Friday, August 3, 2018

Garden Friday



It's Garden Friday!
We are working on prepping for fall veggies
and the garden is going through a state of transition.



The straw bales started out in the spring 
with lettuces and kales and a few other gems planted in them.
They kept company with the Yukon Gold potato towers,
seen in the foreground.


By the time summer hit,
the bales were showing their age.
As they are nurturing crops,
they are continually breaking down,
allowing the plants to be enveloped in nutrient-dense compost.


It was time to redesign the garden,
which doesn't include bales for veg this season.
I will most likely work them in come springtime,
but for now, they have done their job.


With a couple of plants still doing well in the bales,
I hated to disturb them.
But, planting time is nearing,
and I had to make room.
I ended up transferring the remaining crops into these
earth-friendly containers, and hoping that they endure the move.


The melon plants were left as is growing on the arches,
because I figured I could work around them fairly easily.
Then, yesterday, after a hard rain,
I found two cantaloupe on the ground.
They must have gotten blown down
or rained on so hard, that they lost their grip on the trellis.
They sit on the kitchen counter, in hopes that they will ripen.


The remaining straw will be used as an amendment when the new raised beds are created.
While dismantling them, it was obvious that they were abundantly laden with worms.
The good kind.
This will no doubt give the fall garden a boost right from the get-go.


 Elsewhere, on the stake-a-cages,
the tomatoes are finally realizing it is summer
and that they are supposed to be gifting us with fruit.


Although the first vine-ripened prize has not yet been picked,
they are checked daily for worms (the bad kind) or other pests.


 I have found a handful of cutworms on the plants,
but vigilance should help me keep ahead of them.
If you've read my gardening notations on here before,
you know that the tomato is my personal litmus test.
I think I'm almost there,
but I won't be completely satisfied until I am sampling the first one.


While most folks I know have been harvesting tomatoes for weeks,
mine are just beginning to flower and fruit.
I don't mind.
What's important is completing my goal of growing my own.
What a blessing.


I was watching one of my favorite PBS gardening shows
where the garden featured was on a historical homestead.
The host mentioned that early in our nation's history,
crops were supported using simple wooden stakes and torn fabric.
When I fashioned these strips for just that purpose,
I didn't realize that I was following in my foremothers' footsteps.
It's just what I had laying around and it has worked perfectly. 


 The first of the okra has been picked this week.



It was sauteed with some fresh-picked banana peppers and
home-grown eggplant in a bit of coconut oil
and simply seasoned with salt, Italian herbs and garlic.
What's not to love?
 

It's incredibly satisfying to be able to pick your food yourself,
knowing that it was your hands that sowed the seeds
and nurtured those seedlings to maturity.
Of course, all with God's blessings.

What have you picked from your summer garden this week?