Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fall is in the air

It's the first of September, and I realize I managed to go all the way through August without a single post! August was a busy month that included a camping trip to Grayson Highlands State Park to escape the heat.  The altitude there is 4500 feet so we had a few days with cool air and high winds, lots of walks up the gorgeous Wilson Creek. It was almost too cold to swim, but we did.

Later in the month I traveled to NYC to attend the American Community Gardening Association annual meeting and was blown away by all the amazing things people in NYC are doing to bring gardens and fresh food to folks in the inner city that haven't previously had much access to real foods.  They're setting up farmers markets, teaching teens and adults in the community to grow food and sell it, providing CSA shares at low-cost and on a pay by the week basis to low-income seniors.  I could do a whole post on that trip and should.

Back here at home we have finally gotten a break in the weather- I can feel fall in the air as the temps and humidity have dropped to a much more comfortable level, we've even been opening the windows at night and letting in the cool air and soothing night sounds of crickets, frogs and owls.

In the veg garden it is definitely pepper time. The red bells pictured above are the most spectacular.  The Pasilla plants are taller than me and loaded with long, slender, deep green chiles, ready for roasting. 
 These ragged looking cucumber plants are still putting on a couple of cukes a day!  I planted about 12 plants of three varieties, (Tasty Jade, Diva and Suyo Long) back in April and they are still producing.  How many cucumbers can you eat?

Today I worked on getting the fall garden going.  I planted seeds for carrots, beets, radishes, spinach and lettuce.  Also set out broccoli and cauliflower plants.  Still have cabbage and collards to get into the ground but need to prepare the beds first.

The summer garden is still going pretty strong, I've pulled out the first plantings of beans but the second planting is looking very good and is about to start producing.  I've been harvesting purple hull peas off the first planting already as well.  Below is the third patch of beans with purple hull peas on the right half and Italian flat beans on the left.  There are also a couple of butternuts that have volunteered and are creeping along the edge of the path. At the back is one of my fall plantings of carrots and beets and beyond that the last of the cantaloupes which are pretty well played out.  The tomatoes are finishing up as well.  Given the intense heat and lack of rain in July, things look remarkably good
I am thrilled at the break in the weather, the prospect of autumn and the transition to fall crops. I've missed the greens.  Going to try and get more consistent about posting.....

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