July and August may be the best months of the year for our garden - if you are looking for good fresh eating and don't mind the work! We have been blessed with abundant rain this summer and our garden is thriving. But that results in some busy days preserving the abundance. I bounce from being overwhelmed with busyness to being overwhelmed by the blessings!
This is what my kitchen counter looked like one day last week when I happened to have peaches (from a local orchard), kidney beans, and blackberries all ready to can on one day! I was a little weary that evening. But what a beautiful sight on our pantry shelves!
Our onion and garlic crop was excellent this year. The children had such fun picking the onions and laying them out to dry.
After they dried down a few days, I braided the tops together and hung them in our woodshed. I am still having trouble keeping the onions. Some are already beginning to rot. Hopefully since we grew so many, we'll still have many to enjoy.
One of the summer delights is fresh corn on the cob. This year a coon or ground hog got into our patch one night and pulled some corn down, but thankfully, he left most of it for us! We were worried he would keep returning on future nights but apparently did not.
Since our early garden (which included beets, sugar peas, lettuce, broccoli, onions, and garlic) was over, we cleaned up this area.
We replanted with fall crops (broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, turnips, and cauliflower).
We planted thornless blackberries several years ago but this was the first year we enjoyed a crop.
We are still experimenting with canning, freezing, and jam making with blackberries. Any hints?
The green beans were finished and tilled under. Ed broadcasted some buck wheat seed in this area for a cover crop. The potato plants are starting to die back. We are finding some nice size potatoes just for eating and plan to dig the whole patch once the plants are completely dead, probably late August or early September.
The tomato plants are looking rather well. There are a few signs of blight on the lower leaves but not nearly as bad as last year's blight.
But the tomatoes are very slow in ripening. We've picked a few tomatoes but most are quite green. I'm trying to be patient.
I'm rather pleased with how well we've kept after our vegetable garden this year. I'm actually not ashamed to photograph it. Definitely fewer weeds then some years. But in case you think we don't have weeds, I'll turn the camera and show you some neglected areas.
This is the herb garden. At least it was this spring. Not sure what has survived the neglect.
And somewhere under these huge weeds is our compost pile and a garden wagon. My second trimester of pregnancy has brought much more energy than I had in early summer. So watch out weeds, your days are numbered!
How does your garden grow?