I brushed up against one of these mini monsters last night (Saddleback Caterpillar) and my goodness did it hurt! I got lucky and didn't have a stinger break off in my skin. Going back out there this morning I see that there are loads of them all over the corn; I have no idea how we'll safely harvest it. This is the reality of organic gardening - it's not all cute bumblebees and friendly praying mantis πŸ˜…

In our growing zone we have to plant fall crops right at the hottest point in the season, otherwise there's just not enough growing time before the first frost. I'm always in awe that these cool- weather loving plants just push onward (and upward, as it were). Despite the persistent heat, I can feel the edges of autumn pushing closer and closer and I'm grateful for the coming change in culinary delights.

We're seeding cover crop - a blend of Buckwheat, Ladino clover, and Red clover. The clover fixes Nitrogen and the Buckwheat will make Phosphorous more available for future crops. Buckwheat grows quickly and winter-kills. I'm hoping the buckwheat flowers in time to give the bees one last feast before seasons end. When the crop gets killed over winter it will then mulch the beds and provide winter habitat for other insects.

Also - smol modern farmdog hard at work πŸ’•

Bolita Azul Oaxaca, a landrace heirloom corn given to us by a kind soul looking to share and spread its beauty. The first few ears we'll save for seed and sharing; the rest we hope to make into homemade tortillas. I've been research nixtamalization - if anyone has experience with the process, I'm all ears 🌽 😜

(it's not obvious in the photo but this corn is easily 12' tall!)

A delicious cantaloupe modeling closed-loop/zero waste growing...
1. Harvest πŸ‘©β€πŸŒΎ
2. Slice to eat 🀀
3. Rind and soft flesh to compost/vermicompost πŸ›
4. Seeds saved 🌱

August feels like a legit hustle to preserve as much as possible. We got a batch of crushed tomatoes processed, dehydrated slices for 'sundried' (so nice to have on a gray winter day), and about 1.5 lbs of fresh basil made into pesto for freezing.

Here's the crushed tomato recipe we use if you're looking to do the same.

We're harvesting around 10-15 lbs of produce every other day at the moment. Growing enough to feed ourselves, store for winter, and share with others. We're doing it all organically on about 1772 ftΒ² (0.04 acre) in an urban area. We're not just feeding humans, but also a large population of insects and wildlife that have moved in as well. I share all of this because I want others to know how very possible it is to cultivate abundance for yourself and everything around you. πŸ’š 🌿

Last weekend I had the joy of helping a friend tend to her Langstroth beehives. We inspected and replaced frames, checked queens and brood, and even harvested some delicious honey and comb. 🐝 🍯


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