One of our two apple trees is dropping these sour lil baby apples all over our walkway. Its startles the cats and me on occasion when they drop on the tin roof! Summer is here marked by sudden thunderstorms and sweat. The Farmer’s Market is in full swing, and darkness doesn’t fall until well after nine. I love the longer days. More time to be productive (when I’m adequately motivated, that is!)
This summer is flying by with remarkable speed. I’ve been on the road a good bit interviewing various farmer’s across Western North Carolina for a research project I am doing with WNC Ag Options. I can’t complain. I basically get to hang out with all sorts of farmers, ask them about how they’re making it work and see lots of beautiful mountain scenes as I drive from place to place. Plus I’ve come home with a bucket of carrots, a pepper, and a hops nugget in my pocket.
Unfortunately, this busy schedule doesn’t leave much time for cooking, canning, and other domestic things. I’m doing my best to keep up with the garden as it tries to make it through this hot and dry weather. We’ve had several visits from different animal neighbors and lost our cabbages, kale, beets, carrots, sunflowers, and lettuces, and even two squash plants to their voracious appetites. Despite the setbacks we’ve still been able to harvest some lovely things like peas, beans, garlic, and an eggplant here and there. The cucumbers just started coming in and we’ve had two ripe tomatoes off of our 15 plants. And although I’ve been told profusely that okra just won’t grow in this part of the mountains the okra is trucking right along in the sun and heat! Pickled okra party anyone?
Here are a some glimpses into the happenings on the homestead since the summer began…
Here is the garden before we started to have the animals visiting over night. The back left two beds are still doing well where we planted the potatoes and peppers. And its just too hot for the salad greens these days.
These carrots over wintered so they turned out at bit woody. But we think we can still make use of them in soups and stews this winter.
My garlic harvest! This is the first garlic I’ve ever grown and is quite possibly the easiest thing to grow. After I planted it all I did was pull up weeds occasionally. The animals wouldn’t get near it. And they heartily survived being covered with snow the majority of the winter.
And finally our first tomato of the year!