July in the garden

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We’re now in the heart of the summer with produce and weeds growing at a pace faster than we can keep up with! It’s fun finding daily use for zucchini, and eat lots of dark green leafies. All that food creativity makes it difficult to keep up with the garden blog, however, so I’m going to post some photos of the garden from July today.

This summer has been unusually hot and dry, so we’ve had good success with our tomatoes and corn compared to some years. As with most summers, our community of people involved has been fun! We have a consistent core group of about 10 people, with about 10-15 others who pop in and out.

Here are some photos from July 3:

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Our raspberries were overgrown enough that we needed to prune them in order to reach the berries. We pruned them back to the space where we wanted the row. These things are going nuts this year!

We wanted to experiment with giving tomatoes space to grow up on strings rather than in cages. This has proved relatively effective, although we have to adjust the strings every couple of weeks due to the changing weight of the tomatoes on the vines, and the size of the vines the strings are holding. It provides more space for us to reach the tomatoes than does the caging technique, so I’m happy with the result.

 

Here are some photos from July 10:

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Each week we enjoy a meal together after working for a while. Although we have a great picnic table, sometimes it’s too hot to sit in the sun, so we sat in the shade for this meal. People bring something to share and we often add a salad and other items from that week’s harvest to the menu.

 

Here are some photos from July 31:

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These are from last week. The garden is going strong! Our “three sisters garden” is going well. We had trouble with the deer eating the shoots from the beans, so we didn’t get a very big bean harvest this year. We have tons of zucchini, however, and many other squash coming on for later in the season (butternut, delicata, acorn, pumpkin). The corn was well past “knee-high by the 4th of July,” and it looks like we’ll be able to harvest some of it soon. We also have a large cucumber harvest, and our kale is still going strong. We got our first eggplants of the season, lots of banana peppers, and we dug some potatoes.

One thing I find difficult to remember is to keep covering the potatoes so they can stay covered as they keep growing. We covered our crop again last week, but not until a few of the plants died. They had some nice small-to-medium-sized potatoes already growing, so we dug those up, but they get bigger the longer they’re in the ground, of course. Baby potatoes are the ones restaurants tout, though, right? My family has been enjoying them as French fries and breakfast potatoes.

We had our first small tomatoes last week, too! There’s going to be a big tomato harvest if everything continues as it has. The first fresh tomatoes are such a treat. I’m sure in a few weeks we’ll be sick of them, but I’m excited to can a bunch for winter use.

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