2015 Farm Report

This is officially the summer of tomatoes here at Highclere. I haven't taken pictures of the garden since mid spring but here's what everything looked like then. Green and tidy and full of hope. Now everything is enormous and spotty and rather overwhelming. The dreaded tomato blight is back but since I know it's game now I'm not as distraught as I was last summer. We're getting tons of tomatoes and I think I finally came up with a good strategy in planting lots of cherry and grape tomato varieties that are easier to snack on than the enormous heirloom varieties I planted last summer... not that those didn't have their own charm.

This year I sweet talked Prince Michael into building me just one more raised garden bed, which I filled with tomatoes, obviously. Much to Mikes Chagrin that extra space meant I could also plant pumpkins and cantaloupes and I'm thrilled to say those are coming along nicely! I think that might be the first time I've ever typed out the word cantaloupe and, did anyone know that's how cantaloupe is spelled? What's that u doing in there. Also of interest... purple string beans! I never get enough to really do much with so I just eat them straight off the plants. I also in my ambitious early spring planting, planted lots of lemon cucumber seeds that grew wildly (visualize it climbing up trees) but never fruited. I'll need to do a little research on what went wrong there.

My blueberry bushes and raspberry plants also seem to be having great summers but only the birds are reaping the rewards since I haven't worked myself up to do bird netting yet. It doesn't much seem in the spirit of sharing but perhaps next summer I'll reclaim at least the blueberries for myself. The big thing I want to remember for next summer is black eyed susans! Every year I mean to plant those and then somehow forget in my tomato buying haste. Also pictured below are two of my favorite farm hands, Zoe and her new friend Huck. And that's all from the mid-July farm report...

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