Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ah, August!

Here in the late summer garden, things begin to go a little wild!

Some of the plants have truly taken over, spreading out, flowering and fruiting daily—keeping us busy every evening with our colander and harvest baskets. The weeds are enjoying the season as well, and we're not quite keeping up with them the way we would like. Too busy harvesting food!

Right now we are gathering lots of tomatoes, green beans, and cucumbers. The native sunflowers that we grow for the Bee Project have really had a wonderful year. They are a small branching sunflower and the gold finches come around every morning and again at twilight to snack on the seeds.

We have great expectations for our first crop of popcorn as well as potatoes and pumpkins.

The delicata squash are coming along nicely this year, and we're looking forward to some delicious roasted delicata with balsamic vinegar. Yum!

The beans have been one of our mixed blessings this season. Our bush beans have mostly succumbed to a bean blight, which we've had in other years in other areas in the garden. It doesn't kill the plants completely, but slows growth and cuts way down on the yield. Luckily, the three bamboo teepees of bush beans in the middle of the bed seem to be unaffected. And we've been harvesting a variety of lovely fresh green pole beans, Kentucky Wonder, Cherokee trail of Tears and Purple pods.

A good lesson in the wisdom of growing a diverse selection of crops. Even if some fail, other's will thrive.

After last year's gloomy outcome in the tomato department, we were more determined than ever to have a good crop of tomatoes for fresh eating and putting up for winter. We planted many varieties this year including Brandywine, Martian Giant, Sophie's Choice, Arkansas Traveler, Italian paste and Matt's Wild Cherries. Everything is coming along really well.
And the Matt's Wild Cherries have come out an absolute favorite. They are branching and shooting up all over the place with no end in sight for the flowering racemes which quickly develop into branches of tiny sweet red tomatoes. Delicious to snack on by the handfuls.

So, here's to more wild times in the garden.

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