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I cannot believe that we are already in the month of August! Summer flies by, but for me – and don’t hate me for saying this – that is exciting because I love fall and winter! The Farm is really starting to show the stress of the dry weather we have been having and the beginning of a changing season. My family from Virginia left this week making the house and yards too quiet, but a lot of work was done in the time they were here!
My peach trees are not ready to produce many peaches yet (peach trees are weaker and only last a little while at their peak), but a local vendor gets in boxes of peaches and we have been freezing and canning them. Along with peaches, the green beans have produced a generous crop. As a family, we enjoyed the fresh bounty and have canned many jars as well.
At this time of year, many items in the garden are ready to be harvested. Tomatoes and peppers are ripening and I cannot wait to can my beloved salsa, hot pepper mustard, pickled hot peppers, and cabbage stuffed peppers! These are some of my favorites to can and enjoy. Honestly, I have become so accustomed to many of these items that I no longer enjoy the store variety.
The pumpkin/squash/gourd patch is giving me a headache this year! The year began with a rough start that included profuse rain, which killed some of the plants early on. Now bugs and disease have set in. Beetles and blight have been a large source of plants weakening and in some cases dying. With the extra-dry summer, the patch is not looking the best. I have started to spray Fung-Onil and Eight on the plants to ward off the bugs and blight, but it may be too late.
Lesson learned: I need to start with fungicides earlier in the year to ward off the diseases early on.
Last year was a prolific year on The Farm for pumpkins so I am bracing myself for a smaller crop!
On the other hand, the fall apples are coming along with leaps and bounds. I may even need to brace the trees to hold up the heavy branches! Soon it will be time to prepare a host of tasty apple dishes and, eventually, a batch of fall applesauce! I love to can apple filling, which is simply wonderful atop pancakes and pork chops!
The Farm is busting at the seams with fruits, vegetables, and flowers. I hope you can receive some inspiration for your own yard and see what you can achieve with the fruits of your labor.