August garden update

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Garden on the first of August.

The arrival of August meant I took a week off, went camping and did a lot of nothing. The garden is currently at its peak producing more tomatoes than we can eat – the easy solution is to give some away and freeze some. I’m currently pondering making ketchup (I’ve made it in the past, homemade ketchup is fantastic).  I also have an abundance of basil, so I’m trying my hand at fermenting some to save it for winter tastiness. And soon I’ll be buried in hot peppers.

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The original plan was to build a greenhouse over my beds of peppers, melons and eggplants. We’ve just started greenhouse construction, but the hot weather has meant I’ll still get a fantastic eggplant harvest.

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Soon there will be melons to eat!

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These little lanterns are cape gooseberries that aren’t ready yet. We’ve done well with our berry production this summer – even considering the raccoons keep eating the ripe strawberries. We’ve had berries to eat since May, currently we are on to blackberries and ground cherries. Soon, cape gooseberries.

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This is a flower from my tepary beans – pods have formed, so we may get a few (these beans like Arizona style heat, so they were the least likely to do well in my yard). I’m having mixed results with my bean growing experiments, when I harvest I’ll post my results. Unfortunately, the beans I’m growing in my front yard have been heavily munched on by deer – so I’m not optimistic what’s left will produce much. On a positive note, many of my other beans are doing great.

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Above ground the oca appears to be thriving – they won’t start forming tubers until the days get shorter. It will be a while yet until I can dig and see how they’ve performed.

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Magenta spreen, a heat loving green, is doing well for me and is awfully pretty. I’m also growing New Zealand spinach as a summer green, it’s growing well but I don’t like it. I’ve been harvesting armloads to feed to the chickens. My final heat loving green is Malabar spinach, which has been really slow to get growing.

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Winter greens have been planted. I’ve shaded them mostly to prevent the seedlings from drying out too much. There is kale, collards, mustard greens, chard and chicories in here. I also have a bed of leeks, carrots and beets happily growing.

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Finally, here is a shot of my garden helper hard at work.

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