what’s growing

After several days in the 90’s this morning was overcast and I began working at 6.30am, so it was pleasant.  With all the recent rains I have 8,000 gallons stored rainwater and can be liberal with its use.

As I stepped outside I heard loud buzzing.  M. had lamented we had not trimmed the Rose of Sharon hibiscus, which overtowers our deck, and it would have fewer flowers this year.  But not this morning – there were flowers enough and many pollinators.

the bird feeder has many visitors but the flowers were the center of attraction this morning

The bumblebee and also the carpenter bee are so industrious and look so cuddly.

this one had gorged and gorged and was covered in pollen when it eventually emerged

This year I have been lucky with pattypan squash.  The vine borer which usually fells the plant before the first squash has emerged is absent, so far.  Who should I thank – our multivoiced Georgia thrasher which I see so often among the plantings?  So I have lots of squash and it tastes delicious when slow grilled, with a sprinkling of olive oil, until it is tender.

pattypan squash and okra

The nice thing about the squash and other large plants is they completely take over the bed and block weeds and retain soil moisture. 

one of several beds inhabited with squash, cucumber and melon plants

 A natural solution for the hot summer months in the south.  First you notice the yellow flowers and this morning they are filled with yellow jackets, bumble bees and honey bees.

when I water the squash the pollinators pour out of the flowers and cannot wait to get back to work

And then, a few days later the white saucers appear and expand.

the pattypan squash hides at the base of the plant -moonlike orbs

Often when vegetables get large they become vibrous but our experience is this squash, even large, retains its tenderness.  So we allow them to grow a bit.

beans are still coming in. cucumbers can be secretive so we sometimes only find them when they are a bit oversized, but still taste good.
basil is doing well
this year several pepper plants were toppled so I staked them to bamboo poles from my bamboo growing area
and my self seeded onions are ok but not large

And now, at last, okra is stepping out and we shall grill today our first okra of the season.

okra plant grows easily and well in our area and we can eat the okra raw or grilled, but once it is too large it is fibrous and inedible

We filled the basket with some corn (very sweet), white cucumbers and the ongoing supply of tomatoes.

in my previous post on what’s growing, I described my diatomaceous earth treatment for insects on my tomatoes. none of those insects have reappeared so the treatment works

And we selected apples from several different trees all with distinct different tastes to be sliced and added to our breakfast of old fashioned 100% whole raw oats, mixed with sunflower seed, brown flax seed, yogurt and sweetened with our honey.

Finally we lathered our 14 year old Trudy with medicated shampoo for her mild  skin infection and walked in the woods and, as we approached the water hole which is fed by a natural intermittent spring ….

the digging of this pond was a saga which I have narrated elsewhere

We noticed a turtle heading up from the pond

this one withdrew into its shelter

and then another more inquisitive turtle

bolder and inquisitive

And on our return we hosed Trudy thoroughly.

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