The heat of summer seems to have acquiesced, making way for cooler air and promises of a crisp feeling out there, not too far away. Meanwhile, the vegetables begin to mature, bringing smiles to our faces and goodness to the dinner table.
Volunteer squash are especially fun this time of year! We are guessing this might be spaghetti squash(?). We'll know once we cut it open! This volunteer came from one of the first aspen hugelkultur beds.
Speaking of volunteers, I had just finished lamenting the fact that we didn't grow tomatillos this year, when a robust looking tomatillo plant emerged from underneath a volunteer pumpkin plant. Life is good in the jungle!
The garden is buzzing with activity. With so many kinds of bumblebees, we are inspired to try to learn what kinds we have... Thanks to Dana Visalli, we have a regional bumblebee key to look at! It's a good place to start. We love pollinators!
The cucumber tipi has come to life! The plastic has been pulled away so that the plants can stretch and grow and breath. Amazingly, this weekend we got our first cucumbers from it! This is the earliest we have ever had cucumbers. Joy!
Asparagus and nasturtiums... a vibrant part of the Aspen Hotbed
Another view of the Aspen Hotbed, with a volunteer pumpkin that is jungle-ifying the garden. Those pumpkins sure love the hot, rotting aspen, baking in thousands of pounds of horse manure.
Inside the sheet house, the marmots still have not entered. I have never been so happy for a wall of old sheets! Lettuce round 3 is taking off.
We harvested a lot of marigolds yesterday to dry and put up in jars for medicinal use. When Fawn was smaller, we were able to heal her pinkeye with compresses made from an infusion that included marigold (as well as camomile and fennel). The raging infection healed completely without antibiotics. Now she is the one to remind me, "Better harvest some marigold today, before it's too late!"
Now is the time to take advantage of all that's growing and save it for later.