This time of year is exciting in the garden – the tilling, weeding, watering, and waiting has paid off and we are harvesting now. While my tomatoes are all duds, the plants have wilted and died, I do have some successes this year.
The okra is flourishing – I planted Hill Country Red from Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. I love to make gumbo out of okra, I also think they would make beautiful stamping tools, when dried out.
The two pumpkins – Pumpkin Musquee de Provence are growing rapidly. Right now they are about basketball-size and propped on top of pieces of block foam to keep them from rotting on the damp dirt. They should be a lovely dark mixture of green and orange when they mature. The kids are most excited about the prospect of growing one’s own pumpkin and are dreaming up ways to use it.
I had two kale plants that survived the winter, thanks to leaf mulching, and being nestled against the south side of the house. They have once again absolutely exploded! You can see the size of the root from the mammoth kale that did not survive the winter, here.
One of the other fun experiments this year, has been growing corn in the front yard. This is Japonica Striped Maize, an ornamental variety from Japan. As of the most recent count, we have five ears of corn. The kids have been delighted at watching the corn grow taller than them, and grow purplish tassels. I figure they will make great autumn decor, or still life subject matter for my classroom.
One of my favorite things this year, has been watching my volunteer squash grow. These two came from seeds in our compost, so I am not entirely sure what they are yet. I think the white one is possible a white acorn squash and the green is a zucchini. We will wait and see!