Friday, September 19, 2014

Crooked Apple Update: This Summer

I admit, I planned on having many more pictures that captured Summer at The Crooked Apple. Including: up close and personal details of every single growy thing, details on how each of our crops turned out, and progress of projects around the yard as the season went on. But as it constantly seems to do, life happened. (And I'm so glad it did!)

My plans rarely turn out exactly as I envisioned them, and while it sometimes makes me ca-razy, I'm slowly learning to accept that.

Summer did still happen around here, and we filled it with all kinds of fun and projects and family. This is a particularly busy season of life for us with 3 little guys and my husband finishing up his MBA (he is SO CLOSE to being done-done-done!), but we tried (and did not always succeed) to make it a great Summer, anyway.

Here's how our property enjoyed the season, anyway!

The Crooked Apple Gardens 2014

Our garden was probably the most beautifully colorful as it ever was, but the crops did "okay". We fight a constant battle against the wildlife in our area, and despite having a pretty good system with bird netting and pvc pipes, some things find their way in. They made off with whole tomato and watermelon plants (when they were still small), leaving holes in the dirt where they used to be.

We only had 2 tomatoes show signs of blossom end rot, which is something we struggle with yearly (and also why I plant them with lots and lots of eggshells - maybe it's finally helping?). We had a decent tomato crop, but the weather this year didn't cooperate so well, and the lack of heat held them back a little. Our bell pepper plants only gave us 2 peppers all season, but that's sort of typical for us. We almost never get a decent amount of them....which makes me wonder why we keep trying. We love the idea of making fresh salsa with almost all of the ingredients coming from our garden, so...I suppose that's why!

Our spinach had a good initial  yield, and then fizzled out really quick. It kept going to flower and then leaves would yellow and wilt. It was difficult keeping up with it, and I'm not an every day gardener, which I think spinach really needs you to be.

Our broccoli was pretty terrible this year. It had gigantic foliage, but only gave us two small crowns (from 6 plants). We usually get much more than that....usually all 6 give us a decent sized one, and then many of them go on to give us a second round of slightly smaller crowns. Not sure what the deal with that was this year.

Our herbs were phenomenal, aside from the cilantro that burnt out by early July. Our cherry & grape tomatoes were incredibly delicious, and had a pretty decent yield - possibly a little smaller and ending a little earlier than normal, though.

But the star of the show? The jalapenos. They were crazy.....we have so, so many of them! And they are HOT!

As I mentioned, though, my favorite part of all were the colors we had this year. I just want to stare at these and drink them up all day long. I'm thinking of getting a print of the basket of tomatoes in a bigger size and hanging it up in the kitchen. I'm crazy about those colors! (And it's an iphone photo to boot!)

Many times, things that we try to grow fail, but our lot is absolutely full of things we never planned on being so beautiful. Nature is kinda fun that way!

Fall is moving in fast, and while most of the leaves are still green, you can tell that they'll be turning very soon. My herbs will be cut down and brought in to dry in the next couple of nights as 30 degree lows are headed our way. Though I love fall with all my heart and soul, saying goodbye to this growing season is getting harder to do every year!

But I promise to have some more drool-worthy color to share very soon ;)

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