Catching up on the harvest, July 19, 2012

Seems like the farther we get into summer, the behinder I get. I finally got my community garden plot mostly planted. About time. It’s mid July already. I have been struggling to learn my new iMac and new Nikon P510 camera. Too much new stuff at once for this old brain. And so my blog posts fall behind.

I just finished adding up my harvest totals to date. I don’t think I’m going to make my goal of 350 lbs of produce this year, which would be a hundred pounds more than I produced either of the last two years (the only ones where I bothered to weigh my harvests.)

I think these are mostly Panamint nectarines, but there could be some peaches in there too.

At mid July, I’m up to 58 lbs of fruit and 89 lbs of vegetables for a total of 147 lbs. I thought I had 119 lbs of vegetables for 2012 a month ago, so I don’t know what’s going on with my Excel spreadsheet. I’m going to quit banging my head on my office wall and accept that 30 lbs disappeared off my spreadsheet in the past month. I suspect a math error on my part rather than a real loss of produce. Oh, who cares? I’m not likely to get another 200 lbs of produce out of my garden this year, so maybe 250 lbs is all I’m capable of growing. After all, there is only so much time and space. I just don’t understand how people can be growing 1,000 lbs of produce in a summer in their home gardens.

Some early tomatoes from June and some eggs from our hens

My stone fruit crops are all harvested, so the only fruit I’m expecting for the rest of the year are apples, avocados, a few strawberries, lemons, and limes. I might get some watermelon and cantaloupe, but that remains to be seen as there are no female flowers on the vines as of yet. I’ve already equaled my previous two years’ fruit harvest totals, so at least this will be a record fruit harvest year for me. Vegetables are another matter. I guess it will depend on whether or not I get a good harvest of heavy crops like tomatoes, summer squash, pumpkins, cucumbers and yams over the next couple of months.

This is my revamped plot at the community garden. I had to take out my raised beds and make the beds and paths level with each other. Since my pathways were hard-packed gravel and my beds had been raised, I filled in the pathways with concrete pavers. I think it looks nice.

Another view of my plot, looking northeast

My community garden plot, looking southeast

Looking southwest

It’s probably too late in the season to get any winter squash out of my community garden plot, but I may try anyway. I’m hoping that the green and wax beans, peppers, tomatoes , cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, and summer squash that I planted will produce something. We should have a good two months of warm/hot weather remaining.

My home garden isn’t very photogenic right now, but the tomatoes are producing and the pumpkin vines are sprawling. No female flowers yet on my pumpkins, but I have three nice butternut squash in the home garden that promise to be a good size. I may try some photographs tomorrow of my home garden, but the community garden is looking much perkier at present. My home garden has been baking under 90 degree skies, and since it doesn’t rain here during the summer, it is totally dependent upon me for hand watering. Too bad I don’t get to it as often as I should. Hey, I do what I can.

My blue potato crop is all harvested. I got a bit over three pounds out of one fabric Gro Pot.

 

At least I got several pounds of tomatoes processed into spaghetti sauce today, and canned my first batch of bread and butter pickles last week. Little bit by little bit.

 

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I am retired from writing a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent, but I am still teaching at the Orange County Conservation Corps. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks.
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One Response to Catching up on the harvest, July 19, 2012

  1. Daphne says:

    The gardens look nice. And I think people that get thousands of pounds from their home gardens have larger plots. I typically want to get a pound of food per square foot of raised bed each year. But some crops do better and some worse. I have most of a bed that is just devoted to dried beans and those don’t produce nearly that. Neither does broccoli which I have about 1/3 of a bed in. But then things like the chard make up for it. And to get the most out of the space you have to keep the beds in production all the time. When one crop comes out another goes in. Right now I’m being bad about that. I have to get moving and plant my carrots. I haven’t even started my kale yet and I should have weeks ago since the spot opened up at the beginning of July.

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