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  1. #1
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    Default Garden progress

    We've had a cooler than average summer, so some of the garden has been slow to take off. Still no ripe tomatoes! And for some reason most of my root crops--rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, carrots--didn't come up. And I even started those on seed tape which has almost always assured me of success. Voles ate 1/2 my peppers, all my cukes, zucchini, watermelon and cantaloupe. They also got a couple broccolis and cabbages.
    The deer also ate our new blackberries, hazelnut and a couple plum saplings.

    Not withstanding cool weather and animals, here is what I harvested a couple days ago:

    4 BIG laundry baskets of Swiss Chard--about half Fordhook, the other half Bright Lights. Can you see how pretty and colorful the Bright Lights is?

    1 basket of broccoli. 2 of the heads were HUGE--over 15" across.

    1 basket yellow beans

    a bunch of beets

    Between Tues and yesterday I've frozen 12 bags of broccoli, 3 bags of beet greens and 30 bags of Swiss chard and canned 31 pts of beans and 5 pts of beets. I still have to freeze the Swiss chard stalks, a colorful addition to stir fry or soups.

    We have some of the most beautiful black fertile soil you've ever seen. No rocks, top soil at least 3 ft deep. It makes gardening fun, but the weeds also like it and they are a constant battle. But this year, we've mulched a LOT--laying down newspaper and covering it with grass clippings and weeds. One day 8yods was helping me and said "Isn't ironic [his new word for the week, he loved using it] that we are using weeds to keep the weeds from growing back?" I told him yes, that's what we call "poetic justice." So now about 85% of the garden is mulched and we're almost weed free.

    Here's a picture of my beans, some of my herbs (parsley, rosemary and oregano. Basil, sage, cilantro and dill on are on the other side of the garden) and brassicas (cabbage, Brussel sprouts and broccoli-you can tell the Broccoli because the leaves are a sort of bbluish green) and growing on the fence is my spaghetti squash--we already have 3 nice specimens with more on the way:

    Here are my beets, Swiss Chard, a couple extra basil, cabbage and Brussel sprouts. I had so many plants from when I started from seed that I couldn't use them all, so I took them to church. But I just couldn't get people to take all my cabbage or basil. Can you imagine someone not wanting basil??? Anyway, I just couldn't bear to let the plants die unwanted, so I took them home and planted them where ever I had space. On the fence is gourds and a yellow squash that got eaten down by voles, so it really isn't climbing the fence too much. Outside the fence is one of our new Juneberries on the right and on the left is the cage protecting the blackberries:

    I'm so proud of how we've kept the weeds down with mulching--our prettiest garden ever.

    And finally, here are my three garbage cans with potatoes. Behind them are the tomatoes (yes, as you can see, most of the tomatoes are 4 1/2-5' tall--that's our fertile black soil for you) And waaaaayyy in the back you can see the cages around our plums and hazlenut.:

    You know, I love seeing the plants grow (I'm sure you all feel the same)--kind of like my babies. I love turning something bare into something so productive and colorful. I love eating all the fresh food from the garden. And I really like the good feeling of putting food by, knowing that all that garden goodness will last us all year long.
    Last edited by prairiemom; 08-07-2008 at 11:00 AM.


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