Thursday, July 7, 2011

Garden Report

The garden is starting to produce heavily. I have nearly five gallons of blackberries in the freezer and more on the way. That is good. My strawberries were sadly pathetic but promise a full harvest next season. Our grapes, while improving, have a ways to go before I need to build a winepress. My fruit tree production will be light, due, I think, to the weird weather we had around blooming time.

This year I am producing several of my vegetables from last year’s saved heirloom seeds. The gigantic Holly Luscious cantaloupes we raise have been produced from our own saved seeds for the last five or six years. We have saved Kentucky Wonder pole beans the last couple of years, and they look great this season. Our cucumbers – I don’t know the variety – are the best we have grown.

I have struggled to find a sweet corn variety that will work, but it looks as though we may be successful this year with Sustainable Seeds (see sidebar) Golden Bantam. The watermelon, too, is from saved seed. There are actually two varieties this time, but I don’t expect them to cross-pollinate because they were planted several weeks apart. I think I am going to wind up with “Rattlesnake” as my go-to watermelon. And the squash, it appears to be very productive this year.

I will be harvesting my potatoes in the next couple of weeks. Once the two little patches are clear, I will plant black beans in one and heirloom golden wax beans in the other. I may have enough black beans left to sow in my sweet corn patch once all of it is harvested.

So it is canning time – mainly green beans and tomatoes.

Things I need to focus on include more storage space both for equipment and crops like potatoes. I also need to build some more fence and clear the brush encroaching on the back side. Another critical job is to replace the small swings for the grandkids with bigger ones. I need more range time, too.

The living may be “easy” in the summer, but I manage to stay busy.

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