Our family took an epic, 5000 mile, cross-country road-trip for 17 days during the later half of June. I worked very hard for the first half of June to prepare the garden to endure during our long trip away, making sure sprinklers and drip lines were functioning properly, harvesting anything that was ready before we left. But, after three weeks away from the garden, we returned to many tasks that needed immediate attention: giant summer weeds had sprouted and grown 2-3 feet tall in our absence; the apricots, cherries, strawberries, raspberries drooped under the weight of ripe fruit; the multi-species lawn pathways were in dire need of a mow; several areas were still under-watered.
So, even though I have been very busy in the garden, I have had no time to write about being in the garden!
The whole first week after our trip, I worked sun-up to sun-down, washing laundry from the trip and putting the house back in order, and harvesting fruit and processing it as fast as I could. The children were assigned the job of getting the lawn and weeds back under control.
Even though it was exhausting work, I could never be unhappy about an abundant harvest to return home to! I bottled several jars of cherry and raspberry jam. (The abundant strawberries were all quickly consumed by children, which is fine by me.) I picked only 1/3 of the apricot tree and made 15 jars of jam, 2 batches of fruit leather and 1 batch of dried apricots. This is adequate for our year’s consumption of apricots (aside from the fresh eating we are still doing). So, I decided it was time to share! I invited family, friends and neighbors to come share the harvest, and I am so glad they did!
Now, as I look forward to the next few weeks, I will be harvesting the garlic, collecting pea seeds, covering a few beds with a cover crop, and starting fall crops in others.