Summer Spoils

My Grandmother Darling's planter on my back porch.

My Grandmother Darling’s planter on my back porch.

Our garden is looking quite lovely at the moment (I should take some pictures!)…I still have high hopes for everything I planted, but I am slowly beginning to realize that gardens, especially home gardens that use zero chemicals and rely on chicken poop compost (overwintered) for fertilizer, are truly a crapshoot–and I say that with love! I always felt that everyone else around me was experiencing the glorious bounty of everything they planted and felt so inadequate summer after summer when something (everything!) of mine just didn’t work out quite as I expected. I have happily come to the conclusion that I was being a loon and gardening is different every year–bugs are different, temperatures are different, moisture is different (especially in Iowa!), soil is different….you probably get my drift. I henceforth vow to just be thrilled with what I can eek out of my garden and view the failures challenges as what they are–challenges to solve with gusto (at a later date or never, whichever fits into the schedule around here).

Here is a little garden update at the Bodeker Coop:

*Anna Swartz Hubbard Squash: we planted 2 mounds & although they began the season spectacularly, the vines seem to have quit growing and do not look well…

*Cornfield Pumpkin: See Squash description above….sad sad sad about this, but hoping they are in a temporary coma due to the heat we have now and monsoons we had last month

*Golden Zucchini: CRAZY PROLIFIC, enough said, more on these below

*Minnesota Midget Melon: Look good, bearing fruit, should get some soon

*Pride of Wisconsin Melon: Look even better than the Minnesota Midgets, although the vines/leaves are getting a bit yellow in spots

*Scarlet Nantes Carrot: Merritt planted these and I think they are ready to harvest…he told me yesterday, however, he changed his mind and does not want them and I can have them all…too bad I’m the cook around here and he eats what’s served! Little bugger!

*Tomatoes–Two cherry & a German Pink: The cherry varieties look great and there are dozens and dozens of green fruits all over; German Pink only seems to have about 3 fruits growing and they look pinched and very green.

*Strawberries: pretty much done for the year, they were yummy

*Blueberry: one pathetic plant that I transplanted last year from a bed in the shade; we got one berry this year

*Lupine: Planted four, one died, two look pretty dismal, the fourth is in a planter out in the front field in the hot sun and it looks wonderful. Really have my fingers crossed I can grow Lupine successfully since it seems to be my father’s favorite flower.

*Spearmint: just planted these Saturday night in pots with Coralee for porch decor.

*Cilantro: planted Saturday night as well in the planter with the Lupine just because we were at the nursery and the herbs were basically being given away.

Our summer squash (Golden Zucchini) is literally going nuts and trying to force us to only eat squash for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have been chopping it up raw and throwing it in whatever I can (really good chopped and used as a topper in fajitas along with some raw onion) or slicing it raw and sprinkling with salt as a snack–thanks, Mom! I cooked a couple Deluxe Squash Casseroles which my husband declared were good but would have been better with some polish sausage rounds thrown in and I said I would ruin the casserole next time by doing that for him (I used to be a vegetarian). I blanched and froze about a dozen squash this morning. Photos below. Coralee is at Girl Scout Camp in northeastern Iowa so I was doing all this slicing and boiling and draining while the younger two were insisting they were getting along on the back porch, when, in fact, I believe they were attempting to order a hit on each other. I did manage to finish and have three gigantic bags of sliced, frozen squash in the freezer. Merritt asked to see the bounty and then declared he would be passing on that as well. The boy truly does not seem to understand how meals work around here….

Boiling the slices.

Boiling the slices.

Cold water bath.

Cold water bath.

Porch Spearmint.

Porch Spearmint.

Hope your garden is giving you joy this season!


4 thoughts on “Summer Spoils

  1. Great e-mail. thanks for the update. My zucchini, tomatoes, ground cherries, and cucumbers are doing fine. the yellow squash and raspberries are poor. Earlier the asparagus loved the cool spring. Apples are prolific also. Dad


  2. Wow Ruby, what a garden!! Beats mine but good! I had ONE cuke today, TWO little ground cherries (sure were good!), and enough raspberries to make one batch of freezer jam! Too bad you don’t like jam….all the more for me. Ha! Loved loved loved the pics! Thx! Hugs, Nana Hammond


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