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Dog Days of Summer on the Herban Micro-Farm

butterfly on bee balm flower
"Make your piece of this Earth into a garden. It matters." -- Richo Cech

We’re in the Dog Days…. Lots of heat and sun and practically no rain. The rain barrels are dry, so I’m dependent on my drip hose and city water (Yuck! Coincidentally, water-use restrictions have gone into effect in Northampton today.).

The plants are thriving as I’m drooping! Anise hyssop, basil, bee balm, calendula, catnip, cilantro, dill, echinacea, holy basil (aka tulsi), mints, motherwort, mugwort, st. johnswort, wormwood, and yarrow are filling the garden and my shelves as I dry, tincture, and oil-infuse them.

echinacea

Our veggie garden is starting to really crank now too. The kale, chard, and sorrel are still coming, and I’ve been picking green and wax beans by the pound!

“Ronde de Nice” and “Golden” zucchini (pictured below) are keeping me in squash, and the cherry tomatoes are slowly working up from a handful-harvest to a bowlful.

tonight's harvest

Always testing the boundaries of our sun-challenged little garden, this year’s “impossible-to-grow-here” veggies are mini-butternuts and yellow “Moon & Stars” watermelons. The vines are huge, defying my expectation that they wouldn’t amount to much. Crawling up along the fence and stretching through the garden, they’re covered in bee-filled flowers and little green fruits!

Next up is the construction of a new Winter vegetable bed, à la Eliot Coleman. It needs to be where a perennial herb bed is now, so I’ve got some digging to do!