August Idyll

Bringing summer indoors.

Bringing summer indoors.

Ah, the quiet heat of August. At this point in the summer I no longer care about weeding. I tell myself weeds are improving the ground (they are, really) and shading our sun-parched soil.

Besides, we have to muster up the energy to start canning soon.

Daily tomato pickings.

Including these cheeky ones.

We’re eating lots of kale, chard, new potatoes, and cukes. Powdery mildew is already rampaging through my squash plants, but they’re still producing a few zucchini here and there.

Beans. So many beans!  We’re eating them in salads, stir fries, and making them into dilly beans. Some I leave on the vine to mature so I can shell and dry them for winter use and for next year’s seeds.

Here’s today’s haul, ready to turn into supper.

Every year I make fresh new gardening mistakes. This year a few rows of seedlings kept washing away in all our spring storms. I’d grab some seeds and start over, often in haste, not always keeping track of which row I was replanting with what. That explains why we have (ahem) three substantial rows of rutabagas. Yeah, we’ll be eating lots of those.

Milkweed is doing its caterpillar-luring thing.

Sunflowers are popular with pollinators.

bees

Make that doubly popular.

Queen Anne’s lace is bobbing and curtsying in the wind.

The noble thistle is doing its bristly best to improve the soil.

And I’ve given up pulling Joe pye weed. In part that’s because they grow deep roots very quickly, making them practically impossible to pull out. I’ve decided they’re wildflowers and enjoy their lovely blooms.

While watering yesterday I happened upon this malva, overlooked and nearly parched to death. I’m heartened to see that, even though its leaves are reduced to lacework, it’s still budding and blooming. Nature is full of hope. (Yes, I watered it!)

In my opinion, the best way to spend time outdoors in August is by reading on a shady porch or under a friendly tree, cool glass of something at hand. That’s where I’m headed. Right. Now. Hope you are too.

About Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is the author of "Free Range Learning," a handbook of natural learning and "Tending," a poetry collection. She lives on Bit of Earth Farm where she's a barely useful farm wench. Although she has deadlines to meet she often wanders from the computer to preach hope, snort with laughter, cook subversively, ponder life’s deeper meaning, talk to chickens and cows, sing to bees, hide in books, walk dogs, concoct tinctures, watch foreign films, and make messy art. Blog: lauragraceweldon.com/blog-2/ FB: facebook.com/FreeRangeLearningCommunity FB: facebook.com/SubversiveCooking FB: facebook.com/laura.euphoria Twitter: @earnestdrollery
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6 Responses to August Idyll

  1. katechiconi says:

    The deep-rooted Joe Pye weed will be useful as a mulch once it stops producing its pretty flowers. Anything that deep rooted brings up nutrients from a long way down, and mulching the stem and leaves gives those nutrients to whatever it’s mulching. Of course, it would be better if you could mulch it before it sets seed…

  2. Margaret says:

    Love this! All looks and sounds familiar. Except I have no Joe Pye Weed, and I actually love the stuff. Still discovering ways to use the massive amounts of kale that has self-seeded EVERYWHERE. Your pics are gorgeous, prose lovely, and I just feel like adding: aren’t we well and truly blessed???
    with love,
    Margaret

  3. Patrick says:

    A beautiful communion with nature. I feel your appreciation and joy. You welcomed all or us into your gardens to celebrate and enjoy. Thank you with love

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