Marcelle St. Germain
Big Ugly, West Virginia

Our gardeners are sweating it out in their gardens as the heat index has hit 100 degrees and higher for the last week. The plants definitely need some water as it’s been hit or miss for the last couple of weeks with rain showers. Thunderstorms have moved in and out quickly so there might be a quick drench but nothing more.

A lot of vegetables are really looking for a deep drink. The sweet potatoes arrived so late that there’s only now minimal shade for their roots. Reports are that many of the potatoes being harvested are on the small side. Tomatoes on the vine have slowed their growth. So many gardens are totally dependent on rainfall. Gardeners with the ability to pull water from the creek or a well are in the best shape.

Watermelon starting to grow

While we were very pleased with our harvests at the end of June, July thus far has proved a bit of a disappointment. The late planting due to the cold spring, and now the very hot and dry weather has slowed the July harvest. Some rain is in the forecast for the week of July 20th. Here’s hoping we get some consistent showers during the week.

Spaghetti squash growing

The big hit this year – pressure canners. We have been able to stock a fairly good number of large pressure canners and our gardeners are tickled to get one. The other very popular item: vacuum sealers. Gardeners are preparing to freeze a significant amount of their harvest – so the sealers are a big help.

Many of our gardeners are quite disappointed that we cannot hold workshops this season. Internet videos, they report, are helpful but they miss the connection to other gardeners and sharing the wisdom of the garden.