Sunday, August 24, 2014

August Homestead Update

Our tomato season began and ended with cherry tomatoes.
Blight took the rest of our plants.
I'll spare you photos of the carnage.

We're disappointed, but the loss was a powerful and lasting lesson in organic gardening.
Pre-treating is the trick, and we just didn't know enough about it.
Now, we do!

We lost about 40 heirloom tomato plants in the span of three days.
I had hoped to fill our chest freezer with the tasty red globes, and turn them into sauce throughout the winter. The blight left us with about a dozen Black Krim tomatoes and a few pounds of cherry tomatoes.
I was truly devastated. Being 8 months pregnant and suffering from a bad cold didn't help.
I spent a few days sobbing over the loss and feeling sorry for myself, and am now greatly recovered.

This weekend I'm busy dehydrating the cherry tomatoes,
planting the fall garden, and cursing the little rodent who
keeps eating my late-summer strawberries.
I'm harvesting delicious zucchini, yellow squash and Ronde de Nice zucchini.
Our experimental cucumbers did well, and we'll do a serious planting next year.
The peppers are starting to plump.
Lazy Housewife Green Beans have been surprisingly productive.
Kale is still coming in.
The pumpkins vines aren't as productive as I'd expected.
The melons were a total flop!
The brasscias are growing tall.
My new crops of lettuce, Swiss Chard, and spinach are popping up.
Time to get some radishes in the ground, I think...

Seed catalogs are starting to arrive, and I can't help but plan for next year's garden.
More flowers! More pumpkins! More tomatoes!

Still lots to do before winter, though.
I found myself swimming in new strawberry plants.
We're scrambling to find protected places to plant them.
I'm tempted to just use them as ground-cover on the hillside, and let the rabbits ravage them.

There's been a good amount of online chatter about a looming polar vortex.
It could bury us in snow in the next 30 days!
Hard to imagine, but worrying.
I'd welcome an early winter (though I'll kick myself for saying this).
It'll hide the wreckage of my tomato beds and speed the healing process.
At the first signs of frost we'll erect our trusty mini-hoops over the salad beds and hope for the best.

Sean has been showing off his carpentry skills in the nursery.
His ingeniously designed changing table is nearly complete, and he has big plans for the closet renovation. We have all sorts of baby-related projects to wrap up in the coming weeks!

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