Do you ever feel like your garden is telling time– growing quicker than you can imagine– proving that even though the days are quite long, the busyness of summer days can be unrelenting. Hopefully you remembered to get that mulch down early so that the weeds aren’t teaching you a lesson.

This is the time of year that I can see who has the time to spend in their garden. Rows are neat and tidy, with few weeds because of generous maintenance or because they are heavily mulched. There are trellises holding the growing weight of cucumbers, beans, and tomatoes proudly.


This photo is of one of our second year participant’s garden. They are thrilled with the trellising equipment this year and are putting it to good use. They mulched the walkways with cardboard and chipped wood.

The next photos are from the Methodist Community garden where each building unit has a 12’x3′ raised bed box. This size is easy to manage (and perhaps a bit too easy to overplant). The cucumbers and beans and tomatoes have somewhere to go besides into one another in this small space with the use of the trellis.

IMG_6732 IMG_6727


This family has been spending a lot of time weeding, but staying on top of it! They have a big beautiful garden to feed their family of four as well as some extended family and friends. They are looking forward to the Canning Workshop tomorrow where all their puttin’ up questions will be answered. The photo of the tomatoes below shows Barabara’s innovative twine she made out of old pop bottles.



Next is Mr. Casey setting up the next layer of Florida Weave on the tomatoes. They use lots of straw mulch on their growing beds and wood mulch on the walkways. Also, they are implementing the wide row method of planting. They recently expanded  their garden space by 15 feet, enough for 2 more rows and walkways; they are quite proud of their new garden gate.



What is best about it all is that everyone is eating something from their garden. Everyone is learning from the experience about what they will do next time. They are learning from (and manipulating some) nature.

IMG_6824 The Japanese beetles are taunting us, but folks have been diligent about hand picking them off plants. Some have used their organic insecticide spray they received at our June meeting on Insect and Disease Management.

IMG_6722 Yum yum. Some of the first summer squash of the season.

IMG_6751 Cabbage planted with nasturtiums- companion planting. That ugly weed is there because flea beetles love it and eat it over the other crops.

IMG_6775 Beautiful bee balm.


We are gearing up for our Canning and Preserving workshop tomorrow at the Wolfe County Cooperative Extension office. We are making and water bath canning corn relish with our local Extension FCS Agent. You should see the pile of jars in the meeting room! Pictures to come…

Thanks to Holly Korb for all the photos in this post. She took them during her Wolfe County Grow Appalachia site visit a few weeks ago when I whisked her around 8 different sites in the county– what a trooper!