Thursday, August 18, 2011


It seems as if “100” is the new norm.  102 yesterday and looks like the rest of the week will be about the same.  I was thrilled last week when we were “only” in the 90’s.
As late as I already was, I still planted some seeds for a fall garden last week.  Peas, cabbage, green onions and spinach.  I put these in the newly vacated section in my raised bed.  I pulled the half-dead or eaten tomato plants and put the cabbages and onions in their place.  The peas went in the same spot they were this spring.  I’ve never done a fall garden.  I tried to use veggies with a harvest date no more than 65 days and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to harvest something, especially since I put them in the raised beds and they still have the hoops on them.  If the weather turns cool too soon, I’ll put the plastic over the hoops.  I’m also going to try and grow some lettuce under the hoops this fall. 
Butternut harvest so far!

Hopefully the fall garden will provide us with some fresh veggies.  This year’s summer garden was pretty much a flop.  Although I was pretty happy with the summer squash until the SBI (Squash Bug Invasion) last week, and my Butternut have been doing great…..that is if I can keep the SBI from hopping from the zukes to the Butternuts.
Two cups of sweet peas.  Twenty small onions.  Less than a dozen Rutgers and Roma tomatoes.  Two or three cups worth of pear tomatoes.  Six (maybe) micro-sized green peppers.  Several dozen cucumbers, many too bitter to eat.  Zero blueberries.  Zero raspberries.  And out of eighteen fruit trees, not a single fruit (although we were going to pick off the immature fruit anyhow to promote root growth, they are only three or four years old).
I still have to harvest the turnips though and may get a couple dozen of those.  Whip-tee-do.  Oh, and our potato-in-a-tire experiment has yet to be unveiled, but as we only planted a half dozen seed taters, I don’t see it yielding more than a dinner’s worth.  There are also six bush bean plants left (from a dozen) that I planted the first week of July.  Something is eating them to the stems before I can even get a stinking bean from it.  Oh, and four eggplants, only one of which has flowers on it.
So, was it worth all the time, labor and water for this “bounty”?  Absolutely not.  If I knew how poorly the garden would produce, I wouldn’t even have bothered raking out the beds this spring.  But then again, if anybody knew the production yields of their crops and garden……
I’d like to say something upbeat like, “At least it was a learning experience”, but I don’t think I could say that without rolling my eyeballs or swearing afterward.  I probably harvested more wild food than I did in my garden.
But there’s always next year, right?  And before we know it, we’ll all be complaining about how cold it is, how we hate chopping ice out of the livestock water buckets and how much firewood we still have to split.  Then we’ll start getting the seed catalogs in the mail.
And we’ll all do it again next year!


  1. I love when Laura Ingals Wilder said something to the effect that to be a farmer you have to be a gambler, it's just in your blood.

  2. It's always a crap-shoot. This year was just more "crap!" and "shoot!" then usual! Hopefully you get some nice weather to cooperate with your Fall gardening attempts.

  3. Over the winter all this will fade.....and then Yup, we'll do it all over again next year. Silly us.

  4. Your tire potatoes may surprise you. I had a very good crop in each planting. This year stinks, stank, stunk. I don't think I could say that I "learned" anything - other than to better manage pole beans. I am just going to look toward next year and put in my spinach and kale for over-wintering. You have had an amazingly hot summer - not good for anything but your butternut squash it seems!

  5. We are silly, aren't we? This year could scare off anyone...but we will all do it again next year. And of course, it HAS to be better than this year!

  6. I'm sorry your garden got hit so hard...I feel your pain!! At least you got peppers - mine have just started flowering...might grow big enough to pick by Halloween?!? And you are absolutely correct - we will do it all over again next year :-)

  7. Ouch! I had no idea it was THAT bad. Pretty soon you'll be eating "goat hay". (I just read todays post &;)