Things Are Looking Up
From our very cold, slow-to-start spring and current drought to the loss of pollinators and groundhog raids, it’s been a really rough go of it this year. Though we were beginning to despair of ever having food to eat this summer, a bit of rain this morning and some successes have us feeling more optimistic. Here’s what’s going right this week:
Remember the beet leafminers that nearly defoliated all of our beets and chard? Thanks to a regimen of removing affected leaves and twice-per-week applications of neem oil, both beets (above) and the Swiss chard (below) have bounced back quite nicely, and we’re now able to harvest both at will.
The cold, cloudy winter and spring made it hard to get our tomato seedlings started indoors, and many didn’t make it when transplanted because they were so puny. Then came the drought, and though we have some blossom-end rot due to those conditions, we also have plenty of tomatoes headed our way. They’re a couple weeks behind schedule for ripening, but this week we finally have a few turning red. Below is one of the plants that only just two leaves when we set it out, but has managed quite a comeback:
Finally, most of our green cabbages that were attacked by the groundhog (in spite of all the fencing!) have bounced back and are starting to head up nicely:
The red ones aren’t in such great shape, but we hold out hope that we’ll get a few small heads before winter anyway.
Thanks to the drought, most of the corn isn’t even as high as my eye, but it’s produced some ears nonetheless. We had some for dinner the other night, and although the kernels were small, they were still tasty and sweet. Smithy is somewhat less timid these days and is spending more time in the garden than ever before, so we haven’t (yet) been raided by crows, squirrels, or raccoons, who usually get a good deal of the crop.
So though we’re getting a later and somewhat smaller harvest than in previous years, it looks like we’ll still be enjoying lots of good food in the end!