With schools starting for the fall term, it seemed appropriate to assign some grades to my vegetable garden on this Labor Day Weekend. Different from the last couple of summers, we’ve had lots of rain and plenty of heat and sunshine. But similar to past summers, some things did well and some didn’t do well at all. Here are the grades:
Tomatoes: “A+” Wow. What a tomato crop this season and they are not finished yet. I’ve loosely kept track. We’ve picked at least three to four bushels so far this summer. In recent weeks, late blight took out a few of the plants, but those remaining kept chugging along. Lots of tomato soup, tomato juice, and salsa already on the cellar shelves.
Potatoes: “A+” Good potato year; they like lots of rain. We’ve dug about six bushels.
Green beans: “A” We continue to pick them. Wonderfully tasty.
Early sweet corn: “D” Small ears, not many of them. Poor crop.
Late sweet corn: “A” I planted it on the Fourth of July, after I harvested the peas. It came along quickly, and yesterday we ate some of the first of this late crop. Some of it blew half way over from one of our frequent rain storms, but it straightened out and did well.
Early Peas: “B” Average crop, but oh so good eaten fresh
Carrots: “F” Poor crop this year. Must try something different next year. Different variety.? New approach to planting?
Peppers: “F-“ Nothing. Not one green pepper, not even a little scraggly one. Need a different variety?
Onions: “C” Good crop but nothing to brag about.
Cabbage: “A” Excellent crop. Lots of good coleslaw. Even a batch of sauerkraut that Natasha is brewing.
Swiss chard: “A” Still harvesting it. Doing great. Beautiful plants.
Leaf Lettuce: “A” Finally harvested the last of it.
Broccoli: “A” Even with the hot weather it hasn’t given up.
Cucumbers: “A” I Picked several cukes again yesterday. I grow the long, slicer types. Not the stubby pickling varieties.
Squash and Pumpkins: “Incomplete.” They are still growing and look to be an average or maybe a little above average crop.
Zucchini: “No grade.” I’ve been heard to say that if you can’t grow zucchini you’d best turn to basket weaving. Every week another armful of zucchini. Ruth makes loaf after loaf of zucchini, which she freezes. She also makes some really tasty zucchini muffins with raisins.
Sunflowers: “A” Ten feet tall with huge heads. I have a long row alongside the south end of the garden. They add a splash of yellow to the garden.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Oh, the mysteries and joys of vegetable gardening.
Workshop: Writing From Your Life: Offered at The Clearing, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on October 28. Call 920-854-4088 to learn more and to register.
September 8, 7:00 p.m. McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids. Workshop on memoir writing. Participants should have a copy of TELLING YOUR STORY as it will be used in the workshop. Book will be available for sale the evening of the workshop.
September 15, Midwest Master Gardeners, Chula Vista Resort, Wisconsin Dells. Dinner Speaker, Whisper and Shadows.
September 18, 1-5, Markesan Heritage Days, Markesan, WI. Speaking at 2:00 p.m. Books will be available.
September 20, Albertson Memorial Library, Albany, WI. 7:00 p.m. Barns of Wisconsin.
September 21, Stonefield Village, Casville, WI. 11:00 a.m. Telling Your Story: Why it's important and how to do it.
September 29, Whitewater Library, 6:00 p.m. Roshara Journal.
October 2, Mystery to Me Book Store, Madison. 2:00 p.m. Roshara Journal.
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Jerry’s newest books, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their stories—are also available.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street