Throughout my children’s lives we’ve somehow managed to eat dinner together almost every single night, sometimes it was on the early side and many times it was on the later side, but it was a priority for our family. Often we would share highs and lows of the day- it could be something trivial or important but it was a way to connect and get the kids talking. This season in the garden has seen some highs and some lows and it’s certainly kept us on our toes!

A high has been how easily the garden has come together, as established plants get bigger and stronger, they require less attention and therefore the attention can go to sowing seeds, direct sowing and planning. Every year I feel like I get a little better with combinations of plants, flowers and colors. I still need to work on taking better notes though!

Without a late frost, as we had last year, all of our fruit trees are producing abundantly! We’ve been almost overwhelmed with all of the fruit and I’ve been canning, freezing and cooking like a mad woman!

In the category of being both a low and a high… Bryce installed an irrigation system in the garden! It’s going to be such a game changer for us and I’m thrilled that it is in. The low is that it was spurred by an early summer drought followed by massive amounts of rain. Last summer, we had a drought during the summer and watering started feeling like a full time job, so this is a huge relief. As we directly stare at climate change, and all the devastation it is poised to bring to our earth, I can’t help but feel like this small step is great but the bigger picture is scary and uncertain and I’m prone to ruminating on it perhaps too much. (Picture below is one of the ways we’ve watered before the system was installed; cute but not easy!)

An almost intangible high is the beauty that we are surrounded by. Bryce and I can both struggle with seeing it for all the work that needs to be done, but on a daily basis I am reminded what a beautiful life we are leading here. It’s in the produce, the animals, the flowers, the land, and the people we are sharing it with. We just have to remember to look! I feel a deep gratitude for it.

Unfortunately, one of my favorite crops, garlic, was hit with a disease that ruined most of the bulbs. A blue mold was most likely on the garlic seed that I purchased and ruined the garlic. Fortunately, it doesn’t stay in the soil so our garlic should be ok in the future. However, I’d like to find local garlic seed and will be much more careful where I purchase in the future. We did manage to get some bulbs pulled and cured that were purchased from a different supplier.

Perhaps our biggest low was in our dahlia field. For the past 7 or so years, we’ve lifted, divided and over wintered our favorite dahlia tubers. Those tubers are then planted in the field. They were coming along just fine and then we got steady storms, followed by a massive storm that dumped 5 inches of rain in just a few hours. Our clay soil was overwhelmed and the dahlias rotted. It’s pretty devastating but I am keeping it in perspective because that storm took the life of a family less than 5 miles from us so the dahlias are hardly consequential in that regard. I will use this circumstance as an opportunity to figure out a better way to handle our soil as we are planting peonies, which are also susceptible to rot.

On the bright side, I had planted 6 dahlias in the garden and they are still alive and have just started producing!

As the tomatoes, beans, squash and other vegetables and flowers start to come in, we will be thankful for the highs, and tolerate the lows. We will try to avoid the heat and humidity, pray the ticks die off and enjoy all that the season has to offer. What are your highs and lows this season?