Our church's community garden is growing like crazy right now. Out here in the Pacific Northwest, we've had a hot spell for at least the past week. Thankfully, our secret beach is a short distance away and a free ocean water cool-off is always easy to get to.
The heat has been amazing for the garden, though, and now it's my turn to water. A friend of mine watered the first month for the summer, and now she's headed out on vacation and I'm up for the next month. It needs near-daily watering, and I know by week three I am going to squeal if there's a day of rain, but honestly, it's a small price to pay (around 30 minutes of work, more if I weed) for delicious organic vegetables for free.
The bird houses on the fence posts are new this year, and so far I have yet to see any birds flying in and out of them. The paths--aside from the mulched parts--are completely overgrown with clover, weeds, and grass. Once the mulch gets put down everywhere it will look like a prize-winning garden. Up top you can see nasturtiums (edible flowers), cherry tomato plants, bean starts, and behind that is cabbage.
Ani caught me picking salad greens with the camera. Sneaky, since I didn't see her take any photos, just saw her put the phone down before we were leaving! The black barrel is our store of water from the well, but honestly, none of us know how to use it. One of the men from the church hooked the well, hoses, and barrel up and we don't really understand the system. I have to use an electrical plug to get the well running (not shown) but it's amazing what that well stores. I have to turn it off after 15 minutes because it could overflow and we'd waste the water. This garden has definitely been a community project.
Here is a view of the rhubarb (fat leaves bottom right), arugula starts (yuck), crazy basil, and nearly-done sugar snaps. Those sugar snaps are our favorite thing in the garden right now. They taste like green, crunchy sugar with a little bit of pea flavor. Delicious! Second row from the right are the leeks, the rabbit-eaten nothingness, and then onions behind that. Next row is/was a salad row. The salad mixture is almost done. Once it gets too hot, it goes to seed and turns bitter. I might get two more weeks out of salad, tops.
Here you can see the greenhouse in the background, and starting with the salad row, plus a few marigolds. Next over, those big bushy beautiful potato plants! I don't know if we'll still be living here when those are ready, but last year's potatoes were completely slug-eaten and disgusting, and this year they are big and healthy, and bountiful. There should be quite a few good potatoes this year. Over behind that are, I believe beans, but I can't tell from the photo. Then there is a row of beets, and carrots, and further over is another row of cabbage. The large green bushes just in front of the green house are zucchini plants and next to those are cucumbers.
Although I get sweaty and hot almost every day we're in the garden, I love being here, 'cleaning it up' and picking produce. Just this morning I had a haul of salad greens, 2 zucchini, rhubarb, a leek, and a bouquet of basil for pesto. If all of that was bought at market value, for organic, would probably be over $20. Today, I grabbed it all for free, and that food will feed us for a number of days.
*** Do you garden? What do you love to grow?