Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Slow Season

This has been quite the slow growing summer. Thanks to a very mild winter that lasted until the end of June, the garden has been just sluggish (in more ways than one) this year.

The tomatoes look good with lots of green fruit; but this time last year we had been picking tomatoes for at least two weeks. The squash and cucumbers are just now starting to blossom. If we are fortunate enough to have a somewhat "normal" September, the Second Street Chicken Ranch should have an abundance of tomatoes.

We have had excellent success with our lettuce and sugar snap peas.  The Tom Thumb variety of butter head lettuce is my favorite this year.  These "single serving" heads are about the size of your fist with a delicate, creamy flavor.  I wasn't sure if the snap peas were going to make it through the very cold and very wet spring; and was certain that the seeds had rotted in the ground. But, they pulled through and even though it took a while for them to get going, they have been fantastic! Large, meaty peas that are sugar sweet!  These are even sweeter when a bag of 15 or so, sell for $4 a pound in the grocery store. 

Here's a pano-view of our raised beds -- it's the first full year of using this form of bed.  Hal says I'd have more room if I took them out and used this entire area for garden, much like I did in previous years.  But, I think I'll give the raised beds another year.  I am limited in my space due to the giant maple (Max) and walnut (Wally) trees in the backyard.  This corner is the only sunny spot I have.

Speaking of Max, a few years ago I placed a single Hen-n-Chick plant in one of his crooks.  Look what I have now...a hen, pullets and chicks! These things will grow anywhere.  My super creative friend, Julene, recently posted a bit on hens and chicks on her blog, Present By Design . You can also find a link to her website in my Groovy Links section.

Below are a few recent images from the flower garden.  I'm glad to see the bees back in action.

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Thanks for reading and sharing your comments! Candace

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