The Accidental Farmer - Summer Gardening
As we quickly approach the solstice on June 21st, it seems like the time is flying by. Most of my garden is out, a third of my corn is planted (thank you Mother Nature for the rain, but I’m good really…), and now it is time to hurry up and wait for everything to produce the produce.
While eagerly anticipating your tomatoes and cukes, there are a few tasks to be done. Thin out seedlings and fertilize the plants you keep for a more vigorous garden. My garden and raised beds are all enriched with a locally sourced organic fertilizer, courtesy of my daughter’s pony, Rusty. If anything still needs an added boost, I use a line of organic fertilizers from Canada that are mostly kelp based. Last summer, my tomatoes were in dire straits so I took a drastic measure. After the boys went fishing, I emulsified the guts and heads of perch with my blender. That was a sight and smell not easily matched. To add further potency, I let the fish goody ferment for a couple days in the sun. After 5 days or so, I easily had the stinkiest field for miles, but that decomposed fish essence was the best fertilizer and my tomato leaves turned three shades darker overnight!
Now is a good time for replanting corn and beans to extend the harvesting season. We generally plant all summer, every two weeks or so. We had green beans into October last year. And speaking of October, if you want Jack-O-Lanterns, now is the time to get your pumpkins in the ground. I am trying a new variety this year, Muskee de Provence. It has a uniquely shaped fruit and according to Seedsavers.org, where I purchased the seed, has a taste and consistency unmatched by any. Last year, I grew Sugar Pie pumpkins and had a slightly disappointing harvest, but what few I did get were pretty good and made excellent pies for Thanksgiving.
Did you know that the full moon we are currently enjoying is known as the Strawberry moon? The Old Farmer’s almanac says that this come from the Algonquin tribes who used this moon to know when the strawberries were ready for harvest. (At our farm, the three year old does most the berry harvesting, straight into her mouth.) The Almanac also says that June 10-11 are favorable for cutting hay while June 6-7 and 24 are favorable dates for setting eggs for hatching.