There's been a lot of this:
Inside the boundaries -- a hayfield -- there is a garden. Things are growing. I am scared.
I'm mostly scared of these:
and the other many varieties of tomatoes plants -- planned and unexpected -- that are growing (with a low rumbling sound) in my garden. Besides those that I planted (20), those that I bought (6, because I wasn't sure those 20 were going to make it), those volunteers that I replanted in a better location (10 or 15) and those that grew up in the beans and the basil and the squash and that grew so fast I didn't have the heart to rip them out (and I did rip out literally over 100), I have a lot of tomato plants. I conducted a census this afternoon. The result: 45.
Forty-five tomato plants.
Yup, I'm screwed.
I picked the first two last night, below, along with a good amount of basil. (During the pesto-making process last night I remembered I don't have a blender or mortar and pestle, my food processor died, and the fabulous Magic Bullet wouldn't do the job. I chopped until my arms gave out.)
See, last year I grew many tomatoes and canned many tomatoes and still ran out in January. I didn't want that to happen this year. But I'm in over my head.
Besides tomatoes, I have several varieties of beans, mostly to be dried for shelling. I like my winter soups, after all. I tried a new trellis system for beans this year: just hang strings from a wood frame (the extent of my husband's help in the garden so far). The string beans and shell beans really took to it:
The snap peas, I now realize, are a bit too dainty. They need horizontal support as well. Those diagonal strings below are (barely) holding up snap peas swooning in between trellises.
But they're growing nicely.
I have a tomato-centric garden this year, but not exclusively. I've got a few varieties of peppers (still in flower, this is Vermont, after all). Squashes (butternut, acorn, Thelma Sanders):
October beans (as well as kidney, navy pea, and Good Mother Stallard):
Carrots, which I planted sparsely and thinned ruthlessly for once:
Garlic (I just picked 64 bulbs, which are curing in my so-rarely-used-these-days dye studio):
The snap peas are coming every day.
Here's about a third of our first blueberry harvest. It made a few smoothies, at least.
The raised beds need some updating. The raspberries and strawberries and asparagus are gone by. The shallots are hanging out. The rhubarb and chives are still growing. The weeds are hanging in there as well.
I have some lettuce, but the spinach never came up. Neither did our 70 pounds (!) of potatoes; the spring was just too wet. We had great intentions of replanting, but we honestly could not carve out two hours of time or energy to go for it in the past six weeks. We have been unpleasantly stressed-out busy for several weeks. At least it reminds me of the only thing I don't despise about February: there's down time.
I ran into my friend Shelagh (knitter/spinner/designer extraordinaire) yesterday morning at the market and she admonished me for not updating the blog lately. I assured her I've been running out and snapping pics whenever I get the chance but I feel like I never get the chance. Between my daughter's summer softball games and two not-to-be-missed social engagements, we were booked five straight nights last week. Add a day job to that and there's not a lot of leftover time for weeding, cleaning, blogging or anything else. Certainly not spinning, knitting or dyeing.
But I'm whining. So:
Remember these little chicks, shown here back on June 25?
This was them on July 24:
Sad news to report: As of Monday, we are down to two cows (the third is headed to the freezer) and NO pigs. For the first time in four years, the pig pen is empty. Jerry wasn't having any luck breeding Lucy (or Red before her) and the prospect of keeping two many-hundred-pound pigs as pets wasn't feasible. RIP to two great piggies. We'll have a quiet winter and start up with piglets in the spring.
(The remaining two cows bellowed for a day and a half after Polly's departure. As if we didn't feel bad enough already.)
In other news, a now-12-year-old does some summer reading on the round bales:
For a brief time, we had two turkey poults. One lived a week. The other disappeared last night. What's new.
Mark and Trooper:
Tomorrow afternoon we pick our daughter up at Camp Downer (not nearly as depressing as it sounds!) on the other side of the state. I'm making it a personal day, so hello three-day weekend. I need it.