Steve is master of so many trades and as he works his true devotees follow with excitement...
This summer he is tackling a project we've talked about for years....a lean-to greenhouse. He is building this with all salvaged materials so our current pricetag for this project = $0.
This is on the south side of our green barn, which he salvaged from the burn pile when we moved here. It's a happy place now.
Gourds and winter squash that self-sowed are faring much better than winter squash we intentionally planted so that means there is something I need to figure out.
This year, with the cool temperatures, our winter squash grew very little and with that slow growth, they couldn't hold their own against the squash vine borers. Next year I need to figure out a way to co-exist because we love Squash Vine Borer Moths and winter squash!
The vegetable garden is managing itself in many ways now and is such a beautiful place to spend time.
We posted at the beginning of the summer about cover cropping tomatoes and peppers and we think it's working great. The peppers look fabulous and we are preserving them and utilizing them in numerous ways including tomato glut sauce, salsa, green chile fermentation and drying. It's amazing how quickly this mulch breaks down when you have lots of little decomposers in the soil working their magic.
Peacework Sweet Peppers:
Poblano Peppers and Aster, Fern and Ebony:
Our tomatos look exceptionally terrible this year due to the cool, wet conditions, but we are still harvesting oodles and oodles and have plenty to share with the always fantastic Tomato or actually more common Tobacco Hornworm. Long ago at the first garden I worked at I was taught to kill these beautiful caterpillars that turn into the also beautiful Carolina Sphinx Moth. (Check out one of the plants they pollinate. WOW!) This practice felt so very wrong and made me feel AWFUL. Then I realized I can just share so we plant an extra plant or two and all is good for them and us.
Our onions are all harvested and we are using the tops to mulch our beets so the soil is covered. The beets looked terrible prior to this and now they look so healthy and happy. Protecting the soil is obviously key.
Our King of the Early beans kept getting munched and munched by rabbits early in the season, but they are setting their dry beans, which we will enjoy all winter long. We would love to grow many more types of heirloom, dry beans; the beans are often fabulously colored and have such rich taste.
Another project the phenomenal Steve is tackling is our first, small high tunnel. This is the base and I just planted the open two beds to all our winter crops: carrots, beets, kale, spinach, chard, cilantro and parsley. The full bed is our superstar sweet potato that sprouted and gave us slips, then offered its still super sweet flesh to us to eat. We so hope we get more.
I have to end with Mexican Sunflower or Torch - one of our most favorite annuals - for its beauty and the nectar so loved by Monarchs and the seeds so loved by birds.