Summer Garden in June

A lot has been happening in this garden of ours!  (I take no credit for Ethan’s wonky owl “scarecrow,” just so you know).  Man, it’s a big garden.  I can’t even photograph it.  What was I thinking?

 The first casualties have begun to appear:

Most of my beans and a few squash and cucumbers have some yucky virus.  It won’t kill them, but will make them produce less.  See the crinkly leaves? Apparently it is spread by white flies, which are new to Florida as of like 2006 or so.  I kept the beans, but pulled out the cucumbers and squash that were affected.

I also had to destroy most of the tomatillos, due to suspected fungal infection.  I still have a couple of plants.  I shed a few tears over the salsas that will never be.  It is mystifying, because this is the first year I’ve grown any solanaceous plants in this particular spot.  We do have the wild nightshades, so maybe that’s where it comes from.  I practice a pretty long rotation in my garden.

Not only that, but a squash vine borer must have escaped my watchful eye and killed one of my pumpkins.

The rare, heirloom corn was doing great, until Tom Sawyer’s gang got in and nibbled down a quarter of it.  Jerks!!

It has solidified our decision to put them in the freezer next weekend (I am talking about the boy baby goats here, to avoid confusion).  We had wanted to wait until the fall, but it has become clear that there is no way we will be able to wean them, because they can squeeze through every fence we have.  They are still cute – it will be hard.

The garden now has a baby-goat-proof-Fort-Knox-like structure on the front of it, which makes it very hard for us to get in, too.  Only until next weekend.

First harvests are beginning to appear.  Kale, basil, the first cucumbers and squash blossoms made it into the kitchen.  So nice to have fresh cucumber salad again!  I can’t even bring myself to buy cucumbers at the store.  They are always squashy and limp.  Also, I’m realizing just how much basil I’ve planted.  I think pesto should be making an appearance at least once a week.

We are digging the potatoes (not the loveliest this year – I think ants were eating them), and officially giving the winter garden back to the wild for the time being.

The orchard has really been helping out.  We got 3-4 lbs of blueberries the other day, a bunch of white peaches and the first yellow squash (cooked it up with the potatoes).

On Tuesday I got a rare chance to go out to a movie by myself while Ethan did the chores.  It was a special screening of Open Sesame: the Story of Seeds, put on by the folks at Forage Farm.  Many of the people featured in the movie I was familiar with either through their writing, seed catalogs, or other people writing about them, and it was cool to see them in the movie.  There were also moments when I realized what an heirloom vegetable nerd I am.  They would show a random handful of seeds, and I’d be like, “That’s Jacob’s Cattle Beans!” or “That was Christmas Pole Lima!”

It was great to see so many other locals interested in seed saving.  I was also excited to learn that Forage Farm is establishing a seed library to try to cultivate seeds that are adapted to our area.  I’ve seen in my garden the difference between seeds that were grown in a different climate versus the seeds that have been grown here for many generations.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Heather says:

    Oh the pests…I have been fighting a losing war with cucumber beetles and stink bugs the past couple of years…I would love to get rid of them completely, but haven't figured out how to do that yet. Hoping to get some row covers up this weekend, and maybe that will help.


  2. Angie says:

    Sometimes, as much as I don't want it to, gardening can seem very war like!
    I need to learn about row covers. I keep hearing them mentioned. Where do you get them/how do you make them?


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