing too. I’ve never grown them – maybe next year. Isn’t that quite the gardener’s affliction? Always adding…My list is growing by the day, and I have grand plans for expansion. =)