My July Garden 2014

It’s July. The garden is starting come into it’s own. That means the tomatoes are ripening, the peppers have been coming in, most of the flowers are in full bloom–though some are past their prime–and the winter squash are big but not yet ripe.

This year I’ve been making a lot of flower arrangements. I don’t always do this, because I worry that cutting blooms might make things look less full. But the flowers are so plentiful this year — some of them have even spread to parts of the yard where flowers were never meant to be — that it seems silly not to bring some of them indoors.

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My June Garden 2014

I am waiting impatiently. I’ve gotten some strawberries, lettuce, spinach, and bok choi, but everything else is still tantalizingly small. Cucumbers are starting–and climbing like mad–while tiny squash start to make an appearance. I’ve got some small but nice green tomatoes, and the peas are starting to flower. I picked a single jalapeno, but the other peppers and eggplants are still elusive.

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This year I built a big trellis around one end of the garden to get as many of the vines up off the ground as possible. That’s what you see at the end.

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Me + Spring Fever = Bad Blogger

I’ve been a bad, bad blogger. This is, in part, because I’ve been busy with work and it can be hard to come up with something to write after a long day… but let’s face it, I’ve also got Spring fever. When I’ve got an extra half an hour, I don’t want to spend it at the keyboard. I’ve been spending a lot of time cleaning up the yard and gardens, planting bushes, and even some cold-season veggies.

My new quest, though, is to get some wildflowers growing behind my fence (where my giant trees used to be) to help hold down the dirt and give me something to look at from my office window. In my imagination, it looks like this:

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Getting Your Hands Dirty

One of the things I’ve been looking forward to most since I bought my house was putting in raised beds for my vegetable garden. I had a garden at my last place but the soil was more rock than dirt. Some things did OK but others did not, and I had a pesky woodchuck who liked to eat my butternut squash and watermelon every time they started growing. Luckily for my raised bed plans, I seem to know all the right people.

Over the past few months, a family friend who delivers lumber has been showing up with large beams and dropping them off. Then we all got together one day, ¬†plotted out where the beds should go and got to work assembling them. For the past few weeks they’ve sat empty…waiting for the soil to fill them up.

That’s where my mother’s farmer friends come in. She works in a restaurant out in cow country, and one of the local farmers comes in every day. Later in the summer he’ll start showing up and leaving boxes filled with tomatoes and peaches in the waitresses cars. He claims he can’t sell them. About that time my mom starts showing up at my house and we start cooking up huge batches of sauce. One of his buddies–whose farm is much closer to my house–comes in once a week or so and he’s been telling my mom he’d drop off some compost for weeks. On Thursday, he finally did. It looked a little like a T-Rex left me a gift. Continue reading