Each year the garden has some thrivers and some fails. Usually the tomatoes overwhelm, the peppers keep me busy canning and fermenting sauces, but the cucumbers and pumpkins are just so, so.
This year, the tomato plants stayed small and then the blister beetles came and a deer is getting in at night, the electric charger needs a new battery and the wire needs to be restrung. As a result the tomato harvest is puny. I have one overstuffed 2 gallon bag of them in the freezer awaiting processing, but it is only going to be one canning of pasta sauce this year which is sad.
The 4 X 8 foot bed is sparse and has few tomatoes.
The ones I am getting have to be picked under ripe and ripened in the window, or I find this.
A half eaten, smashed red tomato a foot or two from the bed in the wide aisle.
The cucumber vines are lush and loaded with blooms, several jars of pickles have already been fermented and hopefully, many more will follow.
The sole pepper in the lower right corner is supposed to be a serano, the one that didn’t fit in the bed with the others and was planted with three anchos that failed, but the peppers on it look like anchos, not seranos, they are a large tapered slightly flattened cone. The jalapeños and seranos in the adjacent bed are beginning to produce. As the weather cools, hopefully there will be enough to provide sufficient jars of pickled jalapeños for my hot pepper loving husband and son. The tags on the starts must have been mixed up because at least one of the seranos in that bed is producing a pepper that is either going to be a cayenne or Tabasco, they are too small to tell yet. I should just start my own seed, but haven’t had much luck doing that in the past. They sprout and in spite of my grow light, get too tall and leggy. After getting hardened off and planted in the garden, they usually fail and I end up buying from a Farmers’ Market grower but then sometimes don’t get what I thought I was buying.
The pumpkin vines are starting to fade and they are covered with juvenile stink bugs so I cut the three pumpkins that were ripe and hope for a couple of pies at the holidays and maybe one stuffed with rice, veggies, and a bit of sausage. There are still a few about the size of navel oranges out there, we will see if they mature enough to harvest. The vines are going to get sprayed with Neem oil today to see if that will reduce the stink bug load.
Planting two of the beans sprouted nicely. We should still have 6 to 8 weeks before frost date, sometimes more and hopefully will get enough to enjoy and to freeze.
We went down to the Agricultural Fair this morning to watch some of the horse events. Our former riding instructor was the judge for the events and we reconnected with her and may start taking lessons again after our vacation. After watching events we went over to see the results of the display judging and to determine if I wanted to enter in any other categories next year. I won, I won, two blue ribbons for my two entries of hand knitted shawls, one a modified pattern, the other of my design. I am so excited.
Next year I will enter that category again with other items and think I may enter some of my preserves and or sauces as well. I don’t think my produce is sufficient to enter and my flowers are certainly not show quality except for some day lilies that are bloomed out by fair time. I will display the ribbons on the items until they sell, then just hang them on my stall at craft shows.