BIG DREAMS – SMALL HARVEST
Self sufficient…. not this year.
Well, it’s almost the end of August and it’s our first season vegetable gardening at our home in the woods. It’s time to access how things are going and to look toward fall. As I write this, I’m sitting in my garden chair looking out over the garden. I had expected to be sitting in this chair looking out over the bounty that we had planted and filling our vegetable basket daily. Things haven’t quite turned out as I planned.
In light of so many people suffering through terrible droughts this year, I feel kinda bad even mentioning our weather this year, but in the spirit of ‘information’ about (or excuses for) crop failures, it has to be mentioned. The pacific northwest has been exceptionally wet and cloudy this ‘summer’. We have barely had to water at all.
Crops….. Well let’s just say that we won’t be any more ‘self sufficient’ this year, unless we develop a taste for nothing but kale chips or dehydrated kale. That doesn’t seem too likely, but In the true spirit of a gardener, I’m already planning for next season.
Fruit trees: this is the first year for the them. We expected little or nothing, and got only a little more than nothing.
The Honeycrisp apple tree has one apple, but that one apple really looks great!
The ‘North Pole’ columnar apple tree has several on it.
The 2 dwarf pears trees have nothing on them.
Three espaliers ( multiple varieties of apples, pears and Asian pears) have nothing on them. Maybe next year..
We had a great strawberry crop. Plenty to eat, not enough to put any up. Delicious!
Raspberries: the ones we bought from Raintree nursery look great, the ones we bought from our local nursery died. There are a few berries on them, they are dellicious. The leaves are looking a bit anemic, so we put down an organic fertilizer.
Blackberries: 4 thornless Apache
Slow but starting to take root. No fruit. Next year…..
Blueberries: 20 plants, 5 varieties. They have produced lightly and are very tasty. The plants are strong, healthy and growing. We are putting coffee grounds and steerco around them. Again, we’re looking forward to next year. Lucky with live two miles from a blueberry farm.
Tomatoes, well, that’s another disappointment, but no surprise. There are 5 plants, about 6 tomatoes and they are all under 2″ diameters and a beautiful shade of orange – green.
The corn looks the same as it did when I put it in in June, some is producing silks at only 1 foot tall. Those aren’t working out as planned either.
Squashes, melons, and cucumbers are all ridiculously small. I don’t expect much from them, but we have about 4 more weeks, maybe we’ll get a few.
Lettuce; some was good, especially the ‘flashy troutback’. Others bolted while very small. We don’t know why.
Beets, radishes, pac choy all bolted while very small.
Peas – small crop but very good. I left some of them too long and they got bitter so I’m saving them to seed next year.
Swiss chard: bunny ate them.
Green beans: 1st planting – deformed and small because a bunny nibbled the tops. 2nd planting – small harvest, 3rd planting – hope to get a few more before fall.
Carrots: very slow and very small. I’m holding out a little hope.
Kale: Growing like crazy in a shady damp spot. Starting to harvest and dehydrate.
Onions: all sorts. Some ok, some rotted because it’s been so wet.
Leeks & garlic: Doing ok, not great.
Herbs: are taking root and doing well.
That’s the update.
So good, some not so good. Lots of hope for next year.
I just planted for fall….. We’ll see…..
Hope your gardens are producing adundently!