Happy September friends! Long time no share, but I had to carve out some time for a quick garden update. Life's still been busy on the work front, though that's something I really can't complain about. Busy is a good thing in my industry. Luckily I finally have a chance to take some time off here soon and totally unplug. Even when you enjoy your work, some breaks are necessary to keep you balanced.
Another way to stay balanced is getting outside in nature, namely the garden! This last month has seen a bit of a lull in our little backyard plot, but we've got enough going to be able to share with you all. The crazy Zucchino Rampicante is finally done, after it featuring in most of my posts since we plucked the first one off the plant. 🤣
The tomatoes are finished for the year, as well, but our late-start eggplants are looking fantastic! The beautiful lavender blossom featuring on my cover image.
The four plants in the raised beds have done very well, offering up a few mature fruits every 3-4 days. I'm happy with this variety, Satsuma Long, and it's one we will definitely grow again.
We've had to keep an eye out for the hornworms on these, as they seem to like them just as much as the tomatoes. Luckily they are a little bit easier to spot on the eggplants, so we've been able to just pluck them off before they do too much damage. One morning we came out to find 3 munching away on a single plant, though! We've also had some of the squirrels or chipmunks munching away on the actual fruit, too, so I've taken to plucking these as soon as they are big enough to ensure we get a share of the bounty. The good thing is I think the plants are big enough now that the furry critters aren't hitting the raised beds quite so often.
Our volunteer butternut squash plant gave off the first harvest of the season this past week. It's nice to have a little variety in our squash harvest. We're still trying to get some Candy Roasters going again for another option. The ones we planted earlier in the year died off, but we should have plenty of time before the cold weather really hits here (fingers crossed).
We also got some spuds! A drop in the bucket compared to the harvests of @edprivat and @thebigsweed, but I'm happy to get at least one meal out of the few cuttings we tossed in one of the small beds. I do love potatoes in all forms, so we really need to get better at planting more next year!
With next year in mind, we're saving the Christmas Lima Beans we planted to try growing more next year. These were from one of my Rancho Gordo heirloom bean orders. I had saved a few from the pot to see if they'd grow here. They did well enough to save, though one plant was of course nowhere near enough to sustain my voracious appetite for these plant-based nuggets of protein. We'll see how many we can get growing for next year.
I'm still waiting on the figs to ripen! There are plenty on the plant, but seemed to stall in maturing to the point of being able to actually try any. I was reading a few articles about why that may be, and I think we may not have been watering them enough in our hot summer weather. We did have a good bit of rain in August, however I don't think we were really remembering to water in between showers. I've started watering them daily now to see if that helps. The tree is only in its second year, so I imagine it may just still need time to mature, as well.
We're also waiting for the turmeric harvest of the year. This is maybe the third or fourth year we've been growing our own. @dksart just leaves some of the smaller of the rhizomes when we harvest them in the fall to hold back for the next season. Looks like we should get a good haul this year if the leaves popping up out of the bed are any indication. They were hidden by the Zucchinos up until I hacked away at the last of the vines to give these babies some air. We still have a few months before these are ready, but until then I've got a small bag of last year's harvest left in the freezer to use in my cooking!
I'll send this one off with a picture of the little buddy @dksart found in the garden a few weeks ago. He seems to be quite the turtle whisperer as he also rescued one on the middle of the road yesterday when we were going up to a lake day with friends. This guy was a little worse for wear, but he went away with a snack of green tomatoes and a cucumber to fuel his next travels.
Thanks as always to @riverflows for keeping the Garden Journal party going! Always worth making some time to jump in. I know I've got plenty more gardens to go explore now with all the people who join in...