All of a sudden I am seeing red show up in the garden and the tomatoes are coming. It is time for the summer vegetables and they are coming quickly.
Marketmore cucumbers. The vine went through the fence and we have cucumbers hanging in the easement. Phil and I are each eating about one a day. We peel the skin and remove the seeds and it is a refreshing summer food, whether in a salad or just as a snack.
This tomato is called “Amish Paste.” I expected a smaller plum tomato like I see in the supermarket, but all the tomatoes are huge in my garden, it seems. I also planted “gold medal” tomatoes that each weigh a lot and are yellow. It looks like I will be making spaghetti sauce next weekend.
“Black beauty” zucchini flower. There are three bugs taking refuge here, a bee, possibly a cucumber beetle, and a really small bug of some sort. I had two zucchini that got really huge before I saw them and I just threw those in the compost pile. Otherwise we are trying to catch up on eating the zucchini. Now that we have finished eating all the cauliflower we can probably get to these. There are also a lot of green and wax beans in the fridge. I have given some away and put bunches of them in cauliflower soup.
Speaking of cauliflower, I was finally cutting back the old cauliflower leaves and putting them in the compost. I noticed that beside most of these plants there are new cauliflower plants coming up from the roots next to the mother plant. I am not sure if I will get cauliflowers out of these, but may get some nice greens to use.
The brussel sprouts are coming along well. The little sprouts are forming along the stalk. We will see if the little tomato cage will be able to hold the weight.
Jimmy Nardello sweet peppers. I love these! These long peppers turn bright red and are a great snack. I ate several last week. I ordered my peppers and tomatoes as transplants from Seed Savers. I like the variety they have a little more than what I get locally, though I sometime end up with local transplants, too.
It looks like I have a few “Ichiban” eggplants to throw into some recipe. I have another eggplant, an American variety, that seems to be producing its first fruit now.
This interesting picture is not from a visiting cat or dog. They are mushrooms on the sight of our former silver maple tree. Mushrooms are fungi and this is the above ground representation, maybe like a flower or fruit. I am happy to have mushrooms in the yard and I think it is a good sign of life in the soil.
Viburnum dentatum ‘Christom’ blue muffin berries are ripening for the birds. Keeping the birds fed is part of the plan in having an ecosystem full of biodiversity, that works without pesticides or herbicides.
While cleaning up this weekend I came across this caterpillar which I think might be a silver spotted skipper caterpillar. When I first saw it I thought it was a cabbage moth caterpillar. But when I looked at the picture of the butterfly it looked like a butterfly I had taken a picture of earlier this past week that I could not identify.
Silver spotted skipper butterfly on agastache ‘blue fortune’ giant hyssop.
The zinnias have been attracting a lot of wildlife this week. This very bedraggled swallowtail butterfly has been visiting all week. I know it is the same one because it is missing a good part of its right wing. I read this week that butterflies only live 8 – 10 days. Then another website said that swallowtails live about a month in the summer. In about five minutes yesterday afternoon I saw four different kinds of butterflies in the yard. I can’t get pictures of all of them and they are all so different.
The bees also love the zinnias.
Empty birdbath: The birdbath has been completely empty this week. No robins, sparrow, finches, starlings, or any other birds visited it, as far a I noticed. I changed the water several times. I seem to remember something like this happening last August. Where have all these birds gone? I saw a few sparrow gather on the fence yesterday, but then they flew off. Is there something else exciting happening? Is it pesticides? However I do have two kinds of birds visiting in the yard. The cardinal couple have been around all week making clicking noises in the bushes on the northwest side of the yard. The goldfinches are also busy working on the zinnias and other flowers they can pick apart for seeds. The mulberry tree continues to attract birds, but they are far up in the branches.
Fall vegetable planting: I got out today and planted several patches of lettuce and kale. It is a little late, but hopefully we will get this plants going so we can have a nice late harvest before the snow falls. I would plant more, but the garden it full!
Snake: Dan said he saw a little brown snake in the yard by the unmowed grass yesterday. Glad to know they are still around! If you made it this far in the blog – Thanks!