If you don’t hear from me, I’ve probably been caught by the watermelon vines.

Time for a garden update, yes?

The front garden is bursting and I adore it. The older sunflowers are now done (seeds are everywhere! the neighborhood squirrels all love us! the dog is going crazy!) and right after this picture I chopped them down by way of my garden pruner and a shift kick per stalk. Don’t fret – the later plantings are just now blooming, so we’ll have sunflowers a bit longer.

You’ll remember (maybe?) that we have 3 squash plants (1 yellowneck, 2 zucchini) which means that we’re now getting about 6 squash a week, at least. That’s a lot of squash. Do you have a favorite squash recipe? Send it my way, and you’ll be the hero of our kitchen. The squash bugs are also back, but the internet tells me that they are less of a threat at this stage of the growing season, so I’m merely cursing and stomping them instead of another bout of chemical warfare.

Strawberries quit producing in June, but are trying their hardest to take over the entire garden. The watermelon, which honest-to-goodness is now expanding onto the patio, is everywhere the strawberries are not. We have 3 melons on the vine, although I suspect more are hidden somewhere in there.

The remaining cucumber plant has bounced back and gives us about a cuke a week, and we finally (finally!) spotted some baby eggplants. The cantaloupe rebounded as well to the point of not-dying-but-still-looking-awfully-pathetic. There’s only one melon on that entire vine, and if it makes it to maturity, you can color me surprised as every week I anticipate it’s funeral.

Sheesh, hazy picture. Sorry Internet.

My 8 tomato plants are keeping us stocked, and we’re still getting broccoli. We also have 4 green peppers and 2 banana peppers, and we get at least a few a week of each.

WHAT, you may ask, are we doing with all of these goodies? We play a nightly challenge called what-can-we-cook-with-these-ingredients?, and have become very creative with our taco makings (last night we had shrimp/yellow squash/tomato/green pepper tacos). A lot of it is processed and frozen. The remainders are delivered to our kind neighbors. If anything, gardening is the most inexpensive way to foster neighborhood good will, as nothing says “I’ll gladly get your mail while you are on vacation” much like the promise of home-grown tomatoes.


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