The August Garden is vibrant and well!
Okay, that's me trying to understate my over-the-top enthusiasm. The truth is that it's taking everything in my power to not wake up everyday and share with you a report from the garden. Everyday. Or to call my friends with an hourly report of what's going on out there. My poor mother is bored to tears hearing about it (because mothers get it all, whether they want to or not, don't they?).
Trying to spare you all, and to keep it all fresh for next year, I am keeping careful notes in my notebook. Some random excerpts today, if you will:
:: I was a little late (in my mind) on thinning all the many rows of carrots that I planted. But the bonus to that is that we've been enjoying the thinnings as tiny treats - in salads, on their own, and fresh in the garden for my little helpers. Harper likes to ask if they're covered in "dirt or pepper, mama?"
:: I am officially an overbearing mother hen with my tomatoes, it's true. Sadly, hovering over them, and willing them to do so, is not turning them from green to red. Soon, though...I am certain it will happen. And I will rejoice. And then make salsa (Soule-Sa! The recipe is in The Rhythm of Family!), sauce, passata, tomato soup (oh, that soup!) and of course...Harper's ketchup.
:: Speaking of hens and chickens. I finally discovered that those ladies of ours (just the Americaunas, actually) have been flying over their fencing (they're in a one-acre fenced -n pasture)...and wandering around in my tomatoes when I'm not looking. And they're eating them! The nerve! When the problem persisted, and they started to wander a little too far...we decided it was time for a little hair cut. (clipping a few flight feathers). I had been resisting doing so, but so far as I can tell, it really was just like trimming nails or cutting hair, and they are still flying as much as they want, just not so high. Save the tomatoes!
:: Note to my 2012 self: a little less kale would do, a lot more beets would be nice.
:: This is the first time we've ever successfully grown melons - both watermelon and honeydew are plentiful in the garden and being hovered over by Adelaide in the same way I am over by the tomatoes. Barbara Damrosch, of The Garden Primer (my favorite gardening resource) says, in determining ripeness, "thump them and listen: a "ping" is unripe, a "pong" means it's ready. A dull thud means "sorry, you're too late." Now, I have the utmost respect for Barbara and believe that everything she says is solid gold truth, but, friends....can YOU tell the difference between a ping, a pong and a thud? It sounds as though they might be different...until you find yourself crazily knocking on watermelons in your garden one rainy night by headlamp. Ahem. Regardless, we ate our first watermelon, unripe as it may have been (it was a ping not a pong), but decidely happy to be eating our very first homegrown melon.
:: We are currently in deep debate - that must end soon if we're going to get moving on things - as to whether our current resources (mostly that of time) are best spent this fall on a greenhouse or a root cellar. Hmn. I flip flop from hour to hour, which isn't helping in the planning. Because of course, I really want both. (Lots of you are emailing me about food preservation...let's talk about that next week!)
:: As we wrap up certain things - peas, bolted lettuce, beets that we've eaten, we're filling the garden up with more seeds. Beets, more brocolli, chard, and spinach are headed into the ground for a fall harvest. I read in Continuing the Good Life that the Nearings had the second round of crops planted within four hours of harvesting the first round. I laughed out loud. I'm doing my very best, and we're cranking, but I think we're a little closer to four days. Perhaps it's because I have more mouths to feed. Though, I don't know if that's true - they did have all those visitors....maybe it's that the mouths they were feeding may have been a little more, um, helpful than mine. Regardless...their efficiency both inspires and humors me.
Vibrant and well....I'm in love with this August garden of ours!
How's your garden growing these days?