Happy Surprises!

A trip through the garden these days brings a smile to my face!

I love finding hidden treasures among the leaves! Like these cantaloupe…

melons

We’ve averaged about 2 melons a day for the last week and bumped up to 6 for a couple of days! We brought 10 of them to our family gathering over the weekend to share.  They have been so delicious!

We feel pretty rich having all-you-can fresh melon every day! Andsince new melons are still putting on – it looks like we may have melons till the first frost!

That watermelon is a treat! There were exactly 3 watermelons on the one remaining vine and we’ve been watching them carefully.

We ate one this week, and we have this one chilling in the fridge as I write. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

punpkin

As I was searching for ripe melons I was pleasantly surprised to find this beauty hidden in the leaves. I didn’t even think any pumpkin germinated – but there it was!

It’s leaves were so similar to the ornamental gourds that came up as volunteers that I didn’t  see them before.

A quick search showed at least 2 pumpkins on the vine. At least we’ll have a couple of pumpkin pies from the garden at Thanksgiving!

The second planting of sweet corn has been wonderful – so much better than the first planting was! We’ve had fresh corn every other night for the last week or so.  Yum!

And the best news of all – the tomatoes are finally starting to ripen! Slowly but surely we are getting some real beauties!

We have more than we can eat fresh – but still not enough to can – so I’ve been washing them and freezing them. When I have enough, I can thaw them and make my spaghetti sauce.

It’s not ideal – but as far as tomatoes go – we are well past perfect and into “just make it work”!

That pretty much sums up the entire garden season this year – far from perfect and into “just make it work”!

But right now I’m very thankful that I didn’t give up when things were so wet and cold this spring. I’m glad we persisted and kept replanting.

Now there’s another great life lesson learned in the garden!

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9

I’ve linked this post up at The Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage.

Somewhere Between…

We’re in a between place –  it’s not quite summer and it’s not quite fall.

The days are warm and sunny, but the nights are cool and crisp.

School has started, but we’re still wearing shorts and t-shirts.

Melon

My garden is still producing summer crops – like these cantaloupes – all eight of them harvested on one day!

But my fall crop of  apples in the orchard are already starting to ripen.

We picked 5 tubs of apples from a neighbor’s tree this week and canned almost 50 quarts of applesauce – and still have 3 tubs to work up.

Apples

The pears aren’t far behind them.

The cicadas are singing and the world is starting – very slowly – to turn brown.

One season is closing and another is just beginning.

A part of me is ready for the schedule and structure of the fall – yet another part of me already misses the freedom of the summer.

While my mouth still waters for another taste of meat on the grill, I find myself lingering over recipes for warm comforting casseroles and rich thick stews.

We’re hanging in the “between” right now, enjoying the sunshine and beautiful breezes.

For just a little while we can forget the heat and humidity of the past months and the cold and snow that are surely in our future.

Yes, we are most definitely somewhere between and I think it’s a pretty sweet place to be!

My Almost Harvest

I can’t believe it’s mid-August and I’m writing a blog post about my “almost” harvest. The really wet spring set us back  a lot.

Beans

My twelve green bean plants (the only ones that came up out of 3 rows – after replanting 3 times) finally have blossoms and are almost ready to produce some beans. (I’m salivating as I write this – I love fresh green beans!)

Melons

The first of the cantaloupes are so close to being ripe! But still – it’s an almost harvest. We do have watermelon that will be picked this week – there are only 2 on the entire plant – but I’m thankful for them both!

(Note the piece of cardboard sticking out under the mulch? That really did the trick to keep the grass down!  We need a another layer of grass on the whole thing – but overall – I am so pleased with how it worked!)

Corn

The sweet corn is coming – even though the stalks looked stunted and pitiful. It sure is hard to wait for that fresh corn on the cob – but we’re almost there.

I am really proud of the fact that that I still have recognizable corn and bean rows! The kids have done a fairly good job keeping up with the grass and weeds. By this time most years, we have to walk through some pretty tall weeds to find the sweet corn. (Not that it’s weed free – but at least the corn is taller and you can see the dirt between the rows! 🙂 )

Pepper

Finally! Something I can harvest! The hot peppers are loving this tropical weather and have really started putting on. The little ones make the best poppers in the world – pretty mild with just a little kick. The longer ones pack a little heat. Yum!

I wish I remembered what their names are – but since I replaced so many with whatever hot peppers I could find – I have no idea what’s out there right now. I’m just glad to have something to pick!

We also saw one Roma tomato that is almost ripe and 2 sweet peppers that are gaining in size.

It’s coming!  If I can just be patient a little longer, there will be fresh produce gracing my table and filling the jars on my shelf!

Please let it be soon!

For more garden inspiration, head on over to The Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage.