Garden update (1 of 2)

Today I planted about 30 arugula seeds in little pots and 1 cucumber seed in the ground. I’ve not been happy with our cucumber harvest this past month (August). In July, we harvested close to a cucumber per day. In August it was more like every 3 days and they were much smaller and deformed (though they tasted just fine) from the heat/lack of water. I am probably about a week too late in planting another cucumber from seed, but we can always hope.

Tomorrow I will be planting 3 kinds of cabbages in little pots inside the house. I’m going to plant 8 of each in the hopes at least 5 will sprout/survive later transplanting. They will go into the spot currently taken up by the green beans. The bean harvest should have hit and been over with by the 3rd week of October.

I’m very excited about our HaOgen melon. The HaOgen is an Israeli melon that gets to be between the size of a softball to a large cabbage head (3-5 lbs). It has a super sweet, slightly spicy, green flesh and will make a honeydew melon seem bland and not worth the eating in comparison. Right now, on one plant, we’ve got a melon just reaching the softball stage but showing no signs of ripening (yay, bigger melon for me!), and 8 much smaller melons on it, some just starting. A couple of weeks ago, I started another haOgen melon from seed and…again it was probably a couple weeks too late, but here’s to hoping it will produce at least a couple of melons before it gets too cold.

The tomatoes are flowering and setting fruit, thanks to the cooler nights we’ve had of late.

It is going to be really hard to keep up with the garden, given the grueling schedule I’m going to have over the next 3 months. My plan is to get up at 4 a.m. 3 days a week and do the most minimal tending I can get away with. I’ll be harvesting by flashlight. On my Sundays off, I’ll be doing a lot of yard duty — mowing the yard and keeping it in shape, and planting and transplanting veggies in the garden. Next Sunday, for instance, I’ll need to start the first set of kohlrabi and radish seeds directly into the garden and to transplant out the first 20 buttercrunch lettuce plants. It is going to be a challenge to tuck them in among the okra, pepper, and basil plants!

Tonight, Ema is making a thick soup with an Astrakom eggplant, 4 Gretel eggplants, 4 okra, a quarter lb of Malabar and New Zealand spinach, some of our hot peppers, and some basil flowers. We’ll also have a salad with a cucumber, banana pepper, shisito pepper, basil, green onion, and some cherry tomatoes — all from our garden! The only store-bought ingredients in our meal will be the tomato paste for the soup and some cabbage for the salad!

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