17 June, Weekly Update

First off, the weekly harvests:

Garlic curing on the rack

Onions curing on the rack

As you can see, the garlic and the onions are curing on their racks.

One day’s Pickin’s!

Jalapeno peppers, a few tomatillos, lots of nice cucumbers, carrots, summer squash, new potatoes, the last dribs of broccoli and cauliflower, and old dutch half-runner green beans.

And another day!

Cucumbers & Squash

And yet more

Even more…

!

The haricot verts have come in with a vengeance, and I’ve already canned 7 pints. I’ll be canning another round today.  We also made a quart and a pint of refrigerator pickles.

Canned haricot verts

Fresh refrigerator pickles

We planted out the last melons and winter squash seedlings.

Front boxes of melons & squash

That’s the happy fun part. Now for the other part.

ANIMAL ATTACK!

I’m always telling people who come and view the garden, “Nah, deer don’t really bother us much” and then I start listing the reasons why. And while this is true most of the time, sometimes we get marauders coming through.  This week we walked out to see that deer had eaten all the lower leaves off the old dutch half runner beans. They also ate the tops of 5 of the pepper plants (I’ve *never* heard of deer eating pepper plants). Nearly all the green paste tomatoes in one of the lower boxes are gone. I’m not used to deer eating green tomatoes either, so I’m gonna put that off on the thieving squirrels. We sprayed organic deer repellant around the garden. We certainly find it repelling, hopefully the deer do as well. And I’ll do another round of dispersing the inners of a vacuum cleaner bag (dirt, lint, dog hair, our hair…) around the perimeter of the yard.

Nibble me…

Nibble me not, please….

PEST ATTACK!

SVBs have already gotten into the squash. This may be inevitable, but it’s early, and we haven’t even gotten tired of squash yet. The first plant just died and all the others have evidence that they’re hosting those darn parasites as well. This is so disappointing as the plants look so healthy this year. We’ve been keeping on top of stink bugs and keeping the dying leaves pruned. So yesterday one of us took out the box cutter and went out to slice open the stems and kill the resident caterpillars. All of our 6 remaining plants show evidence, but we only found the caterpillar in 4 of them. One of those was host to two caterpillars. One of another plant’s stem is so deteriorated that I doubt that it will survive much longer. We heaped up soil on the stems and watered thoroughly, and hopefully these efforts will make a difference.

Squash

MOLD ATTACK!

Or something. The tomatoes started getting a lot of some sort of canker or spot on their lower leaves. We removed these leaves and sprayed the plants with copper fungicide. We also sprayed BT as there were about 10 tomatoes that had worm holes. We removed the damaged tomatoes and threw them off into the woods.

BUG ATTACK!

The Japanese Beetles have arrived, and are a problem, of course. They really got into our half-runner beans (they seem to be a popular target for multiple attacks). We put up a beetle bag which has worked well for us in the past, but in the meantime we’ve broken up literal orgies of japanese beetles by brushing them into a bucket of water and then — warning: not for the squeamish — crushing them with pliers. It was the only thing we could think of that could a) keep them from flying off, and b) could kill them easily. Cringing is just part of the experience.

VERMIN ATTACK!

We noticed some of the carrot tops in our latest carrot box were looking like they were dying, and sure enough, inspection revealed that some carrots had been stolen by voles. We harvested most of the box immediately, and laid down warfarin as though making a minefield. If we notice any more damage we’ll just pull the rest of them and repeat the minefield process.  The carrots are small but oh so good.

In the jungle

Herbs, lemongrass, and horseradish

So there you go, a week in the life of a garden.  Some weeks are pastoral, others remind you more of a series of biblical plagues. We still eat like kings even in the midst of it all.  Last night we had quail (courtesy of my father, as usual), with squash and figs and onions and garlic and new potatoes with quail gravy.  Yum!  Today I’m making one of my rice squash casseroles, and the new haricot verts are squeaky green and amazingly tender.  We’ll leave you with a few of this week’s flowers.

Flower 1

Yellow Lily

Yellow Lily 2

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6 Responses to “17 June, Weekly Update”

  1. kitsapfg Says:

    That really did feel like a plague of biblical proportions with all the critters and creepy things eating your garden! The pliers and japanese beetles gave me the creeps reading about it. Ewwww!

    Your harvest of beans and summer squash is very impressive. Our summer squash is just starting to produce and hopefully the SVB will stay away from us for yet another year. Been lucky in that regard so far at this property.

  2. crafty_cristy Says:

    I am happy you are getting so many green beans. We have had a good year with green beans, but nothing like yours. 🙂

    We have gotten enough to eat green beans fresh a couple times a week. I wanted to can green beans. Maybe next year I will plant more. It’s such a learning process.

    Sorry about all the attacks on your garden.

  3. dorothy Says:

    ugh. Deer! So glad that is NOT a problem in my yard. You garden looks nice in spite of the various pests you’ve had.

  4. Rick Says:

    Deer are just big rats! We are lucky to have a good solid fence that keeps the deer out of our backyard where the garden is. But we lose flowers all the time to those pesky critters!

  5. maryhysong Says:

    I don’t normally have deer either but somethings in the summer when everything is really dried up they come and hang out. I’ve had them nibble at the apple trees by the drive way but they didn’t do too much damage…. worst are the rats, squirrels and bird…

  6. Mary Says:

    What a great garden! It’s absolutely beautiful! Your garlic looks amazing — mine was a total failure, but maybe I’ll try again next year.

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