Mid-Summer Report

Rain, rain and more rain.  That is the story of this summer on Elm Street as we find ourselves in the second half of July and August fast approaching.  But it is better than being in the drought conditions with which we have struggled for the past few summers.  Now the retention ponds are full to the brim and the crawfish are merrily digging holes in the garden beds.  

But many good things are happening in the garden.  The tomatoes are rioting and the sweet potato vines are taking over (as sweet potato vines will do).  All the rain mixed with some occasional sunshine is giving Elm Street Gardens that overgrown look that occurs in mid-summer.  Although crops are planted in tidy, neat rows, they quickly overstep their bounds and shoot stems and runners in all directions. 

The tomatoes are producing mightily (record harvest one day was 180 pounds) and cucumbers keep pouring in.  You can practically watch the long beans grow even longer and the figs, if slow to ripen, are plentiful and promising.  Corn and sunflowers reach astonishing heights.  So we can rejoice in summer’s bounties despite the gray days and the squash plants that keep meeting an untimely death.

Hooray for summer’s vegetables!  Now if the okra would just get going . . .

Suzy

 

You can't capture with a camera how full this 30' x 96' hoophouse is of various tomato varieties.  They were the first planted in this relatively warm environment when it was still cool outside.  Walk between the rows now and you are covered with yellow from all the tomato pollen.   

You can't capture with a camera how full this 30' x 96' hoophouse is of various tomato varieties.  They were the first planted in this relatively warm environment when it was still cool outside.  Walk between the rows now and you are covered with yellow from all the tomato pollen.   

Tomatoes in the outdoor beds were planted in a number of succession plantings after the hoophouse tomatoes.  You can see they are coming on strong too and we are picking from the beds shown here too.

Tomatoes in the outdoor beds were planted in a number of succession plantings after the hoophouse tomatoes.  You can see they are coming on strong too and we are picking from the beds shown here too.

And the corn is as high as - well, you probably know the rest of that line from the musical, Oklahoma.  And it tastes good too. 

And the corn is as high as - well, you probably know the rest of that line from the musical, Oklahoma.  And it tastes good too. 

Sweet potato vines surely spread out but the space they take up is worth it for these tasty and healthy tubers.  We will be enjoying them through Thanksgiving and into the winter.   

Sweet potato vines surely spread out but the space they take up is worth it for these tasty and healthy tubers.  We will be enjoying them through Thanksgiving and into the winter.   

This sunflower has surpassed the height of the old well house as it seems to reach for the sky.   

This sunflower has surpassed the height of the old well house as it seems to reach for the sky.   

Here are those wonderful green skinned Kodata figs we're waiting on for an especially long time this year.  But they will be worth the wait. 

Here are those wonderful green skinned Kodata figs we're waiting on for an especially long time this year.  But they will be worth the wait. 

This long bean is still growing, but will only take another day to be perfect for picking and eating.  These Asian beans love the heat and grow to great lengths, hence another one of the names by which they are known:  Yard long beans.  They cook quickly and taste great.  I enjoy mixing lightly cooked beans with caramelized onions or tossing them with a touch of soy sauce and toasted sesame oil.  

This long bean is still growing, but will only take another day to be perfect for picking and eating.  These Asian beans love the heat and grow to great lengths, hence another one of the names by which they are known:  Yard long beans.  They cook quickly and taste great.  I enjoy mixing lightly cooked beans with caramelized onions or tossing them with a touch of soy sauce and toasted sesame oil.  

15 Elm Street, Sparta, GA