midsummer garden

A garden journal-esque kind of post, to supplement my pen-on-paper garden journal.

Our cucumbers are doing great~  we've picked probably two dozen so far, with many nearly mature ones hanging on and tons of teeny little babies climbing up the bamboo trellis.  Many thanks to the bees for working hard in those little yellow flowers.  Maybe we'll try making pickles again this year.  Mike tried years ago and the result was not so great, so we steered clear for a while.  Or at least I'll cut some up and throw them in an old pickle jar that still has some pickle juice in it.  Add some fresh dill and garlic..... so we'll have some slightly pickly tasting cucumbers, at the very least.

A recent peek in the hives to check on the honey status.  Thinking about thinking about extracting some in a couple weeks.  When I walk by I can smell the sweet, earthy, beeswax-y goodness that is the hives and I think it's the best smell in all the world.  Among the best, for sure.

I spy many baby melons sprawling around at the base of the cucumber bed..... fingers crossed the rain will start to even out and that all of these babies won't be destined to become exploded melons that didn't quite reach maturity.  The sun has been sticking around for longer stretches this week, so I'll take that as a good sign.

A sprinkling of fall kale, next to newly seeded carrots and another planting of beans.  Claire has decided she likes beets after all, and so we're planting more of those as well.  I plan to try fall peas this year, too.

There are pretty pinto beans in varying stages of maturation.  Today we picked and shelled some of the dry ones, and I think it will be just enough for lunch for us girls tomorrow.

There is volunteer dill flowering away,

and peppers growing strong and steady.  We've got half a dozen bell pepper plants, almost as many serrano, and a couple Carmen sweet peppers.  There are plans for more hot sauce, so we'll need to scrounge up some others as well.  Jalapenos and poblanos, probably.  We aren't that tough.

I pulled a couple onions for the grill yesterday.  They were sweet and delicious, but still growing strong in the beds so I'll let them be, for the most part.  It had been a while since we'd grown onions from seed and I'm so glad we did- they seem to do so much better for us than when we grow them from sets.  The garlic on the other hand, has all been pulled, and is curing in the woodshed.  I'd love to find a recipe for homemade minced garlic...

The okra is looking good,

sunflowers always look good,

and shadows dance on the deck siding.

Oh, the sad tomatoes.  A couple weeks ago they had much more foliage.  Much.  And it was thick and lush and a deep happy green.  But weeks of rain (and other factors, I'm sure) brought on late blight and who knows what else and so, armed with pruners and a little bucket of bleach-water to dip them in (thought to help prevent too much spreading of disease from one plant to the next), I went about giving those babies a big ol' haircut.  And now, a week post-haircut, the upper leaves are showing signs of disease and I'm pulling off spotty fruits here and there.  I'm just hoping I can save most of the fruits that are already there.  Pictured below is one bed of tomatoes.  There is one more bed, a few in pots, and two sungolds planted in the garden.  The sungolds aren't so susceptible to disease, being hybrids, so they are looking alright.  Relatively.  And they taste like candy, so that's good, too.

I've posted a garden shot that included our over-the-back-fence neighbors' big-ass RV before, but it was time to do so again.  Just in case anyone had got to thinking we lived in some secluded garden wonderland or anything like that.  Below is one of our fruit areas.  Apple tree, strawberry bed, apple tree, and then a big "L" of raspberries in the corner.  Our apple trees are a few years old.  One has no fruit yet, the other has exactly three apples on it.  One for each of us.  And so I'm being a little funny about those exactly three apples.  I've wrapped them in old onion netting just in case anything out there gets to having any funny-business thoughts of messing with our apples.  Thankfully, a kind neighbor down the road who likes to share her fruit with us has an enormous apple tree that seems to have a big crop every second or third year and this year is a go.

Some butternut squashes tucked into cinder blocks are busy growing up the fence and inch-long mini butternut babies have started popping up along the vines.  We have to get creative to grow as much as we want, and even in getting creative there's still so much more we'd like to be growing.

A view through the garden to the coop, woodshed, and garage that isn't a garage.

Keep it up sungolds!  They are big producers, but unless I notice them before she does I don't get any.  Maybe that makes it sound like I'm not a good tomato-sharer, but I am.  I'd just like to eat some of them too, you know.  And if I can stockpile enough, they make the best bruschetta.  So sweet and tangy and bright.

This is taken from the top of the raspberry "L", below the two hives and next to a hazelnut tree that is a few years from bearing fruit.

Okay tomatillos, it's up to you guys to supply us with most of our salsa needs now..... no pressure....

A little patch of beans I snuck in between the house and the driveway.  They don't get sun until almost lunchtime but they are doing alright- flowering and just starting to produce some beans.

This is Stick and she means business.

All four little ones preening on the edge of the drainage swale.  I wonder if there will forever be chicken segregation in our little yard?  Still no repeat crowing performance by the possible rooster in the bunch......

And limes!  I have no idea when these will be ready.  Except I did notice that the bags of key limes in the grocery store contain fruit that aren't much bigger than these (also key limes) so maybe we're almost there.


  1. what a garden! Our tomatoes look the same way...but there is still tomatoes to pick!! So that makes us happy.

    1. yes, we are getting a few..... I decided today that I'd be happy with eating some fresh off the vine and just release any and all expectations about canning some.


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