Sunday, July 28, 2013


the food garden recovered well after the storm. it required immediate attention, but we managed to lift just about everything back up off the ground. the bed is certainly a little bit overgrown, i have cut back enough branches from the tomatoes that you can walk up the center of the patch, and see what lies beneath. as i had mentioned in a previous post, we weren't expecting the garden to get so big considering our experience in previous years.

the garden is so thick it's almost like a mini food jungle.. when you walk into the center of it you can feel that it holds it's own temperature that is much cooler than the sweltering summer heat present on the outside. the soil beneath is dry only on the very outer layer, i probed the bed with my finger and i could see that it also holds a fair amount of moisture. i bought a hose almost a month ago because we had almost a week without rain and dragging cans of water out from the basement was becoming tiresome. i used the hose all of twice, and since the garden has been able to hold it's own. we haven't gotten this much rain in years, but it has rained every two or three days which has eliminated the need to water pretty much all summer so far.

when we first put the eggplants into the ground, we were concerned that the crazy weather at the start of the season may have stunted them, as they began to flower when they were only half a foot tall, barely strong enough to stand never mind holding fruit. then we had one of those days where it just would not stop raining, and within a few days the plants had nearly tripled in size. a couple of the asian eggplants have quite a bit of fruits on them, just about ready to be enjoyed.

though the storm did a lot of damage to the garden, the damage was a blessing to the rainbow swiss chard. we didn't think it would make it this year.. at the beginning of the season some sort of slug or insect had a feast on both plants. there was next to nothing left of the leaves. after cutting it back to allow it to re-grow, much of the surrounding vegetation had gotten enormous and shaded out the chard. when the storm hit it blew many of those things aside and allowed the swiss chard to thrive.

there will be so many tomatoes! last year the summer was so intensely hot and dry, no matter how much we watered we still ended up getting blossom rot on the first round of tomatoes. this year they are plump and full, and there are many. these heirloom purple striped make some funky shapes, i love heirlooms! so much character, and flavour too. the over planting this year combined with the process we used to build the beds created a perfect little microclimate for growth in what used to be a sun drenched little patch of meadow. in the next post i'll recap the method used to build the beds, which was far less labour intensive than our methods in previous years, and much more fruitful. not to mention, barely any 'weeds'!

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