August Mid-Month Meanderings III

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The garden… well, it is a bit of a mess. We were out-of-town for 10 days the end of July, had a brief (but roasting) heat wave, and just had our roof replaced.

Summer creeps slowly in during July and tentatively makes itself known. By August she is all up in your face with her fierce summer-ness and, after a few days of 90°+ days without any air-conditioning, you concede defeat. Invariably this leaves you wondering how you came to be so incredibly wimpy about the weather.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings black-eyed susanBut with the blast of the heat comes the ripening of my first tomatoes. Mine are mostly still green, as they generally are this time of the year. Yes, I could go hardcore and get my early season extension antics of soil warming and cloching. But honestly? It just isn’t worth the fuss for me.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings green tomato

You see… I get my tomatoes for preserving in bulk.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings green tomato (striped roman saucing)

In fact, I am getting my first 80 pounds this coming Saturday.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings green tomatoI will always plant my own though because I also know there is nothing better than popping a warm, fresh-off-the-vine tomato in your mouth.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings orange paruche tomato

I need to be honest with you about gardening this year. It has been a blur. I’m planting. I’m picking. I’m eating. But mostly I am going through the motions, rather than experiencing joy, anticipation, and thoughtfulness. I’m doing the things that I can do without thinking much about it. We somehow manage to eat fruit and/or vegetables from the garden for most meals and I only scarcely remember planting anything. Don’t get me wrong, I love gardening as much as ever. It is just that I am preoccupied. My mind has been held hostage much of the year and being present has been a huge effort.

For whatever reason the bees, at least temporarily, pull me into the now. Thank goodness for the bees. I left a 4′ x 4′ patch of assorted alliums to bloom because the bees loved them. Each bloom would have 3 or 4 bees on it- bees so engrossed and so calm that they would allow me to pet them. It became a favorite afternoon activity for the Babylady (at 4½ can I still call her that?) as well.  My favorite lil’ bee charmer and I standing on the raised bed edges petting the bees, mesmerized. Presence.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings squash blossom with bee and pollenThe other day I noticed a bee down in a squash blossom. It went on to pollinate at least 4 other squash blossoms around the garden.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings squash blossom with bee and pollen

Really. So incredibly, and intensely, amazing.

It isn’t all bees around here though. The pole beans are bearing enough to get picked daily. I’ve kept us in greens for well over a year and we are picking loads of lettuce and chard. And… we have our first artichoke! She is gorgeous!

grow and resist august mid month meanderings artichokeBerries. Not many actually make it in the house… munch, munch.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings marionberry

Peppers. So many peppers. All the labels came off in the greenhouse (the tomato labels also), but we have (hopefully) a mix of  jalapeño, bulgarian carrot, fireball, yum-yum gold, and italian sweet peppers.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings peppers and lavender

Sunflowers. I stick seeds everywhere. It is always a bit of a mystery where they will show up as the squirrels like to eat the seeds as fast as I can plant them.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings sunflower

grow and resist august mid month meanderings sunflower

grow and resist august mid month meanderings sunflower

grow and resist august mid month meanderings sunflower

Finally, the ladies are enjoying their newly renovated run and seem to have adjusted to the new nest box location. I moved it about 10 inches lower within the coop. This seemingly small move caused a rather befuddling level of confusion for the girls. Egg-laying strikes and what-not.

Our two Buff Orpingtons, the Annies, have been acting out. And by acting out I mean they have taken to intermittently mounting many other hens and pecking at their heads. Yep. So there is that bit of awesomeness.

grow and resist august mid month meanderings speckled sussex chicken

They are working it out, I suppose. What is new in your garden or coop?

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