Taking it all out!

I was hanging out with the chickens yesterday afternoon, watching them run and chicken feetscratch around thinking about what to do about the garden. The summer garden is pretty much a wash out. These feet helped me make a final decision although there really wasn’t much of a decision. Now was there.

From what the deer have eaten and what didn’t grow the garden is a sad, sad area to look at. I had such hopes to be able to can, dehydrate and preserve from the garden for the coming winter. In fact I haven’t even dusted the canner off yet this year!

Here it is the start of August and I haven’t much of any thing in the garden that is going to be harvested. How pathetic is that! The growing season just didn’t cooperate this year.

cukeOur cucumbers have not grown all summer, the plants aren’t much bigger than when I planted them. They are about 6″ tall and have started to spread across the ground. They are just starting to flower, so there may be hope for them yet.

The summer squash and zucchini are flowering but not setting fruit and they have just started to spread out. I sure don’t need to trellis them yet.pepper

I do have 2 count them 1….2 peppers almost ready to pick. How that happened I don’t know. The rest are just starting to set. These are Anaheim from Baker Creek. I started them from seed this spring. I was hoping to have enough to use for roasting and preserving in olive oil.

With these 2 I can have a tasty pizza though…

To help with this situation I am going to the farmers market in search of cucumbers to make pickles. Not the most economical choice but at least it will be better food for my family than store bought.

This week I am hoping the garden will dry out enough to plant the fall garden and hope that does better. I also am going to replant the small bed next to the house with fall lettuce, radish and spinach. First I will add a new layer of compost, some organic fertilizer that I need to use up and mix it all in well then see how it does. pepper bud

This spring I came across this web site and read about the process of their planting tomatoes. I tried this using just the bone meal, organic fertilizer, compost, egg shells and aspirin on 2 rows of the tomato plants.

I must say with all the rain we have had the tomatoes in this bed are doing well with no end rot. That is a huge problem this year with all the wet weather we have had. I can’t say that they set any more fruit that the others but they are larger and growing well with what little sun we have had. I will try it again next year and see how they do with a good growing season, if that happens.

tomato

This one bed was saved from Daisy’s picking spree the other day. It’s up by the barn and she didn’t wander that far from the house.

I guess I should have been more specific the other day. The bed she picked were the Amish Paste and Roma for sauce making. This bed that was forgotten is the Brandy wine, Yellow Brandy wine and Kellogg’s Breakfast.

I know so many new gardens went in this spring and I’m sure everyone had such high hopes for the growing season. So what can you do about a garden that doesn’t produce like you hoped? My advise would be not to think it’s your gardening skills, in this case it isn’t. (excessive rain or heat) 

I will start looking around for produce from other growers who have done better. Like the farm up the road from us who grows everything in greenhouses. I don’t think there will be any deals to be had, all produce grown locally this year will bring top dollar. At least it will be safe, healthy and local to preserve for the coming winter. A better choice in my mind than store bought canned or frozen.

chicksHow about you? What would you decide to do about having enough for the coming winter? Here in New Hampshire we have about 4 weeks of good growing left before the cool weather sets back in.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

 

Karyn

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Posted on August 4, 2009, in Food Storage, Gardening and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. My canner is gathering dust too. My cukes look exactly like yours…

    I have high hopes for the fall garden. I’ll put in shelling peas, green onions, basil, more beets, more broccoli, lettuces, radishes, spinach, bok choy. I already have cabbages coming out the ears, so no more of that!

    Fingers crossed!

  2. I do hope you have better luck with your Autumn planting Karyn. I’m not sure what I do but have been thinking forward to summer hoping I might be able to get some good deals on market bought fruit and try my hand at jam making.

  3. We’ve been trying to go to U-pick places to get some extra stuff for the freezer. But it is tough. I have been working extra shifts to put money towards extra produce for the canner etc. This is the time of year when I get the chance to work extra. Winter has all sorts of unexpected expenses. So I look at it as freeing up future money.

    But it has been a season of adaption to say the least….

  4. Karin,

    This is what I plan on trying to do as well. It is an investment for the winter when that money can be used in other places like heat or fixing broken snow plows…Who knows what else. Thanks for the reminder!

    Karyn

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