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Almost Fit’s Organic Garden Summer Update

Posted Jul 21 2008 10:04am

As part of our family experiment with sustainable living, we are putting our money where our mouth is andgrowing our own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. We supplement our crops with what’s in season at the Farmer’s Markets in our area, namely the Pacific Northwest. I hope this report doesn’t bore you to tears - we are having a blast with it, and wanted to share our progress. Thanks for readingAlmost Fit.

organic gardenThe weather in Northwest Oregon has finally turned to hot summer days, with no end in sight. As a result, our garden is going crazy. Rather than a long and boring diatribe of the finite details, here’s a high level list of what’s been happening:

- We had our first harvest of strawberries in the children’s garden - And it was Rima, who harvested and “processed” them. She LOVES strawberries.

- Tomatoes have gone from blossom to the beginnings of fruit just in the last couple of days

- Radishes are reaching a nice edible size, and really pack a punch

- Celery stalks are in full regalia

- Garlic and onions are filling in

- Turnips are moving along nicely

- Corn is growing about an inch a day

- Spinach has gone to seed at 4 feet high or so

- We have our first cucumber on the vine, with squash blossoms soon to come

- Carrots and potatoes are taking off

- Raspberry bushes will not produce this year, but they are growing rapidly

- Blackberries surrounding our yard have berries all over them, waiting to ripen

- Mesclun is at it’s peak, as is the red leaf and romaine

- Swiss chard is nearly ready for the first harvest

- Sweet peas are bearing delicious fruit

- Green beans have sprouted

- Basil, mint, and a variety of herbs are all in full swing

- Roses are in full bloom, as are the lavender bushes

And that’s just what I can think of off the top of my head. With the heat and no rain in sight, we are watering about every other day, and shading some of the more tender plants during the peak sun hours.

Here are a handful of photos.

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organic garden

This weekend we also created yet another raised bed for a new patch of blueberry bushes. The bed is about 14 ft. by 12 ft. or so, and will be raised a foot above ground level. We spent the first few hours shoveling and wheelbarrowing the dirt into that bed in 95-degree direct sun, but we were relieved from duty when our neighbor offered to bring his tractor over and finish the job for us. He did a parallel amount of work in about 5 minutes.

organic garden

How to get rid of Aphids without chemicals

So far we’ve had very little trouble with pests. Beyond a few slugs here and there, our biggest challenge has been aphids. we had aphids in our herb garden, happily chewing away.

The solution? Apparently ladybugs have a hankering for aphids, so we picked up a package at the local home and garden store. It cost about 5 bucks for a bag of a hundred ladybugs, and they quickly solved the aphid invasion.

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