I don’t think I’ve mentioned enough about how rainy the summer has been around here. Seriously, all we’ve had is rain. It’s been so overcast that our goats went into heat this week. This is quite early; most goats are seasonal breeders and don’t start cycling for another month yet. I’m no expect on caprine endocrinology, but if I had to wager a guess it’s because there’s been so little sun due to cloud cover that their bodies think it’s closer to the autumnal equinox than it actually is. Yeesh.
Anyway, we’re not talking about goats today. We’re talking about the poor, neglected garden. Too much has transpired this year (and too many rainy days have happened) to focus on it much, so it’s an overgrown mess. We’ve got potatoes, peas, strawberries, cabbage and broccoli going. We got a few tiny heads of broccoli, the strawberries will take another year to produce anything, the cabbage we never intended to grow, and we won’t know how well the potatoes are going until we dig them up.
All that said… the butternut squash is going swimmingly!
We have tons of blossoms and little green squashlets (?)! Due to rain, we also have slugs – beaucoup. We’ve been picking them off as we see them and tossing them to the chickens (who are all deeply appreciative) but we’ve got to find a way to get them under control. A few of the squashlets have already yellowed up and fallen off the vine due to slugs eating them. Seeing as how butternut squash looks to be our only crop this year, this has been considered nothing short of a declaration of war.
So, how will we win? Don’t know. We’re not going to resort to chemical pesticides; I’d rather lose the whole crop than that. There are a few organic products out there, but unfortunately from most of my reading it seems like the best method is to just regularly check the plants over and pick them off. In case you haven’t picked up on it from previous posts, time I have not. I might let the ducks run through and see what happens; I don’t think they’re as inclined as the chickens would be to eat the blossoms.
Hopefully, we’ll have a bountiful harvest of squash, and the ducks will be have the opportunity to turn those slugs into eggs!
As for our other horticultural enterprise, Pomology has been going well. I thought I’d left 6 peaches behind after plucking off all the other fruits, but there’s actually 9. I really should pull off 3 (if we want to get technical I should pull off all 9), but at this point I can’t bring myself to. It’ll be nice to have a few fresh peaches this year.
We also had our first cherry harvest this year!
….yeah. It was kind of hard to split that 5 ways. With some luck, we’ll be much more fortunate with the squash!