Summer has just begun, and unfortunately, so has the sweltering Georgia heat. Despite the feeling of our faces melting off, Ryan and I have been pushing forward in the garden. The goal is to stock up on as much garden goodness as we can before our bean arrives. Much of it is in preparation for making our own baby food after the major growing season. I sure hope the girl likes pumpkin…
This volunteer crop had me fooled at first. I was convinced it was yellow squash, but before long it came to light that Ryan had been right all along, it was in fact a nice little pumpkin patch going. They started strong before falling to the demise of Mexican bean beetles.
I had gone through and removed damaged leaves and killed all the beetles and eggs I could find. It wasn’t enough. Some plants are still growing and producing while the others seem to have called it quits. Our next step is to harvest and plant this area with a late round of okra and sweet potato slips.
Beside the pumpkins we had planted a mixture of cauliflower, red okra, sweet potatoes, and malabar spinach . Sadly a rabbit paid us a visit and mowed down a good portion of our okra. Our backyard garden bed has been anticlimactic to say the least.
On the other hand, potted figs and berries Ryan started earlier in the year have been producing fruit! It is completely exclamation worthy. We turn into a couple of squealing, giddy gardeners at the sight of these budding beauties. You should have seen Ryan run in to tell me our southern highbush blueberry produced its first berry. Who could blame him? It’s like watching your baby take their first steps. We split the blueberry in half and had a total proud
parent gardener moment.
Thankfully our front yard garden beds have been making the time under the hot sun worthwhile. The tomatillos are on fire. I’m seeing countless jars of salsa verde in our future. With the use of neem oil and a couple applications of beneficial nematodes, the tomatillos have been free of flea beetles this summer. Knock on wood we will continue to remain so lucky.
Kale, tomatoes, and cucumbers have all been making us proud (and hungry for their arrival). It won’t be long before we are in the kitchen canning tomato sauce and pickling cucumbers, but as of now, I’m just trying to stay ahead of the 20 plus kale plants. You can learn how we freeze and store kale here.
Though we are still another year away from our fist harvest, the asparagus is going strong. It’s pretty awesome to see it sprouting thicker and stronger as time passes.
Making things even more exciting, our raspberries are finally fruiting. Now that our blackberries have stopped producing, we are more than ready to welcome these red treats back in the garden.
As summer goes on and temperatures inevitably rise, we will continue to get the most we can from our little urban homestead in Atlanta. I hope that we not only welcome the fall season with a new family member, but also with a replenished stock of preserved garden goods. May our July Instagram feed be filled with images of happily producing plants and the blog full of our harvest stories and recipes.