Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22, 2011

'Aunt Molly's' ground cherries ready for a pie.
Have you noticed the mornings getting darker and sunset coming sooner?  According to the Almanac we are losing about a quarter hour of light per week now on a bee line to the autumnal equinox, after which we will plunge into the darkness of winter.  Late-season fruits are rolling in as we harvest apples, squash, ground cherries, and red raspberries.  Ground cherries are easy for children to gather since they fall from the bush in a brown paper wrapper when ripe.  When peeled, they reveal a bright yellow-orange fruit inside, related to the tomato, but with pineappley-fruity flavor.  They are good to eat fresh or in pies and preserves.

'Heritage' everbearing red raspberry
'Heritage,' an everbearing red raspberry is loaded with fruit.  This is a first-year cane planted in March; it put out a modest crop in June, but nesting birds claimed a lot of it to feed their young.  Now that nesting season is over, we plan to enjoy this harvest all to ourselves.  Each year this raspberry will multiply and should reach 100 canes in its 3rd year if it receives adequate water.

Apple, peach, and cherry trees have all branched nicely this year; we practiced summer pruning to direct new growth in the direction of our design.  This practice either removes or trains water sprouts to make a strong and fruitful tree.  Hoping for good results next year!

Garden locust
Garden clean-up began in earnest.  Broccoli, cucumber, and melon vines were removed, soaker hoses pulled up, and a large section of the garden mowed down with the lawnmower to remove weeds.  This will eventually be tilled under and planted over with red clover.  Green beans, carrots, basil, tomatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers were left to keep producing.  A big garden is fattening up some big insects!  Pumpkins are ripe and curing in the sun for harvest by September.


  1. Hi,
    What is your secret to the high corn yield? Type of corn seeds, when you plant it, etc.

    Thanks for any infor,
    Tim Gardner

  2. I don't think the secret is the seed - we planted 'Gotta Have It' a sh2 variety that we ordered from Gurney's Seed and Nursery catalog ( Because of high sugar content, the seed is difficult to germinate, and seedlings looked small and weak when they emerged.
    We plant according to the Farmer's Almanac, may help but not confirmed!
    It is most likely a combination of close plant spacing and high nitrogen. We plant seed 5 inches apart in rows 2 ft. apart. Thin plants to every 10 inches. Since germination was poor, I dug up and moved extra plants to every 10 inches if there were bare spots so I had a thick block.
    We grew red clover (called "green manure")through the winter and tilled it in when it was knee-deep. This added a lot of nitrogen. I also dumped one 5-gallon bucket of composted horse manure down each 20-ft row before planting. Cultivated well for weeds, side-dressed with 10-10-10 when corn plants were knee-high, and hoed up rows for support against lodging in our strong summer thunderstorms. Water well.


About Me

My photo
Dedicated to the responsible production and preservation of healthy home-grown food to the glory of God. Isaiah 55:10 The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. Organic, or not? We try to raise vegetables organically, using compost and manure. The addition of chickens to our hobby farm means plenty of organic nitrogen to compost! This site gives credible reference to planting information contained in the Farmer's Almanac (