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Stories from Our Nest

Country Living Fair- Ohio 2016

This past weekend, I had a fantastic time presenting at the Country Living Fair in Ohio. I shared my love of keeping bees, chickens and gardening with the audience. I also got to meet many of you in person, signing books. For those of you that couldn’t make it, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things that I discovered at the fair. I find these so inspiring and I hope you do too. I have loved the magazine for years and the best way to describe attending one, is that the pages of the magazine come to life.

Gardening Plants

How Does Your Garden Grow?

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow
~Audrey Hepburn
It’s been a very strange growing year on Cape Cod. We had a chilly spring. June brought us copious amounts of rain and the warmer summer temperatures did not really arrive until July. The garden has been confused. We seem to be harvesting later than usual and things have seemed to stall all summer long. This month, plants are finally beginning to bear their fruits and vegetables.
Last year fall on clearance, I purchased a small leafless bush that was marked raspberries.  Well, low and behold- it was not raspberries at all. It was a blackberry bush and they are just coming into harvest!  They are a very tart variety, probably best for a jam.  I love to watch my family taste one-pucker-and return for more!
I pulled the onions, as their tops were dying off and turning brown. They are a bit tiny- more like a shallot size.  They should have reached a 3-4 inch diameter.  I think I might pickle these.
I was also a bit disappointed with the garlic harvest too! I placed the bulbs in the drying rack. Again, about half the size I am accustomed to.

I planted broccoli early in the season.  It stalled too! I should have seen crowns by June. I didn’t and the plants still looked healthy, so instead of pulling them I left them in. I didn’t have much faith because broccoli doesn’t care for summer sun and heat.  Yet low and behold, those plants are now pushing up the crowns.

Our first spear of Fall asparagus has arrived.
Baby eggplants are emerging.

My peppers are almost ready for picking.

My cucumbers are just starting to bloom and
my tomatoes are still green. Typically by this time, I have an overflowing abundance of both.
Even the delicious cipolinni onions are petite.
We did have wonderful abundant crops of lettuce, Swiss chard, kales and sorrel. 
I am now in the process of planting the cold weather crops. I am a die hard optimist that could never imagine not having a garden. I am thankful for what we have been able to harvest no matter the size. This weekend, you can find me out in the back, by the raised beds up to my ears in seeds and chicken manure compost.
Photo Credits:  Tilly’s Nest