Monday, August 31, 2020

Growing Season
August 30, 2020

^ Here we are at the end of August, when all around the country and indeed the northern hemisphere, our backyard gardens have reached the crescendo of the growing season and our homegrown crops abound.

My personal plot has indeed expanded since the beginning of summer. For point of reference, here's a quick look back to how my eating garden looked at the beginning of July

^ Oh, wait. That's my baby pickle but the actual garden is just a bit further to the left...
July 2, 2020

^ There we go. I started out in early July, as you see here, with two raised garden boxes, one full of baby tomato plants, and the other, fledgling strawberries. 

I know what you're thinking. Isn't July a little bit late to be setting out a summer garden?

Well, my friends, welcome to the Pacific Northwest, in which our June weather does a fine impersonation of November, and any tender plants set out during that month just hit snooze and sleep until the sun finally shows up around the first of July. As a rookie PNWer and native Midwesterner, I used to make the mistake of laying out my new plants in May, only to have them languish during the endless weeks of cool, cloudy weather and often drown in gentle rain before they ever had a chance to grow. 

So now I wait till July.

You'll notice that my garden boxes themselves actually went forth and multiplied. You may recall that my husband made these for me from our old fences, which came down with the rain in June, and he cut enough lumber for four planing beds, so four is what I have. 

The new crops, set out in the shorter pair of planters, are set for a fall harvest, with spinach,  experimental Brussels sprouts, and a handful of easy herbs. They're still just getting settled in.

But my summer crops are bursting forth.

^ The strawberries began producing by early August, and often we enjoy a handful or two during dinner. Alright, truth be told, I eat a good percentage of the ripe berries straight off the plants while I'm watering them. What can I say, it's an old family tradition. Eating fresh fruit is exciting and sometimes it's hard to wait.

But waiting is essential for the elusive Pacific Northwest tomato and I'm delighted to report that today I found my first ripe specimen. Finally, we can break out the bacon and homemade mayo for our annual festival of BLTs, though I'm not sure how far we're going to get with just this one tomato.

Still, I am an optimist, and I figure with just another day or two of sunshine, our crop will increase manyfold. Yay for another happy growing season!

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More stories about my food gardens, farm-to-table dining, and those lovely home-grown tomatoes:

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