July in the Garden

I started to share a garden update a month or so ago, but it didn’t seem like much had happened. Since then, summer has really kicked in with plenty of hot weather and enough rain to encourage the plants and bring out ALL the mosquitoes. Back when we were building the beds, hauling compost, seaweed, and straw, I imagined that once we sowed the seeds and tucked the seedlings into the ground nature would take over and eventually we would be at the state of vibrant growth that the end of July brings. The tomato plants have shot up and are straining from the weight of abundant clusters of tomatoes. Most of the fruit is still green but in the next few weeks we will be nearly buried by piles of ripe tomatoes. I know I shouldn’t count on them before they ripen but I plan to eat as many as I possibly can, to enjoy what we can’t get any other time of year.

We’ve already had some giant zucchini, which is inevitable when you leave your garden for a week in July. Cucumbers are just starting and the bean plants that were not eaten by insects (maybe crickets?) are giving us purple and yellow beans. Herbs and flowers are prolific and our flowering herb, dill, is taller than I am. I replaced the finished snap peas with broccoli and kohlrabi seedlings, which I hope will be ready to eat in the fall. We’re entering the few months of the year when fresh local produce is abundant and this year we’ll find plenty of it in our garden. The best time of year for eating is so short and a bit frenzied with the wish to eat, pick, and preserve as much as possible.

I love being around our garden every day and I am grateful that we’ve only had a few garden pests this year. I’m doing my best to let the kids pick and eat whatever they want whenever they want. I would prefer a little more order in our harvesting, but I also want the garden to be a place for all of us to enjoy and if they are excited about picking carrots, cherry tomatoes, herbs or summer squash I am happy to let them.

I’ve had so many moments this summer worrying that this season is too short! and it’s almost over! At the same time, I’m trying to stay calm, breathe, and just enjoy things as they are. Summer always feels so short with so many things I want to do, but mostly I just want to hang out and enjoy the days. and Amos will be starting kindergarten in a month which will be a big change for our family and makes it hard not to want cling to these days and moments before school begins. Instead of feeling the need to hoard them and worry about how quickly the are slipping away, I’m trying to remember to be here as much as I can. There are tomatoes to eat, flowers to pick and zucchini for every meal!

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