So, it has been awhile.  I really love writing and sharing my blog, but it takes a good bit of energy and mental stamina to write something coherent and I just haven’t had much of that lately.  My stamina has not, until now, been up to par with the level of energy I have needed to maintain the herb farm, home school our kids, and manage the house.  You see, this is the first summer that we have been busy all summer.  And once I have been away from my blog for awhile, I don’t know how to start back.  Its kind of like meeting up with an old friend that you have neglected and the meeting feels a bit awkward- where do you start?  Well, like my grandmother would say- there is no time like the present.

So, here goes…

Usually, along about June it has gotten so hot that no one even thinks about planting a plant.  Along about July, the produce stops flowing in the gardens because it is too hot to set fruit for most veggies.  Along about mid-July, anyone with any sense goes in the house by 10:30 am and doesn’t come out again unless they must.  This year has been totally different.  We have received rain and cool fronts intermittently keeping the produce flowing meaning that I have been freezing and canning for long periods of time.  Also, given that we have been selling herbs in their various forms at the White Rock Local Market every Saturday-  the down time I usually have following spring has just not been there.

But don’t misunderstand, I am not complaining.  It has been a wonderful summer.  Never can I recall getting 6 inches of rain in July or waking up to a chilly morning in August- but I did today.

This presents a bit of a quandary for me and maybe other Texas gardeners, as well.  We have two gardening seasons in Texas- a spring/summer season which is usually very short and a fall starting around September.  This fall season will last until the next spring as many greens and carrots and such will grow here all winter.  Most summers, it is easy to tell when to clean out the gardens, apply compost and prepare for the next round.

When everything in your garden is brown and burnt to a crisp, spring/summer growing is over and it is time to prepare for fall.

However, this year I am still pulling squash and zucchini from the plants and tomatoes of every shade of color are happily hanging from their vines,  How can I possibly pull these up?

Well, I can’t.  So the only thing to do is to till more beds and plant fall goodies in there own beds.  That is what is on the docket for Saturday.  Some of these new beds will be for herbs in order to keep up with the demand- AWESOME!

I always say- if it takes more than 20 minutes to mow your grass you need more gardens.

We have taken off the last 2 Saturdays and thanks to an abscessed wisdom tooth, I will also have this Saturday off.  I do look forward to going back to market but the time off has been needed.  This little break has given me time to clean up the beds and harvest lots of herb for drying, infused vinegar and oils, and for research.  You can never stop learning.  I have also cleaned the house and done laundry. Repeatedly.

This morning was so glorious!  Such cool weather, I just had to plant.  Thankfully, I had clean beds and seedlings ready to go.

peas in the herb gardenThis antique bed frame will make a pretty trellis for the English peas planted at the bottom.  We should have enough time to harvest peas before the first freeze.  I am prepared to pamper them a bit until we cool down for good.

dried cornAll the corn was done producing and it all came down today.  This will be dried and used as display at Thanksgiving.

herbs and vegetable patchThis patch just keeps on producing.  Eventually, I will have to pull these items up as it will be time to plant hairy vetch.   Hairy vetch will be my cover crop and tomatoes will go in this space come spring.

What are you doing right now in the gardens?

 

 

 

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