Saturday, June 11, 2011

The garden's really growing!

The view of the house from the end of the garden.
 Despite the heat, and the tomatoes and huckleberries and peppers getting early blight, and the biting flies and the cicadas, the garden is growing. Thursday morning, my friends, Kate & Sam, came over and with their help, we expanded the garden to within 13' of the eastern edge of the woods. It was a little easy, though: we were putting in hills of pumpkin and watermelon every six feet. You can cover a lot of ground when you put in 30 hills six feet apart! Not everything is planted, as there are still a handful of tomato and pepper plants straggling behind. I think I'll get them in this week. And then there will be the late-season replacements to put in next month.

But, with all the help I've gotten from friends over the past two weeks, the garden has grown into something fantastic! Plots of okra, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, all growing well, along with the zucchini, cucumbers, beans, lettuces and corn. And so much more. Just yesterday, I noticed for the first time things blooming: beans, tomatoes, zucchini. I've shared a few pictures with you here. And although the little I've been able to harvest (a bowl of beans, a few salads' worth of lettuces and radishes) hasn't been enough to take to the farmers' market or even offer to my subscribers, I now feel that in a few short weeks, I'll have more than enough produce. I'm relieved to sense that impending harvest boon!

The first tomato flower!
In a bit of a surprise note, we've got a mulberry bush. I think it's supposed to be a tree, but it's been left to its own devices for a few years. It's over by a lilac bush and our propane tank, and we'd been waiting for it to flower to see what it was. Last week I noticed that it was covered in red blooms, but upon closer inspection, I saw that it was covered in berries! How exciting is that? So far, I've picked about four quarts of mulberries from the bush. It's getting more difficult, though, as nearly any large piece of flora in our yard is home to thousands of cicadas. As I type, they fill the air with their mechanical whirring, in waves that at times, seem to pierce my ears. Outside, the boy dogs feast on them. They must be delicious, as the two of them will go from cicada to cicada, catching them, chewing them up and spitting out the wings. Just like I did with the ticks, it took me very little time and a lot of exposure to them to get used to them. I'm only bothered now when one of them gets on my ears or underneath the brow of my hat.

Well, that about catches you up... Thank you for reading, and hope to see you soon at the farmers' market!
An Eastern Box Turtle hanging out by our door yesterday afternoon.

The first zucchini!