If it feels like it's been a really long time since we've posted, trust us, we feel the same. We've both been on the road a lot lately for our (non-farming) day jobs; Greg was in Atlanta last week, with Stacia in Dallas right now. That makes it hard to keep up with even maintaining and caring for our garden, much less finding time to blog about it. So here's a brief (and overdue) update on our fruitful July harvest, after which we should be back to our regular posting schedule.
As we mentioned last time, it seems that we have all the zucchini plant pests you possibly can. But those plants are real troopers, and just keep churning out zucchini after zucchini. We've been pretty diligent in harvesting them before they reach baseball bat-size, but it's still a heck of a lot of zucchini. This shows just the amount we happened to have on hand this evening, not counting the many we've already eaten or the three that are almost ready to pick. Considering the duress they're under, these are some pretty incredible plants!
Not surprsingly, zucchini lead the way in the harvest totals. Overall, in July we harvested:
0.4 ounces of snow peas
0.7 ounces of Poblano peppers
1.1 ounces of Roma tomatoes
9.8 ounces of Anaheim peppers
12.2 ounces of strawberries
12.3 ounces of kale
12.7 ounces of cherry tomatoes (52 tomatoes)
13.9 ounces of green beans
1 pound 13.1 ounces of garlic
And... 11 pounds 12.5 ounces of zucchini (8 zukes)!
Unfortunately, while the zucchini haven't seemed to show any sign of slowing under the attack of the various bugs, the same can't be said for our tomatoes. We've had a lot of the fruits split, most likely due to uneven watering with the intense drought we've been having this year. Well, the cucumber beetles have been using those soft spots as entry points into the tomatoes and just wreaking havoc. They don't all look this bad, but we do have our share of tomatoes that end up looking tunneled through and chewed up like this.
We should probably keep a better eye on watering so they don't split so bad to begin with, but for now it's been necessary to cut out the good bits to keep around the damage. They taste great, but it would be nice if they didn't look so terrible.
And of course, we still have chickens, and have probably been criminally negligent in not posting photos of them. The ladies still haven't laid any eggs, but according to what we read online and in books, we're very very close to that happening. Most likely within another couple of weeks we should have our first egg. Other than that, they're doing well - they may not enjoy the heat we've had but they've been dealing with it very well. And how's this for a fun chicken discovery: they seem to love the taste of Japanese beetles! Thankfully we don't have very many of those around the garden but when we find one, we pluck it off and give our hens a snack. With tastes like that, who wouldn't want backyard chickens?