August is rapidly approaching and the summer harvest bounty is rolling in. Alas, my gardening efforts this year have been pretty minimal. I planted a pot with three Riesenstraube cherry tomato plants and two bigger pots with some sort of hybrid variety that Mike gave me that are supposed to taste like grapes. I’m still a bit befuddled as to why anyone would develop tomatoes that taste like grapes but I am also intrigued. The Riesenstraubes started to form fruit last week but then they went unwatered for three days… I believe they’ll recover but it’s going to be a late harvest.
Luckily for me, my mom is leaving town right as her garden goes into overload so I should have tomatoes, cucumbers, and green beans coming out my ears. I’ll probably stock up at the farmers’ market as well and see if I can “put away” some tomato sauce, green beans, fresh corn, and whatever else looks good. (BLUEBERRIES!) Last year I canned some pickles and some applesauce but this year I think I’ll focus on freezing because I’m lazy.
My mom had a garden for a long time while I was growing up as well as several fruit trees. We even had some grape vines although mostly it was just an area of the yard where you were likely to get attacked by bees. As we grew older, the garden became less important. I think it was a combination of being busier and having more disposable income. Well, that and the fact that the white pines along our property line grew into towering giants, shading the garden pretty thoroughly.
So a couple years ago, when I had moved back home (for the fourth time? Thank Heavens for welcoming parents!) I convinced my parents to build a garden in the sunny part of the yard. The major feat was getting Dad to help construct an eight-foot deer fence. Sadly, even that is no match for our friendly neighborhood deer. But we manage to get a reasonable crop most of the time although my parents still sometimes mutter about getting a dog who will keep the deer at bay. (The cats are no use at all.)
Last year I helped plant some berry bushes and fruit trees but this year I haven’t done much at all. Well, I did plant one crop. Remember those potatoes I was going to grow in a trash can? Well, I kept procrastinating until the little seed potatoes had sprouted all over the place so I finally asked Mom if there was a spare corner of the garden and I plopped them in. They will be a late crop but hey, it’s better than no crop at all! And I should be able to mooch quite a bit of other produce from local gardening friends and neighbors. Now I just need to find a good pizza sauce recipe to go with Will’s fancy dough…