Marcelle St. Germain
Big Ugly, West Virginia
We are now seeing a lot of our crops starting to mature as we finally received enough rainfall in the last 4 days to make a difference. May, June and the first half of July were particularly dry for these parts. (Fortunately, the very wet spring had thoroughly saturated the ground so crops did grow in May and into June.) “Scattered thunderstorms” in June and early July seemed to scatter everywhere but over some of our gardens. Several gardeners had their usual watering holes dry up in late June – the first time in about 20 years. One alternative was to haul water to the garden but with temperatures in the afternoon reaching into the nineties in the shade, there was only so much that could be done during the day without courting heat stroke.
Several of our gardeners experienced the resurrection of their corn crop after a “scattered thunderstorm” with its strong winds laid their corn down on the ground. Once the storm barreled through, the field of corn seemed to be beyond hope. The storm was then followed by 3 days of sunshine which raised all the corn back up. Needless to say, all the family was quite happy that there would be corn to eat and corn to put up.
We are now in the process of harvesting corn, cucumbers, peppers, beets, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, cabbage, beans and potatoes in large quantities. We are putting up slaw and pickles, peppers, corn and beans. Tomatoes are somewhat on the late side this year We are planning to can salsa at our food preservation workshop on July 25th.
Once again, the folks in Athens, Ohio, at the Community Food Initiatives, have sent us wonderful seed potatoes that are maturing into a tasty crop of good size potatoes. What a treat to have new potatoes from the garden! We are grateful for their help and finally the rain which is making it all grow.