Growing a big garden is lots of work, and I’m ashamed to say that I’m always tempted to throw in the trowel mid-summer. It’s hot, it’s no fun weeding, and I’ve got a million other things I’d rather be doing. But each year I get a little smarter about controlling weeds and insects naturally without resorting to herbicides or pesticides. So, I generally persevere, and then BIG harvest time hits.
And that’s about where we are again this year, it’s been very hot and weeding is no fun. I’m using the mats that used to be in the goats stalls on the pathways between the garden rows to control most of those weeds, and I use the clippings from the lawn around the garden plants to control those weeds. So, although I still have to force myself to go and work on the garden, it’s been easier this year – and the fruits and vegetables are definitely ripening!
There’s squash, potatoes, onions, sweet corn, peppers, tomatoes, etc. coming out of the garden so fast it’s a challenge to cook and preserve quick enough to keep up – and I love it. Each year I get a little better at cooking and preserving recipes that we really enjoy, and that we’ll look forward to eating through the long winter and into next spring.
There’s something so satisfying about eating a breakfast of freshly-dug new potatoes and backyard eggs, lunching on BLT’s, finishing with a dinner of fresh picked sweet corn and salad; and then whipping up an enormous batch of chipotle corn chowder (see Chipotle Corn Chowder) for the freezer. It makes me feel like we’re really accomplishing the goal of “self-reliance – real foods – sustainable living”. Next year around mid-summer, remind me to read this blog please!