A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust. •Gertrude Jekyll
Alrighty. We’ve had a full month’s sun and rain on the 2013 garden and here is where we stand:
The broccoli is simply amazing. Awesome. I’ve never succeeded with broccoli before and have no clue why it worked this year, but I know have a couple of quart bags of broccoli florets in my freezer. I soaked them in saltwater first to remove any hidden insects and then blanched them before freezing them. [link to preserving fresh broccoli]
The onions? Can barely see them. Their potato neighbors have grown to be 5-feet tall and have kept the root crop avenue crowded but protected… like Franklin Street. Both crops are doing well with no bugs thus far. I can’t let Abby in there, though. If she got in the potato patch, I’d never find her again.
Cherry tomatoes and canning tomatoes are doing well. Lots of green fruit on the vines which I expect to ripen this week and next. The plants grew exponentially while we were camping. I thought I’d left twice as much space as last year between plants to have room for weeding and walking. Right now, half of each plant is staked and the rest of the giant is crawling along the floor heavy-laden with fruit. Staking now will surely break the plants. I’ll have to let it go and see what happens.
No sign of the wretched tomato worms. Yet. And that is all the press-time we will give them.
The Roma tomato plants did not fair well this year… probably due to location next to the beans and excessive weeds. There are 3 or four fruits ripening, but I think 2 of my four plants are goners.
The green peppers that usually hate me? I have 4 little guys growing and looking normal. I am not convinced yet, but it’s a promising sign. The poblano peppers… I forgot to look for. They are behind the mammoth broccoli. Which reminds me that the cilantro plant was lovely and perfect… used for several meals before vacation… is now lost in the potato jungle.
What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.
• Ralph Waldo Emerson
The four kale plants are also doing very well. Kale is a very pretty plant. Who knew? I’ve yet to make anything with kale… advice or direction?
The green bean teepee is a huge success. As Rylie says, “WHOA.” No beans yet, but we were late to start so I am expecting those to start this week.
Yellow raspberries are blooming but are being eaten by bugs. We’ve managed to snatch a couple of fruits here and there but are not trying super hard to save the crop.
Blackberries are past flowering and nearly ripened. Almost all the green fruit is beginning to color. Last year’s crop was so large and so lovely… my mouth is watering. We’re hoping the raspberry bugs don’t hop plants.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
• H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
In summary: everything doing well. Everything needs intense weeding. Our week of 100˚weather also brought very low motivation to do anything other than swim in Trace’s pool. I’m not mad about that.
My children are still completely color blind. Lots of green tomatoes were picked last night out of excitement. BUT, they love the garden and I love that they love the garden.
Chad mentioned in the last garden post that my plant markers would grow legs and I am here to say he is a prophet.
The baby chickadees grew up and flew the coop. Two days later, a mamma robin moved in and laid 5 eggs. They are in their awkward feather-growing stage, but are easily the most-loved things in the garden.
Before planting this year, the garden received about 3 loads of composted chicken coop shavings and poo. Before our 10-day camping adventure, 2 blessed-angel-moms and their kiddos came out and worked for 3 hours with me prepping the coop and garden for the upcoming neglect. Fresh everything: fresh shavings, washed water bowls, weeding, staking plants, shaving mulch spread all over the garden. When I returned? Both the coop and garden looked exactly as we’d left it nearly 2 weeks before. Pretty as a picture. It was amazing. Again, things can change quickly, especially with a couple weeks of humidity and little weeding in daylight hours, but the garden has definitely received more loving care than ever this year and the crops are thanking us. I am hoping I can get out there and prune/clean/weed a bit this week and get things under control.
The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.
• George Bernard Shaw