I haven’t shown you guys the garden in awhile – it’s looking great this year because we’ve had more sun and heat than is typical. That’s pushing ripeness and growth rates higher. Result? Super lushness and happy gardener!
I snapped quite a few photos so I’m trying a new thing and turning them into a gallery that should be a bit faster to scan through. If you click on a thumbnail, you should be taken to a slideshow-type format where you can see the larger versions of the photos. Let me know if you have any trouble with it.
All in all, it’s just been a great summer so far. The only things that are maybe slightly irritating is that some crops like chard are bolting on me. Typically, I don’t see chart bolt until an overwintered spring, but if that’s the price I pay for ripe tomatoes, I’ll take it!
In My Garden Now
How’s your garden growing this year?
Hi from Western Australia Carnarvon loved your
website and now peeing to recycle on 8 Queensland
Blue , 6Butternut pumkins and 3 kent pumkins I have
I liked your pictures .
Have a great day 🙂
Your plums and figs are beautiful!
We are having a banner year in the Midwest as well – moderate temps and lots of good rain. One of those years that makes you foolishly want to turn the whole lawn into garden, forgetting the last three years of super heat and ground-cracking drought. So while I am in my current delirium, I’d really like to know more about how you structured the food forest and how you decided what to plant in it. Also, I am curious as to what you do with white currants. I know you can make jam with them, but can you only make jam with them?
Heather- I don’t know if this is where Erica first got the idea for a food forest, but this book she blogged about goes into some good detail about it… I bought the book, and it’s great. 🙂 Hope that’s helpful!
Long View Hill says
Gorgeous! I loved looking through your photos, although it makes me want to get out of this office and back in the garden!
Adam Cortell says
Your garden looks fantastic. I have been off to a slow start this season despite the mild northwest spring. I am hoping to have a great late summer and fall garden. I am going to look into growing white currants. They look intriguing.
Richard Wyman says
I cut my elephant garlic blooms and put them in a vase with some regular garlic scapes for a center piece that has lasted over a month without dropping any bits on the table. We received many compliments on it during a recent dinner event. I can really relate to your reluctance to cut them, but I think you will be pleased with the longevity of them in a vase.
Happy gardening and thanks for all the great posts over the last couple years, I always look forward to them.
Mrs. Frugalwoods says
Gorgeous! I’ll admit to having garden envy as we currently live in the city surrounded by concrete. Your garden is amazing–thank you for sharing these photos!
Wow, it all looks so fantastic! How are your ducks getting on with the chickens?
I always let a leek overwinter and go to seed in my greenhouse, just to see that gorgeous bloom too 🙂
Christina @ My Homespun Home says
This is my first year growing more than a pot of herbs on my porch. I got a 4×8 plot at Chicago’s community organic garden (I could only dream about a garden the size of yours). This is what it looked like when I started through a month ago: http://myhomespunhome.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/putting-down-roots/
I need to do a new post about it, as I just started harvesting snap peas, I see a bunch of little green tomatoes and some peppers, and my purple tomatillo has a bunch of husks in the process of being filled. I love this, it’s so much fun!!
dr. Dave says
I recently moved from Seattle to Ferndale where the sun is more intense – probably due to far less air pollution. I’ll have to build raised garden beds so have to grow my vegetables in containers on the back deck this season. These vegies get moved around until I find their preferred sun-shade patterns. This works so well that I’m already harvesting potted blueberries, watching my Anaheim chilies grow to term, and anticipating my cherry tomatoes.
Plants on wheels can’t be beat – this year.
Rachel Hoff says
You are inspiring me to blog more. I really need to just schedule it all.
What with my three posts in the last two weeks? 😉
Yvonne Herbst says
Erica, how do your prune your currant bushes (all my currant bushes had some weird parasite this year) and also how old is your fig tree and what kind is it? I have a laterula (sp?) fig and it is sooooo slow in growing.
All I have to say is: garden envy!! Of course, you’re a zone and a half warmer than I am. That’s a little like comparing my 37 year old body to a 21 year olds, but we’re all guilty of it. Still, thanks for sharing. The photo’s are inspiring! 🙂
I’m green with envy down here in Portland! Your mini-farm is looking gorgeous! I also would love to know more about your food forest. We’re thinking of doing something similar with a portion of our front yard, and I’d love to hear more about how you put yours together.
Those dang leaf miners! Man! My beet greens are going to ruins because of those babies. The chard has a bit of a problem as well, but not nearly as bad as the beets. Any thoughts on how to deal with those?
I’m off to yank all my German Butterball potatoes. It seems we’ve got a problem with blight this year. My little gardener’s heart is broken! Fingers crossed that the Yukon Golds hang in there long enough to grow those spuds just a bit more.
Keep up the awesomeness!
Thanks for the pics. I’m I S. Central WA – the desert. So irrigation is standard for us. The star at my house this year has been raspberries. We harvested an initial crop large enough to make a batch of freezer jam, about 7 pints. And another two pints a week after that. I’ve continued with about 2/3 cup every day in my breakfast! I’m greedy – and don’t share them.
I have two raised beds that I built that are modified hugelkutur (thank you) one is doing well, the other not so much. Not sure what the difference is since the water is about equal in both. My basil is going nuts. But only one or two tomatoes ripened so far! It was windy and I think the blossoms came late. My greens are pathetic and I can’t figure that out.
I have three fruit trees, one peach, one plum and one nectarine. The peach was supposed to be a nectarine and has been a big disappointment! It’s about five years old and the peaches come very late and are not freestone and don’t peel easily. This is the first year for the other two and they appear to be doing quite well though it remains to be seen how they’ll ripen and whether I’ll get them before the squirrels steal them. That is another problem with the peach. If I don’t pick them before they’re ripe, the squirrel(s) get them.
I have a happier story on my plot in a city community garden. I filled it with leftover seedlings donated by one of the high school FFA groups for the purpose of the Plant a Row For the Hungry program. The poor things hadn’t been hardened off when donated to the Master Gardener coordinator for distribution. So they were pretty pathetic. I took patty pan squash, peppers, a basil, a ghost pumpkin and some tomatillos.
All are doing awesome. They get 100% full day sun and are in a spot that is out of the wind.
Lastly, I am about to have an awesome harvest from my thornless blackberry. It’s taking a long time to give a useful crop and I think it will this year.
I saw in one of the pictures the ducks hanging out with the chickens. I had heard ducks can abuse chickens. What do you know about that?
wow! major garden envy over here, too! we live in philadelphia and while i have a small patch of dirt to call my own, most things i’ve tried to grow haven’t been successful (with exception to roses, weirdly enough).
I’m in an apartment, so don’t really have a garden (though I may just get ahold of a friend’s yard… too late to do much on the squash and beans front this year, but I might still be able to plant some chard and kale!) That said, I’ve been able to glean some really lovely raspberries and (soon) red currants, which is exciting (I joined a gleaning group this year – hurrah!) and it appears that Ontario’s Yummy Season has arrives. I brought home local pickling-cukes, snap peas (shelled), and golden zucchini today, rather than the Ontario parsnips, collards, and cabbages that we’ve been living on for months. I am so freaking happy, I can’t even tell you! 😀
In other news: Three cheers for at-home fruit trees (do you make plum butter at all? Also… is there such a thing as “unripe apple pickles/chutney”?) and ripening winter squash!
Also: Do you ever shell your romano beans and freeze them like edamame?
Also-Also: I would like to hear more about your duck-pond. 😀
Margit Van Schaick says
Love your garden! Your photos show such wonderful abundance. I hope you will be able to answer the questions from other commenters, since I’m interested, as well. My question is how do you preserve squash? Carol Deppe (The ResilientbGardener) recommends drying zucchini that has gotten bigger than ideal. Thank you.
On Drying Squash,
I am going to attempt to make a tool my dad used to use. We cut a long squash or zucchini (as large as a mature butternut squash but before the skin hardens) in half, scoop out the seeds, then press and turn it on a blade, to make one long rope, then hang it dry on a clothesline then braid it and store.
Cool slideshow – it didn’t quite work when I tried to access it via email but when I came here, it looked great.
Andi | greenbasket.me says
I am completely at a loss to explain how I harvested plums two months before you, yet we are going to harvest figs at about the same time. Your garden is so beautiful!
Different kinds of plums harvest at different times. My Beauties (looks like Erica’s photo) are already done (makes the best jam, soft and juicy like Santa Rosas, but earlier ripening). My Satsumas (firmer) are just beginning to ripen, maybe another week or two. Then prune plums are usually some of the last things to ripen in the season. It’s a very good plum year from everyone I’ve talked to.
Robin B says
Will you do a post on edible flowers sometime? What all do you have growing in your food forest? We grow a lot of nasturtiums but that’s about the only flower we actually harvest for salads and such…
Mary Frances says
Such beautiful photographs of your fantastic garden! I’m not surprised that you are not posting often these days – with the harvesting of all of these gorgeous fruits and vegetables.
Just looking through these photos was a mini-vacation!
(And the thumbnails-to-photo album links worked well – great idea!)
Ann Lesan says
Excellent, slide show is great.
WOW!! Just beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing!
Bek - Bek's Backyard says
We are smack bang in the middle of winter, so all your gorgeous summer lushness is a sight for sore eyes when all I see in my garden is bare tree branches, the last straggling autumn leaves and lots of brassicas which is really my only harvest at the moment.
Thanks for the summer snapshot.
I can’t wait the 5 years to see how your high density fruit orchard does! I am hoping to start mine this coming spring, prepping ground now. I was laughing at your kid’s antics. It wasn’t too long ago I was having the same kind of “help”. Now my youngest is 5 and she is actually a good helper. All three of my kids pull their age in weeds a day (the 5 year old pulls 5 weeds, the 8 year old pulls 8 weeds, the 6 year old pulls 6 weeds), the garden stays nice and clean and no one gets overwhelmed.
My fruit tree guild / food forest is in its infancy, but I am surprisingly pleased with the result, given what poor ground the garden has to start with. The thing that makes me most happy is getting to realize that, if you build it, beneficial insects WILL come.
The downside of all this heat is the part of the yard I had started to battle back from the blackberries has quickly become overrun again. I made the decision/mistake this spring of trying to work on too many chunks of yard at once rather than finishing the job in one place. I’m now concentrating on one chunk at a time and not moving on until that particular area is mulched within an inch of its life.
Victoria Patience says
Really beautiful and inspiring! It’s the middle of winter down here in Argentina but this is motivating me to get those seeds going in my greenhouse so I’ll be ready when the cold lets up. Just out of curiosity, do you have a plan of your garden anywhere on the blog? (Even just a pencil sketch – you mention different parts/places/sun and shade conditions in the photos, but it would be really interesting to see how it all fits together spatially).
Erica, I appreciate your picture of leaf miners as my beet crop was completely overtaken by them this year. I haven’t been able to find much information on prevention, or ways to get rid of them (besides ripping off the leaf). Do you have any suggestions?
Erica, your garden looks fantastic! I got a really late start this year, so my crops are way behind yours. I am trying tomatoes in 17 gallon muck buckets, in a sunny spot on the cement patio (much more sunlight and reflected heat than in the actual garden – plus I can move them around as needed when they get larger). I am curious – do you ever do garden tours for locals? I would absolutely love to be able to walk through your world!
I’m in southeastern PA and it’s been hotter than hinges the last couple weeks. I am cussing the squash borers which are having a hay-day with my summer and winter squash AND my French heirloom cantaloupes. I was going to unleash the diatomaceous earth but then saw some wee little toads and some kind of beneficial insect feasting on the little devils. So I stayed my hand. I’m growing a heirloom field corn variety and plan to make hominy. Eating lots of new potatoes, kale, purple onions and any zucchini that escape The Scourge. Your garden is just lovely.
Pat M says
My garden envy includes the nasturtiums. I tried growing them but they were just aphid magnets.
I love the pictures of your garden! It looks great. What types of bedding do you put in your chicken pen? We just got some baby chicks this spring.