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We’ve reached the point where, when people ask me how the garden’s going, I say something like, “Well, the plants are winning now.” This is very meaningful to you, if you have ever weeded by hand a 70×120 foot garden. When the plants start truly winning, they also start shading out the weeds that are still there, so the weeds don’t grow as much. It’s also a deep breath of relief because, hallelujah, it’s evident that you WILL get a crop out of this!

The peppers still seem slow however. They are taking part in the drip tape experiment, and I’m just not sure what’s going on. The only thing that makes me think we might still be ok is that it always seems like peppers surprise me. Suddenly they just go nuts and you’ve got jalepenos out your ears. I’m hoping for a big surprise. Until Saturday, we were also still worried about our yukon gold potatoes. I’m not sure what their deal is… we planted them at the same time as the pontiac reds, watered them the same, but look at the difference here (pontiacs on the right, yukon on the left).

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It is obvious the golds are fairing much worse. They didn’t even flower. So Lynda and I decided to dig one of the biggest ones to see if there was anything happening under the surface. Surprise!

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So, ok, don’t judge a plant by its “over” (ground… I’m trying to be clever here…). What’s weird though is that, as you can see, all the potatoes are clustered together very close to the surface. Usually they would be more spread out and go down deeper. We’ll see how they continue to develop. Let’s continue our tour of winning plants…

Spectacular lettuces, kohlrabi, squash are out of control, tomatoes (kids in tomato jungle), baby carrots – yum!, and these are the mere beginnings of our chinese noodle green beans. I’m pretty sure they need about a 10′ trellis rather than our measly 4′ chicken wire, but I guess we’ll see what happens and make adjustments next year. I planted these thinking they would be fun. They should grow beans about 20 inches long each. So is that like 1 serving of vegetables per bean??

Friday I harvested all our garlic. I thought they would be bigger, but I’m pleased regardless because they look so beautiful! From what I’ve read, they will need to cure like this for about 2 weeks before they are ready for long term storage.

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Where to begin?! I’m so far behind in posting it seems ridiculous to try to say it all. But hopefully this starts me back on track to keeping up a little better. We had our first farmers’ market of the year last Tuesday, July 2. Things aren’t that far along yet, so we were able to offer lettuce and garlic scapes as far as produce goes 😉 But we bagged and sold popcorn from last year, and I made homemade noodles. And that adventure deserves a picture:

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I have to work out some packaging kinks, but they are darn good noodles, if I do say so myself! Special thanks to Karen Lindgren and my kiddos for their help, literally, cranking out the noodles!

We’ve had two sets of garden helpers already this year, which has been a huge blessing. Justin and Katie Fogel and Mohsen, Parisa, and Hamed Barkh each spent a day weeding with us, and it was incredible to see the difference a day of friendly help can make! THANK YOU FOR GIVING HELP IN EXCHANGE FOR GRATITUDE!! We love you guys!20130705-003710.jpg

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After his day in the garden, Mohsen threatened to write an article on the exploitation of immigrant workers when he returned to Vancouver. I told him he was whining and should get back to work. Here’s Mohsen and Hamed doing a great job! Jordan is supervising 😉

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Everything is planted, needless to say. We are a little larger this year, but mostly we are just making more effective use of the space, so there is more of everything. We tried a new method with peppers and tomatoes – plastic mulch and drip tape. It is fantastic!!! Warm warm soil, no weeding and very efficient water use. I’m expecting a bumper crop (fingers crossed!).

We also have had some deer trouble since Deets got run over last year (it happens). He was way more aggressive than Gus, who was recently kicked out of his barn living space by a tom cat. Come on, Gus, you’re a friggin dog! Start acting like it!!!! Look what the deer did to our FLAGS! WHAT??!

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So, every so often Jordan and Josh shoot bullets, or more recently fireworks, into the tree row where they live, and they’ve been backing off quite a bit.

We also put in some fruit trees: 2 plums and a cherry.

I also have 3 raspberry bushes that have had a very long stay in a few hanging pots, but NEED to be put in the ground… BADLY.

So, how’s that for some quick highlights? I hope not to wait so long to post again.

Peace.