It seems that the garden is slowing down. A little bit. For now. All we need is a little bit of rain, and I’m sure it will spring back into action. But for now, I’m welcoming the (short-lived) break.
The zucchini and summer squash have about had it. But not quite. They are still throwing a few large fruits out there. (Really all this means is that we don’t go check them enough anymore. Anyone need a giant summer squash?)
Most of the butternut squash plants have died, but there is one that is holding on like a trooper. And he is putting out some great-looking butternut squashes! I can’t wait to make these guys into soup in a few weeks!
The spaghetti squash plants are still going strong. For whatever reason, they have not been affected by the butternut-squash-wilt that is at the other end of this row. So we’ll have plenty of spaghetti squash to go around when these are ready. (Any ideas on how to preserve these? I’ll need to do some research pretty soon!)
Our tomatoes are just barely starting to get ripe. (The cherry tomatoes and yellow pear tomatoes are way ahead of the “regular” size tomatoes.) There have only been two that have been ripe enough to pick yet, but they are coming…
The watermelons are doing way better than we thought. They are good at hiding under their carpet of vines, and it’s hard to walk through without stepping on the plants. So we’ve been letting them do their thing without too much supervision. I think we’re going to need to start paying attention soon… they should be starting to get ripe any time now.
The cantaloupes are doing great. There are bunches and bunches of them in there. And, I’m sure, they will all come ripe at just about the same time. So we’ll have some fresh, I’ll freeze some, and we’ll be giving plenty away in town! (I wish there was a farmer’s market in Gibson County… we would so be there with these!)
The wall of cucumbers has slowed down. A lot. One whole drawer in my refrigerator is full of cucumbers (plus a few more that wouldn’t fit in the drawer.) We’re going to need to make some pickles this weekend. In the meantime, the plants are putting out flowers and attracting bees like it’s their job (which, I guess, it sort of is), but there are not many new fruits coming on right now. A little rain, and the cucumbers will explode again…
I am pleased to report that the main crop of green beans is finished. We picked the plants, pulled the beans off, and canned 53 quarts. (Yes, I said 53 quarts.) Over two different days. We kept plenty for fresh eating, too. There are still some late beans left out there, but they have been competing with the weeds and I’m not sure how well they have done. (I’m choosing to ignore them for now.)
Farmer Doc picked three rows of sweet corn last weekend, and we wound up with over 8 dozen ears. He cut down the corn stalks and we fed them to the cows (they were pretty happy!). We gave some away, ate plenty fresh off the cob, and froze a bunch thanks to Beyer Beware’s freezer corn recipe. That will taste great this winter!!
And behind the corn is the pumpkin patch. I used to think that the cantaloupes were taking over the world. But I think the pumpkins will give them a run for their money. The plants are well over knee-high, and have completely carpeted that section of the garden. So here are a few things that I could see walking around the edges…
We have pumpkins in all shapes and sizes coming along, complete with more flowers ready to turn into pumpkins. (Did you know that pumpkins start out green? They’ll turn orange as they get ripe and ready to pick.)
I must have stumbled into the ornamental gourd section of the pumpkin patch here. These cute little guys do start out yellow/orange, but aren’t ready to pick yet. They’ll get a little bigger, a little harder, and the stems will dry up when they are ready to pick. They are tough to find underneath the plant carpet – good thing they are orange!