Technically, it’s still spring here but it feels like summer. We have already had excessive heat, with humidity, and prolonged dry spells. We’ve also had a sprinkling of perfect, beautiful evenings that make you feel like all is right in the world! As far as the flowers go, we’ve entered into that lull between spring flowers and summer flowers. Without a grow tunnel, we find ourselves unable to push and hurry along flowers so we wait patiently for them to get big enough to produce for us. However, the garden is producing and I’m quite pleased with it this year. I think I’m getting better at companion planting and designing the layout to be productive and beautiful.
I love our garden, it makes me so happy and I get immense gratification out of growing food and flowers that feed our family (in multiple ways!). Popping out to the garden to pick lettuce for an evening salad or spinach for a morning smoothie is deeply satisfying! Most everything has been seeded out or planted for this season. Of course, I will do succession plantings of a few things and replace a few of the cool season crops as the heat ramps up.
Our rhubarb gave us a bumper crop this year and we’ve made slab pies, salads with pickled rhubarb, strawberry and rhubarb jam and even some cocktails! I plan on planting more rhubarb next year as I seem to use a lot for canning jam.
Speaking of strawberries, our patch this year has given us an abundance. I’ve decided, unreservedly, that strawberries warmed by the sun and eaten on the spot is a gift from heaven.
The snap peas are finally producing, it seemed like it took a long time for them to take off this year. We’ve also had a nice crop of asparagus this year.
When I designed our garden, we hadn’t planned out the rest of our farm so I didn’t know that we would end up planting a small orchard. Also, at the time, we didn’t have a deer fence anywhere except the garden so I incorporated fruit trees at the back of the garden. Now, I actually love having them in the garden as it feels like a true potager but what I didn’t plan for was exactly how big they would get, especially the peach trees (they are all dwarf). We find ourselves weaving in, around and under the branches every time we need to check on the chickens or get to the shed! This year is looking to be a bumper crop for everything and I can barely contain my excitement! The birds better not get to the cherries before we do!
So there’s a little snapshot of what we’ve got growing in the kitchen garden right now. The abundance that we have and that is on its way is exciting and every year it happens so quickly that I wonder if I appreciated it all enough. A couple of evenings ago, I found myself in the garden, at dusk, with the fireflies blinking throughout the flowers and vegetables and I paused to appreciate the magic of it all. I find that too often I get caught up in all that I haven’t done and all that is on the list but I’m grateful for those moments that remind me of what a gift a garden can truly be if we pause for just a moment.