Alright, it's getting crazy out there. It's beautifully apparent in the garden that summer is upon us. And today, as I sit here enjoying the shade and relative coolness of my covered porch, I feel both excited about summer (unabashedly my favorite season), and grateful that it's not quite yet canning season. I love the work, to be sure. I also love sitting in the shade, taking in the view with a cold glass of iced tea nearby.
This week in the garden we're...
resting in new chairs. I don't love them, and already I miss my yellow chairs. You see, these blue ones are plastic, and I loathe plastic. But when your beloved wooden chairs turn into the equivalent of a moldy sponge after a few years of temperate rainforest living, and new wooden chairs are not in this season's garden budget, and the perfect set has yet to magically appear at the thrift store, and you absolutely need a place to rest your hard-working bum during garden happy hour... well, I guess, it's then that you go buy plastic lawn chairs. So that's where I'm at with that.
seeing so many bees on all those arugula flowers. I'm always surprised by how sweet an arugula flower smells considering how spicy those leaves become. And my goodness do the bees love those flowers; arugula and mustard especially. Now that most of the flowers have been pollinated, and the seed set, I'll be pulling the plants this week to make room for another round of greens. I try to keep several lettuce greens beds going at a time so that while one is germinating, or flowering, I still have one (or two) to harvest from.
loving all the onion blooms. This is the most onion I've ever planted. I have no idea how many sets I put out. I simply planted onions every week during the month of May. Onions are popping up all over the place, and we're picking one daily to accompany our salad.
hearing those wild children of mine giggling, planning forts, traps, and all sorts of fabulous contraptions.
appreciating a relatively weed-free beet, onion, carrot & bush bean bed (from left->right) thanks, in part, to the weeding efforts of my mother-in-law.
reminding myself every day to stake those Brussels sprouts. I had an a-ha! moment a few days ago when trying to figure out the best way to prop them up, and next year, while they're still small, I'll be putting wire tomato cages over them to help prevent them from falling over mid-season. Already, they're so big, and they only have pea-sized sprouts on them.
feeling encouraged by all that basil. Last year I lost most of my harvest to a rainy-July-induced-moldy-blight-situation. This year I planted the basil in a much sunnier part of the garden (also in my herb bed, in the perennial beds, and in a few in pots, for good measure). I'm also staying on top of picking it more regularly so the plants stay smaller, and bushier. Ah, pesto season.
tending to all those tomato plants. Truthfully, the tomatoes are his babies. He starts them during the deep, dark part of winter, and mindfully tends them as the cold months pass. All the plants are now taller than me (I'm 5'7") and it's been windy on the Divide this week, so like I said, it's getting crazy out there. He's tying everything back, clipping suckers, and adding copper spray to keep the blight at bay. And next year we're totally building more of these tomato trellises from our Colorado garden. We only used that trellis for two years, and in our eleven years of gardening together, it was hands-down, the. best. tomato. trellis. ever.
loving this wild and crazy garlic/cilantro/squash/sunflower/strawberry/tulsi basil bed. The garlic seems to be doing well. I harvested a tester bulb last week, and I think we still have a few weeks to go until they're ready to be pulled and cured. I seeded my yellow squash and zucchini plants right next to the garlic thinking that by the time the garlic was harvested, the squash plants will have grown big enough to take over. So far, I think this plan is going to work.
cheering on those cucumbers, which are finally gaining skyward momentum. And speaking of best trellis ever - this cucumber trellis my man made with rhododendron he harvested from our forest is a contender for the Best Trellis Award. It's beautiful, functional, and it was harvested from our land - I love it.
feeling immensely grateful for each and every full harvest basket. Seriously, I'm so passionate about, so consumed with growing as much of our own food as possible, every basket-full of food makes me feel incredibly fulfilled. Each afternoon as I gather my harvest baskets, and head out to the garden to plan, then pick dinner, I consider myself the richest of the rich.