When Mom is away, the garden will play…

Errrr, grow? And grow it did!  For all the garden abuse that I’ve dished out this September, my gardens have forgiven my transgressions and are loving me/us back never the less.  After a short (but very recharging) vacation, I came back to find these lovely surprises in my garden, some of which are new (and SUPER exciting) to us.

Giant okra, red peppers, green pineapple tomatoes and some new treats: Asparagus Yardlong beans, Snow peas and a Fire & Ice radish.

Giant okra, red peppers, green pineapple tomatoes and some new treats: Asparagus Yardlong beans, Snow peas and a Fire & Ice radish.

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Labor of love this Labor Day weekend

I hope if you are stateside, that you got to enjoy a lovely and long Labor Day weekend.  We spent a significant portion of our weekend getting our first round of fall crops into the ground.  Here in the South, you’ve got to learn to love to sweat in order to have any gardening success I think.  Even in the early mornings in Atlanta, the humidity at the very least is heavy enough you could cut it with a knife.  Thusly, our Lovingly Grown garden is absolutely a labor of love in order to have us keep plugging along at it.

Here is a glimpse of what is currently planted in our garden (and when we planted it):

Bed 1: red beets, chioggia beets, golden beets, watermelon radishes, fire and ice radishes, parsnips, neon lights swiss chard, red russian kale, broccoli, rainbow carrots, purple dragon carrots, pumpkins, asparagus beans, and some leftover haricot verts.

Bed 1: red beets, chioggia beets, golden beets, watermelon radishes, fire and ice radishes, parsnips, neon lights swiss chard, red russian kale, broccoli, rainbow carrots, purple dragon carrots, pumpkins, asparagus beans, and some leftover haricot verts.

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Gad-ZUKES (and squash) and good-bye!

Squash overload!  Zucchini up to your eye balls!  Freezing them, canning them, baking them, giving them away!  Yeah, these things didn’t happen in our little garden this year.  Our first go with summer squash and zucchini was cut violently and prematurely short.  But in gardening, these things do happen.   Luckily we were able to learn some about these versatile beauties before our run was up.

Male squash blossom with nearby female yellow squash.

Male squash blossom with nearby female yellow squash.

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A boring monster heartache.

I’m convinced that one of the hardest things to learn as a gardener/farmer is that no matter how hard or long you try, you will fail at growing something at some point in time.  And it appears that it doesn’t matter how good at growing you are, failure will happen.  But if this is the case, then why does it still hurt so much?  Maybe because more often than not, the flop was totally out of our control.  Mother Nature got the better of our garden.  Maybe its because we only had a small number of the plants leaving us empty handed in the wake of the loss.  Or possibly its the time and energy and nurture we give to tending our garden babies in hope of a delicious and prolific reward at the end.  Whatever the reason is for you, you aren’t alone.  Operator errors and Mother Nature disasters happen to all of us, and most recently it happened to the one zucchini plant (and one squash plant) I was growing.

svb zuke wilt

Wilted zucchini plant

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Glorious Okra Flower

Couldn’t resist quickly sharing this. Finally caught an okra flower fully open and in all it’s glory! Pollinated too! Enjoy!

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“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.”
-Alfred Austin

Someone dear to me sent this quote to me this week.  And it meant the world to me.