Oh man, has it been a rough summer for the garden!
Between a rough June for us healthwise, extended 100* temps and water restrictions on the acequia (curtailment) in July, and a late-to-arrive monsoon season here in the high desert, we’re kicking off August at about 1/5th our original potential for production this year in our Kitchen Garden.
- Bush beans (which have been consistent, if not prolific)
- Soy beans
- Tomatoes (about 75% of what was originally planted)
- A few carrots
- A couple of inch tall basil plants
- Tomatillos (50% of what was originally planted)
- A few young squash
- Some very sad peppers
- A few experimental artichokes
- A bunch of seeds I shoved in the ground a few weeks ago that I’m not sure will germinate even with the rains
It’s been truly heartbreaking to see everything die back or get eaten by pests and has brought to my awareness just how grateful I am that we’re not yet dependent on any income from our little Hobby Farm here.
However, with what’s left in the garden, there remains hope!
Hope in the form of small, yellow tomatoes especially!
See, this was supposed to be a banner tomato year for us (in my fantasies, at least).
I started seeds very early, carefully tended, up-potted, and moved around starts, labelled everything, plotted where it would live for the summer in the garden, and oversaw the planting out.
It was going to be divine.
It was going to be bountiful.
It was going to include cases of homemade sauce and salsa for our pantry.
And then they didn’t get staked as early as they should have and then the bugs came followed by drought followed by the hornworms followed by the ducks (who have somehow acquired a taste for tomatoes and nothing else in the garden) followed by the realization that, unbeknownst to us, several of our plants were hit by Curly Leaf Virus in June.
And so, once again, I am humbled by the garden and my Mother Nature.
: : : sigh : : :
There are tomatoes on the vines of the healthiest plants and the rains have perked them all up and the tomatoes are slowly. . .s l o w l y. . .beginning to give us their sweet fruits!
A couple of evenings ago, Ember and I harvested three itty bitty cherry tomatoes while checking the garden.
She carried them tenderly around the property before bringing them inside, sitting down purposefully on the couch, and eating them one by one.
Heaven for this girl of ours who will only eat tomatoes when they are in season.
And then she asked for more and even said “Please, Mama!”
And so I had to explain to her that they’re not all quite ready yet and we have to wait patiently for more to ripen.
And she was so sad about it, but accepted it calmly and moved on.
The next morning, however, as I sleepily made my way out of bed and down to make myself some tea while the rest of the house still slept, I heard Ember quietly say (in her sleep, mind you), “More tomatoes. I want more tomatoes, Mama!”
Ah yes, Baby Girl, I’m dreaming of tomatoes, too.
And so, that morning, another two tiny tomatoes were ready when I did the chores and I was able to surprise her and she was so happy!
The bounty is slowly increasing!
The anticipation is ridiculous and the payoff is divine and I’ll take it, every second of it, because it’s real and because it’s all so very worth it.
And so now we’re up to five cherry tomatoes and two Speckled Romans in a single harvest and life is (and homegrown tomatoes are), truly and deeply, so very good.
Linking up to Harvest Monday