Saturday, July 23, 2016

Summer Garden

Most mornings as the sun comes up you can find me out in my garden in my robe and house slippers. I can't wait to see what's happened overnight – can't even take the time to step into my overalls.

On Tuesday I was greeted by a big, fat mama racoon who was trying to hide under the pumpkin patch. I spoke harshly to her, asking her in no uncertain terms to leave the garden. She looked at me, but refused to leave. I had an empty wooden harvest basket in my arms and without thinking, I flung it at her. (Don't worry, I missed.) She reluctantly walked to the end of the garden and clambered over the small chicken-wire fence. She then sat just on the other side and looked back at me, rather woefully. And then I figured out why. A baby raccoon peeked out from underneath the pumpkin vines and made its way to the end of the garden, but couldn't figure out how to get over the fence. Finally, it figured out that it could climb up a hill of mulch that Ed had dumped just inside the fence and from there, it could jump over the fence and be free to join its mama. Once reunited, they made their way into the woods behind the beehives.

Most mornings there are a number of small bunnies inside the garden. I intend to fence the garden next spring with something more impenetrable than foot-high chicken wire. In the meantime, I just share. There is plenty to go around. Come along, I'll show you what growing like crazy.

Cinderella pumpkins appear to double in size overnight.
Volunteer sunflowers popped up in the middle of my garden and stretch skyward.

More squash and zucchini than we can possible eat or give away.
I've been stuffing the blossoms with ricotta and herbs and frying them up -- just like we had in Italy last year. 
A second round of raspberry showed up this week. The cultivated blackberries also produced handfuls of berries.

Cucumbers and more cucumbers. Thinking of making bread-and-butter pickles next week.
Butternut squash vines have invaded my tomato plants -- which got a late start this year. 
Green beans ready for picking.
Basil gone wild.
It's called rainbow chard for a reason.
First time trying to grow shallots.
Harvested three kinds of beets this week. Pickled them last night in red wine vinegar.
Maggie gave me a fig tree for my birthday!
Our pear trees finally have some fruit this year.
Maybe I should start a farm stand at the end of our drive.


I'll  leave you with these garden jokes:

What did the lettuce say to the celery? Quit stalking me.

Why shouldn't you tell secrets in a cornfield? Too many ears.

What vegetable did Noah leave off the ark? Leeks.

What is green and goes to summer camp? A brussels scout.

How did the farmer fix his overalls? With a vegetable patch.

Why did the potatoes argue? Because they couldn't see eye to eye.

And lastly:
When do you know a snail is lying? When he tells you he's not at home.

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