The gardens are thriving with all the rain we had this spring and early summer. It’s also been temperate for this time of year, dropping into the 60′s at night. Very few pests and I attribute that to my swaths of ‘meadow’ – grass that I let go long. I noticed families of bats flitting back and forth over the gardens at dusk, ladybugs on various plants in the daytime, and hundreds of fireflies. The firefly babies are the carnivores who eat the bad guys in early spring.
Sadly, my township ordinance doesn’t allow free standing meadows ‘within 300 feet of residencies’, so I was forced to trim the biggest area visible to the neighbors who tattled on me. I did rebel and leave an area long, to the far side of garden. These township ordinances need to be rethought, as many of the traditional pests – mosquitoes, aphids, cabbage worms- could be prevented through simple measures like allowing hedgerows and wild areas for overwintering insects, birds and toads. More farmers and gardeners across the country are returning to methods used for generations before pesticides were invented.
I planted my lettuces, arugula, radicchio, sorrel and dandelions very closely together. They’ve been providing wonderful salads since late May. These are a mix from Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Maine (I’ve been buying from them since the 1970′s!) and Jung Seeds in Wisconsin.
I have never been able to grow cabbage like this- coleslaw with homegrown apples coming soon…
The zucchini looks healthy too, no vine borers….yet.
A small plot of Silver Queen corn should offer some tasty eating come late July or August.
This is a baby winter squash called ‘Sunshine’ from Johnny’s. It’s a scarlet fruited Kabocha type hybrid developed in 2004, that rated highly in trials throughout the US and Canada. I hope to be making a fall pie from the few that I have dotted around the gardens.
Monarda attracts bees and butterflies and smells and looks lovely in the garden. I got my native versions from Redbud Nurseries in Glen Mills, PA.
These are beautiful and unique lilies that I bought from the Delaware Valley Daylily Society at a church garden sale in Paoli a few years ago.
I also had some good press for my SAITA coordinating efforts for Maysie’s Farm. Red Flag Media publishes GRID, a free Philly magazine that is also readable in a cool netbook online. Pg 6 is where they highlighted the workshop series. The Philly Inquirer has graciously been putting us into their weekly gardening calendar and Lancaster Farming also has the workshops listed in their event calendar.
And the Chester County Buy Fresh, Buy Local Food Guide is finally published- pdf format available at the link. Some of my photos from the ’08 farm tour are in the guide. Nicely done with help from various local groups, including the CCPlanning Commission.