|Buckwheat cover crop in full bloom|
|Buckwheat cover crop cut back and worked into the soil|
As we near the end of summer you would think the garden would be slowing down, but not this one. Things are still growing, and we are still harvesting daily. The harvests are a little smaller than they were a month ago, and for the most part, our harvests are for our daily meals, with the exception of tomatoes, which are rolling in by the basketful every few days. We are soaking up the goodness of all this food we grew, and enjoying every tasty bite.
The buckwheat cover crop was beautiful at its peak, and attracted many bees and butterflies before I cut it back. Every day I spend a few minutes working the crop into the soil, getting it ready for spring. This bed will be covered in leaves as soon as enough have fallen from the trees, and then I will cover it with a row cover and plastic for the winter. In late winter/early spring it will be the first bed planted with early greens, beets, carrots, and a few other things.
Our winter tunnels are up, and the winter garden is growing well. This stretch of tunnels is actually two separate tunnels. Justin is planning to hinge them on one side so I can just swing them up to harvest. In one tunnel I have planted bush beans, Swiss chard, and kale. The other tunnel has beets and carrots. There is still a bit of room in the second tunnel, thinking I might toss in a bit more spinach, and kale. I didn't snap a photo of the cold frame, it is growing well with salad greens and spinach.
Did you see those sunflowers? The tallest one has topped out at just over fourteen feet! It makes me happy to walk out there and see the sunflowers. They are beautiful.
The back garden is still producing quite a bit of food...strawberries, beans, Swiss chard, tomatoes, and carrots. One bed is empty at the moment, and is being prepared for garlic, which will go in the ground in about a month. This is the first year I will plant garlic from my own harvest, and that has me pretty excited.
Every morning, just before the sun rises, I head out to let the chickens out. I hang out with them for a bit, and then head over to the raspberry bushes to pick raspberries for breakfast, then I stroll over to the strawberry bed, and if any are ripe, pick a few strawberries. There is often a stop for Swiss chard, and then I head back inside to prepare breakfast. It's a simple walk through the garden, but it is so filling on so many levels, and I enjoy it so much.
I began harvesting the dry beans this week, and will continue to do that over the next few weeks. There is still a lot on the vines to dry, and I look forward to a few winter soups and stews with the beans we grew and harvested from the garden.
Reece was super excited to harvest our first squash yesterday. He has been eyeing it since it started growing, and has been checking in on it almost daily to see if it was ready to harvest. You should have seen his face when I told him he could harvest it yesterday...priceless. He has now put his name on a few others, and keeps asking when he can harvest those ones.
I am more than pleased with our garden this summer. It has produced more than any other season so far, and we are moving into autumn and winter with a pantry that is overflowing and a freezer that is at capacity. It feels good, growing the food that nourishes us, and it feels even better knowing we are getting very close to eating from the backyard year round. It's a good place to be, and makes me happy just thinking about it.
How are things around your garden?