My garden: 7.11.19

I’ve posted little about my garden this year. With this spring’s heavy, constant rains, I planted late and things grew slowly. I was frustrated, and even more so because last year was as good a growing season as ever.

Yet, I kept telling myself that my trouble was but a blip compared with our farmers, so don’t be a whiner, Eilers. Indeed, as Julie and I drove north to Michigan last week, we saw field after field with no crops—a heartbreaking sight—or corn and beans that are a month behind.

Finally, the rains stopped in Indianapolis. (Completely stopped. I’ve had to water the garden twice this week.) The air warmed. The garden has grown. We are harvesting crops. And I’m grateful.

Last year, on July 12 I picked the first eleven ears of corn. This year, the cobs are right now in the early stages of forming. During all of my years gardening in Michigan, I never had corn bear cobs in mid-July, a fact I need to continue to remember!

The fence (front right, above) covers Swis chard. For the first time in our four years in this house, deer have eaten in our garden. Even with this fence, they got into the side and killed off those plants. What else might they pester? I’m on edge, every day I check the garden.

The tomatoes (front) are doing well, with many fruits on every plant. Green peppers are behind them, and also bearing. Next comes broccoli, which are beginning to form heads. Then row are the green beans, now blossoming. At the back (far left, below) is my second planting of potatoes, now in blossom.

If the photo, above, captured the final edge of the garden, you would see three hills of watermelons, which have gotten off to a terribly slow start. Last year at this time, the first fruits were baseball-sized. This year, the plants are just beginning to send out vines.

This week, I dug the first potatoes and have picked three zucchini. I fried these potatoes with onions and these zucchini. The other zucchini was sauteed on its own. A second digging of potatoes became a cheesy casserole.

For the rest of the summer, I will be planning my meals around what is ready to harvest. What a wonderful task that is, to wander the garden, find the latest ripe and ready gems, and turn them into supper!

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