Tomatoes aren’t the only fruit slowly ripening in the garden.

The peppers all look very healthy this year, much better than last year. Perhaps because I remembered to include an eggshell in each planting hole (they need calcium). The stink bugs are better this year so far, too. But I haven’t gotten a ripe pepper yet. Of the three varieties I planted – jalapeño, chervena chuska, and cascabel – the cascabels seem the happiest. It’s kind of funny because I planted them on a whim from some seed I saved from a gift pepper. I hope they’re delicious.

Our first baby watermelon already rivals a grapefruit in size. I’m so excited! There’s nothing better than a sweet, juicy watermelon on a hot summer day. It’s a joy that I never knew until I moved to a region with hot, humid summers. In fact, up til I moved here I didn’t even think I liked watermelon.

Unfortunately these are a seeded variety (Crimson Sweet I think), which makes for difficult eating. I always want to eat seedless watermelons, but the cheapskate in me doesn’t want to have to buy new seed every year. There’s something so satisfying about saving seed from year to year.

My oats are ready for harvest and if the temperatures hadn’t been so hot, they would have been cut already. I had thought I was planting wheat here and was so excited to grind my own flour… but I’m pleased to have oats as well. I will try to cook some with them, but is a very small patch and we don’t eat all that many oats. At the very least they will supplement my organic chicken feed – which has just jumped in price by another 20%! I’m starting to resent it every time I have to refill the chicken feeder.

I think growing more of my own chicken feed, plus actually growing real wheat, will stay on the table as goals for next year. I’m thinking fields of sunflowers and amaranth – oh how beautiful that could be if the soil would just cooperate!

I left about 5 apples on our Gala tree and so far they are ripening beautifully! They are very small, but that’s to be expected on such a young tree. I’m not quite sure when to pick them… I just hope I get them before the deer do.

3 Responses to “Ripening”

  1. Erin Says:

    Larriland Farms says their apples ripen:
    Gala – late August – mid September

  2. diana Says:

    Yes that’s why I was so confused that mine looked ripe so early! I did some reading around and figured out that you have to look at the apple stem to know when it’s ripe; if it’s supple and green, it’s still feeding the apple. If it’s brittle, it’s ready. I hope I manage to get this netting up before the deer eat them! I need 2 more fenceposts that I can’t get til Saturday. :(

  3. Diane Says:

    Two book recommendations for you: The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe and… Small-scale Grain Raising (not sure that’s the exact title but it should get you close) by Gene Lodgson. Crap, now I’m not even sure if that’s how to spell that dude’s name. LOL Lemme see if I can find my copy to check that… Here ya go: Both of those are really great books for people like us. Oh, and Suzanne Ashworth’s Seed to Seed about seed saving if you don’t already have it.

    Disclaimer: I may have a little bit of a book addiction going on. 😉

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