Sunday, August 28, 2011

How Does Garden Grow - Late August

It's been a strange year, weather-wise, and it's had a weird impact on the garden.   Which is growing beautifully (hopefully still, Hurricane Irene isn't quite finished with us yet).  But everything is very late.  We had a great lettuce season into July, since the weather was cooler and rainier, but other than that, it's a late garden year.

We picked our first ripe tomatoes this week.  The cucumbers are fruitful, but still tiny.  Only one winter squash survived the rains, but is the size of a small end table. The tomatillos, those who haven't been stolen by the chipmunks are thriving, and have vined out everywhere.

If the warm weather holds, we should be okay - I'm much more happy when I'm faced with canning jars and a hot stove in September anyway.  As long as an early cold snap doesn't roll in, it should be a pleasure to pick our veggies over the next few weeks.

We didn't pick up a lot of bulk food this year - just a half bushel of onions and & 1/4 bushel of pickling cukes out near my sister, most of which became 14 pints and 4 quarts of bread and butter pickles.   We also picked blackberries for my birthday (that, plus a picnic made for a near-perfect birthday), which are in the freezer, awaiting some further disposition - with the advent of peaches from a friend's tree, I'm thinking blackberry peach cobbler.

We've signed up for a box of peppers from a local farm, and some peach seconds as well, which will probably go into muffins and be the foundation for peach butter.  If we can swing it, we'll get a bushel of onions from my sister's when we go out in September - last year's bushel lasted us almost to February - and we use a lot of onions!   

The chickens are still pending - the coop is here, but hatcheries in the midwest stopped shipping in the July heat wave, so they just arrived in NY, and they will come home next Sunday, September 4.  Though we can fit up to 16 birds in our house, only 8 Buff Orpingtons will call it home this year.  Next year we hope to add a few more in rare breeds.  

The garden construction still goes on.  We got the 4 4x16 beds done, but my husband ended up having to build a fairly labor-intensive stone wall to hold the dirt for the remaining 4 4x8 beds.  The wall is almost done, and then the fence, arbor and remaining beds can go in - again, we're hoping the weather holds for a while longer.  

Next year I should have all 8 beds, and then hopefully a more productive garden than ever.   And egg-laying chickens...and then...

I am starting to think I need to come up with a name for our mini-farmlet.  Hmm.

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