In which the garden finally woke up, and we're awash in squash

Spring sprung slowly, and summer has seemed about a month behind-times.

But now it's September!

This is the first time we've planted zinnias and we will definitely plant them again!

On June 30th, I posted some sort-of wistful photos of the garden, comparing early June with late June. 

Let's revisit some of those photos, and add some September garden comparison photos, okay?

June 21, 2022

Haenaheim Garden, June 21 2022

In the back, along the fence:  Swedish soup peas. 
Left side:  bush beans.  
In front of the soup peas:  pole beans, just starting to think about climbing.
In front of the pole beans:  corn plants, plus a few sunflowers.
In the very front, nearest the camera:  spinach 

June 30, 2022

Haenaheim Garden, June 30, 2022

Here's what changed:

In the back, along the fence:  Swedish soup peas starting to flower--the blossoms are purple!

Left side:  bush beans, a little "bushier" than before.

In front of the soup peas:  pole beans, just starting to think about climbing.

In front of the pole beans:  corn plants, plus a few sunflowers, which are definitely out-pacing the corn.

In the very front, nearest the camera:  spinach and weeds and more sunflowers.

These are the Swedish soup pea flowers, so pretty--and the plants eventually grew 8 feet tall!

Here's how that spot looks now, September 5, 2022:

Haenaheim Garden, September 5, 2022

Here's what changed:

The soup peas have been harvested, dried, and are stored in two quart-size glass jars.  We also saved out some seed to share, and some to plant next year.  

The bush beans are now drying on the vine, and when they are ready we will harvest them for winter soups.

We ate tons of green beans fresh, and also canned a bunch.  The remainder are drying on the vine for winter soup and seed saving.

The corn is almost ready.  I planted a purple-kernel variety, and the extra pigment slows down the growing.  I'm excited to try it.

The sunflowers...are everywhere.  Every couple of days, I chop down a few sunflower stalks and toss them over the fence for goats and the Dragon to munch.

The spring spinach didn't do much, thanks to hordes of slugs!  I pulled out the tatty plants, and put in marigold and fresh spinach seed.  Now I have huge spinach leaves for salads every night, and the marigolds are almost ready to bloom.

My mom loves to feed sunflowers to the goats

Speaking of greens:  I got some red mustard green seeds at my library's new 
SEED LIBRARY and planted them about a month ago. 
Every seed germinated, and now we have so much!  Like spinach, but a little bit peppery.

I gotta shout out to the Seed Library, which soft-launched this week and already has people checking out and donating seeds.  I'm so excited that I get to work on this project!  

No library card required:  take seed, plant it, grow it.  If you get a great crop, maybe save
some seed to donate back.  If not, no worries, try again next year.

June 30th:  butternut squashes

June 30th butternut squash plants, I was desperately afraid the slugs would mow these to nubs.

Hoo-boy, did they ever take off.  Here's the current view:

September 5, 2022  awash in squash

Up-close photo of the squashes growing under all this foliage:

We planted 6 or 8 "Butterbush" seedlings that I grew from seed.  They did not enjoy
our cold, wet spring...but they've made up for lost time!

The "Butterbush" is (believe it or not) less sprawling than standard Waltham Butternut.  I cringe to think where the sprawling vines would be by now...Canada, perhaps?  

I've also got Godiva squash plants growing in there--these are the pumpkins that grow "naked" seeds.  This is our second year growing them.  They make adequate jack-o-lanterns, and the dogs get to eat the squash flesh, which is kind of bland.  But the fresh seeds are glorious, and worth the effort to grow them!

Finally, I have one (one!  ONE!) Giant Pumpkin plant in there, which has produced (I think) 3 very large pumpkins.  Probably not going to be as ginormous as some that we've grown in past years, because of that cold wet start.  But it's good to have a few biggies around, I love them so.

June 30th tomato blossoms

Tomatoes inside la petite orangerie, June 30, 2022

I have never not been challenged by tomatoes, but I'm finally dialing in a process to actually grow the little devils.  

September 5, 2022:  inside the greenhouse, in tubs, watered by ollas, surrounded by basil.

This year I tried a new variety to grow from seed:  a dwarf tomato (the plant is small, the fruits are normal-sized) called "Banana Toes."  I mostly grew it for the funny name.  But look what a "Banana Toe Tomato" looks like:

Banana Toes tomatoes...have toes!

These are a mild, low-acid sauce tomato.  At least, they'd be great for sauce if we would quit standing in the garden and eating them straight off the bush!  We will definitely grow these again.

Tonight's dinner:  Kentucky Wonder green beans, purple broccoli, purple cauliflower, Banana Toes tomato and the Very! First! Ears! of Purple! Corn!

Finally, it's not summer on the farm without a party.  We held very small, quiet gatherings the last two years, inviting only a few people and keeping Covid off the property.

But now, we are vaxxed and ready to live our lives again!

Megan and Will helped set up

Loaner accessories for those who wanted them

"Fashion Train Wreck" was the theme of the day.  We totally went there.

Rosemary and me

Food, friends, fun:  it's what we do here

Foxie wore his party dress and made a new friend

It's good y'all.  It is very, very good.



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