LAKE MACBRIDE— Part of yesterday was clearing the dead and dying squash plants from the garden and planting turnips and transplanting butternut squash seedlings. It is dicey as to whether the squash will produce because of the timing of first frost compared to the 110 day growing cycle. Too, the abundance of squash beetles have nowhere to go without the zucchini and yellow squash plants, so even though they had not found the seedlings this morning, one suspects they will visit and if they like it, attempt to stay.
In that plot, the Brussels sprouts are thriving, as are the three kinds of peppers, Swiss chard and collards. This is the most bountiful year of gardening we’ve had.
In the cool downstairs await six bins of tomatoes and two of broccoli for processing. This is part of a work for food arrangement with a local organic grower. Combine it with the approaching and massive apple harvest and there will be plenty of work to do.
Yesterday I planted three trays of seedlings: lettuce, kale, broccoli, kohlrabi and squash. There is plenty of time left during the growing season for these crops to mature, and I am particularly hopeful about new cucumbers for pickling.
As summer races toward Labor Day and October frost, there is much to be done in the garden and in life. We have to eat to live, and because of this summer of local food, there will be no shortage there. It’s enough to sustain a life on the Iowa prairie, at least for a while.