Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6, 2012

Our first ripe fig.
The hazy August time of summer settles in for the year.  Days of warm, dry idleness seem relaxing, compared to the busy pace of July.  But this time of year just drags.  Wafts of breeze, that we barely feel, skirt thin clouds through the span of sky at a turtle's pace; the air is torrid and wilting.  The sun swelters on until even nature's greenery, finished with its lush July growth, hangs spun out of energy, dull and plastic.  Some Augusts we don't garden at all.  Weeds and grasses have crept in; plants - many which we started from seed nearly half a year ago - are showing signs of advanced age.  Even the emerald green foliage of our fruit trees seems listless.  This is last chance to take a vacation before school days set in.
Fig, cut open to reveal its sweet center.

We picked 150 ears of sweet corn - these we blanched and froze whole - and left a few on the stalks to keep maturing.  The other steady producers continue to be tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, melons, and carrots.  Cucumbers may yet surprise us with something, but broccoli plants are ready to be pulled.  As soon as our melons ripen, we plan to pull up our soaker hoses and mow the entire patch to the ground.

A rewarding surprise this week was our first fig.  It was very sweet, soft, and fruity-flavored.  We've never had anything like it before and hope it continues to surprise us at a time of year when we are looking to enjoy something exotic.

New England Pie pumpkin curing.
We received 4.5 inches of rain last week; pumpkins continue to swell, though many New England Pie variety are already orange.  Hot weather turns pumpkins orange before they are truly ripe sometimes, and we solve this by covering the large ones with old rags and t-shirts to keep them shaded.  If we leave them on the vine too long bugs tend to bore in, but if we cut them too early they don't cure well.  Deciding that just-right time to cut can be tricky.  Generally, if a thumbnail can't pierce a pumpkin's skin by the stem, it's ready to cut.
The garden in August.
Our pumpkin patch is showing signs of crisping leaves; corn in the background.

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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 (