In The Garden: Late Summer Foods

 

 

The summer garden is winding down – even the eggplants and okra have slowed down and are looking stalky.  The bushel gourds are still ripening, but the last of the pumpkins have been pulled out of the garden.  Half the garden is fenced off with electric netting, and the pigs are helping prepare it for the fall/winter garden.

I planted the melons late this year, and we just recently got a few melons from the neglected vines.  The orange melon with green stripes is a rare melon from India that was so good.  I will certainly grow more next year (and hopefully save seed – I have tried many different melons, but this one was the best).

Ethan discovered that the sweet potatoes were ready to pick.  This looks like a record harvest this year.  They are huge.  It’s funny because I was sure we wouldn’t get any at all.  I planted the slips and then got so busy with everything this year I barely even watered them  They are so weedy, you can hardly tell there are sweet potatoes growing.  I think this actually helped them develop, because it kept the vines from rooting in other places while they were struggling with sunlight competition with the weeds.

This was also the first year I didn’t build special compost beds for them.  The compost beds seemed to encourage pill bugs, which ate them to pieces.  So apparently planting into bare sand, no weeding, and neglect is the secret to big sweet potatoes!

Foods from the garden now are:  pumpkin, sweet potato, eggplant, okra, cassava leaves, sweet potato leaves, malabar spinach, peppers, passion fruits, wild grapes, melons.  Not too bad.  The roselle will be ready soon.

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