Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wrapping up the summer garden and preparing for fall in central Texas

I am a terrible garden writer as of late because I haven't posted anything about our adventures this first full season in central Texas. It's been a wonderful year here and I'll try to get you up to speed without boring you too much.
A look at the summer garden

The rainfall is still well below average around here but we did get more this year than last and we had about 8 inches in June alone so that really helped keep the plants healthy and happy. We started out in March with our tomatoes, peppers, corn, pumpkins, watermelon, cucumbers, sunflowers and a few other things. Everything is doing well but the summer garden is almost finished already.

Here are some of the beautiful fruits of our labor
We have enough produce to share some with the mail carrier and our neighbors but not quite enough yet to make it worth going to the farmers market. We have been selling some of our lemon cucumbers to the fantastic new grocery store in downtown. Elgin Local Goods is a place where growers and artisans can sell their local produce and goods. Consumers can buy it 6 days a week. I love it and there's a cafe coming soon too. Can't wait.
Lemon Cucumbers at Elgin Local Goods Photo Credit: Elgin Local Goods
The town of Elgin is a wonderful place to be a farmer right now. We are so excited about all of the other farmers here who are also committed to sustainable and naturally grown food.

We have gone through the process of getting approved to sell at the farmers market so now it's a matter of having enough extra to sell to make it worthwhile. I think that will be the case very soon. 

We are still working on getting the timing down as far as the perfect time to plant certain plants for maximum yield but we are way ahead of where we were this time last year. I think we could have started some things even earlier this year. Much depends on mother nature too and we've been very lucky with a cool summer so far this year. I'm excited about what the fall garden has in store for us. 

The tomatoes are about 7 feet tall but it's getting too hot to get much more out of them

Minerva is impressed
Gidget, however, is not.
Our next project is an expansion of our planting area. We did great with the small lasagna garden we tried so we are going to sort of expand on that idea using the success that we saw in the movie Back to Eden. It will be a 23x25 foot area so we'll have lots of new area to play in. 

We are going to put 6 inches of growing mix that we are getting from Lone Star Mulch & Company on top of cardboard and cover that with 2 inches of wood chips. When we plant, we will move the wood chips aside and plant in the growing mix. The quite eccentric and deeply religious, Paul Gautschi is having wild success with this concept and so are others that were highlighted in the documentary. He is also in the Pacific Northwest where everything is very different than central Texas. I'm excited to see how the idea works for us and to share our results with you.

Thanks for reading and you can also find us on Facebook for more consistent photos and adventure updates. 

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