The work of the garden has definitely shifted to the kitchen, rather than the garden beds. Just when I think I will have a bit of time to pay attention to the weeds, or to cleaning up after the garlic, I find something else entirely that needs to be canned, fermented, or frozen - right away! And that, I think, is the way of the August garden. So much goodness coming out of the garden.
The potato bugs may be winning the battle at the moment. A few people mentioned tossing a few chickens by way of the potatoes. Brilliant! We put some portable fencing around the potatoes and added a few laying hens, hoping they'd eat the bugs faster than we could pick them. They did! But they also dug up a whole bunch of not-quite-ready potatoes. So back to the pasture they went...and back to handpicking we are. Squash bugs too are requiring a twice-daily walk through the garden. I'm hopeful that we can keep that up long enough to harvest some of the squash before the bugs claim those plants as their own.
In happier news, the late blight that has been found in other parts of our state has not (yet) reached my garden. The tomatoes are looking wonderful this year. We are just at the beginning of harvesting those, though I think next week it will be full-on tomato time. It's my favorite, all those tomatoes. And the promise of all the sauces and salsas and ketchup that keep these kiddos of mine sustained all winter long.
Harper and I planted one hundred gladiola bulbs earlier in the spring, and this week they're all popping in color all over the garden and the yard. I love them! And they've reminded me to make a note to myself for more pink flowers in the garden next year. More flowers in general - I am having such a good time with the flowers this year.
We are at an amazing little window of time for berries - never before do I remember having blueberries, raspberries and blackberries all ripe at the same time, but that's just what's happening now. Such a treat! There is mostly a lot of snacking happening, but I'm tucking some away for jam making too.
And speaking of jam, have I told you about the sunberries? Wonderberries, they are sometimes called (they're in the quart box next to the raspberries in the photo above). I've never had a huckleberry but I'm told they're a bit like that. I picked up just two plants this year to try for the first time. They are producing so much that we've been enjoying them on salads all summer long, and I've even had enough to put up several batches of jam. They are my star of the garden this year, such a pleasant surprise they've been. Admittedly, they're a bit of a hassle to harvest so I wouldn't want more than a few plants (I hear some self-seeding may happen, so I'll be careful!). But I'm enjoying the two we have and telling everyone I can about the wonders of that little sunberry plant.
The other superstar of the garden? Once again, provider bush beans do just that - provide. Over and over and over I've been harvesting those green beans - and they're still coming!
Wishing you a lovely start to August in your own garden!
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If you're keeping garden notes and photographs and want to share it with the rest of us, do leave a comment with a link so that we may take a stroll through your garden too! It's a delight to see what and how things are growing all over, and to read the comments with such great gardening wisdom! Thank you all for continuing to share in this little project.