August Mid-Month Meanderings II

After a slow unfurling, the garden is producing.

 grow and resist mid month meanderings august sunflower

Is there anything more hopeful than a sunflower bursting open?

The new berries have popped out some berries including marionberries and several varieties of raspberries.  We now have 2 berry patches.  I can already see how those areas are going to explode into a berry jungle of the coming years. So, this fall I’ll check the canes out and do whatever we’ll need to continue easy access to the patches and picking.   We will also plant more berries.  We are gradually moving toward more perennial fruits and vegetables as they are more sustainable to keep up. We’ll continue with annuals as well, but more and more I am appreciating the ease of my perennial herbs, berries and fruits.

 grow and resist mid month meanderings august marionberry

Marionberries. Yum!

The patio we installed last year is mostly too small to hang out.  Actually, that isn’t true.  I just haven’t put anything to sit in on the patio.  Mostly it serves as a place to wander in and be enveloped by tall aspen trees and nearly-tall-as-I-am daisies.  Standing in the middle of the patio is incredibly peaceful.

 grow and resist mid month meanderings august patio full bloom

There is a (now) standing-room only patio in there.

I’ve harvested some pickling cucumbers and either quick pickled or fermented them. The other day though I read a post from Tigress about fridge fermented cucumbers. Which I’ll totally be doing with all the rest as they ripen because it sounds like the easiest method I’ve come across.

 grow and resist mid month meanderings august cucumber

Love the cucumber and trellis shadows

We are getting some tomatoes. Green tomatoes, but still, tomatoes.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings tomato

lovely green tomatoes

grow and resist august mid month meanderings tomato

And we've got the first one reddening! I mean, it is August 15th after all!

Do you prune your tomatoes? I’m an obsessive tomato-pruner. Especially this time of the year. In my experience, if they haven’t set fruit by now in the Pacific Northwest then it is pretty much pointless to hope they will both set fruit AND ripen it.   Consequently, around this time I do another heavy prune.  I believe it reduces disease, allows good air flow and gives better access to sunlight. This plan may not work for everyone, but works well for me.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings tomato

Post trimming

Is it just me or does cabbage make you think of Beatrix Potter? Because of the Babylady, we have been reading the complete tales of Peter Rabbit. Mostly written in the early 1900’s, they are often hysterical. Or just not things typically found in children’s books any more.   “…don’t go into Mr. McGregor’s garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.”  Wow. Put in a pie. Intense.

It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is ‘soporific’”  Soporific?  Now that is a word I haven’t found in any of the Babylady’s other bazillion books.  Or mine actually.

Or how about Mrs. Rabbit? She “sold herbs, and rosemary tea, and rabbit-tobacco (which is what we call lavender).” Tobacco? In a kid’s book? You’d be hard pressed to find mention of anything smokeable in a current kids book.  Lavender or otherwise.

I’m amused by it all.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings cabbage

I can't see cabbage without thinking Mr. MacGregor's garden.

The beans are up to the top of the ladder trellis. Though the beans are coming in, none have made it in the house yet.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings pole beans

Small child hiding in the beans

grow and resist august mid month meanderings pole beans

Mmm, fresh beans. I adore them raw and just picked.

Ok, another sunflower. I can’t help it.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings sunflower and bee

Still have hoards of bees.

We have started picking our first summer squash. No glut here, but maybe, just maybe, we’ll have the perfect amount!

grow and resist august mid month meanderings summer squash

We've only harvested green zucchini. This will be the first of this variety to ripen.

The apples are blushing.  I really love the columnar apples and plan to get more next year. They are productive, delicious, seemingly disease resistant and fit into tight spaces.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings apple

Lovely columnar apples

August is also garlic harvesting time. I picked all of ours last week. You should loosen the soil around each bulb well, gently rock it back and forth and then carefully dig out.  Don’t just yank it. Don’t use your hori-hori right next to the bulb.  I know this and yet it doesn’t stop me. I always get impatient digging up my garlic and lose a few heads to pulling off the stems or stabbing with a digging implement.  You can still use the bulbs then but they won’t save well.  Best to use them soon or they will rot.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings garlic

piles of garlic

grow and resist august mid month meanderings garlic

left to dry before braiding

Fall and winter crops are mostly in the ground.  Well, I say that, but I just got more seeds to plant. So I’ll be prepping some more space in the next week.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings chard

Beautiful chard (and some baby leeks you can sort of see in the background)

grow and resist august mid month meanderings kale, brussell sprouts and carrots

For fall/winter: overwintering carrots, kale, brussels sprouts and spinach. From summer: pole beans and hot peppers

I’m holding on for a bit more summer.  A few more dinners laughing on the patio and carefree grilling outside, cold beer or chilled wine in hand.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings sunflower

Summer is really here and the sunflowers are everywhere.

How is your summer going?

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10 Responses to August Mid-Month Meanderings II

  1. Traveling Mom says:

    I love the picture of Lucy in the middle of the beans – she sure loves those beans she picks. Your sunflowers are so pretty, especially with the bees on them. Your garden is so pretty – one could wander around all day long or just get a book and chair and sit and enjoy it! You have done an amazing job with it!

  2. tigress says:

    I love meandering through your garden in pictures Meg! it’s all so beautiful – and inspiring! and thanks for the mention on the cool cukes. do try them! my cukes are coming in fast and furious right about now. and our tomato season in new england is not much ahead of yours, just got our first red one last week!

  3. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    My summer is going at a fairly breakneck pace, which made stopping to savor these photos (and the correlated) words all the sweeter. Given how at peace I feel seeing your pictures, I can only imagine what it’s like to actually be standing amid those sunlit plants!

  4. Inder says:

    Not much going on in my garden, but, like you, we do have some sunflowers! Hey, it’s something, right? It’s amazing the difference between this meander and two months ago, hm?

  5. Julia says:

    Oh, Meg, all of these photos are so lovely! I miss marion berries! So gorgeous. And maybe I should try some columnar fruit trees? My new trees are so, so sad. Some beetles came by and just devastated them. This year the garden is great, but the tomatoes are looking a bit sad. Not sure what will happen to them. They had such promise…Sigh.

    I was just thinking, like physically with my muscles, that I didn’t want to let summer go just yet. Not just yet…

  6. Natalie says:

    Meg, the photo with the sunflower and the bee is AWESOME! Being that it is winter here at the moment, please forgive me drooling on the keyboard…

  7. Chris says:

    Wow I am jealous of your garden! It looks so good! I’ve been thinking about starting a garden of my own down here in southern FL… Seeing your amazing garden has inspired me!

  8. Lin says:

    Your Peruvian cherry (sometimes known as ground cherry also) was developed by my late friend and social justice activist/sustainable technology advocate/farmer, Amando Hildago Barzola, so the variety is now known as Physalis peruviana v. Amando Barzola Hildago.

  9. Lin says:

    Oops, name should be Amando Barzola Hildago in both places. Thanks!

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