We expanded our garden this year, and most everything had a good year. Tomatoes outperformed. After year upon year of blight and pests and too much rain, this year was perfect. The tomato plants are sagging under the weight of all their fruits. As the days grow shorter and a bit cooler, the plants are just starting to whither. Two dozen quarts of canned tomatoes sit on our basement shelf. We could do more, but work is taking up too much time. Now, gardening is work too, that is why I need to free up my time come August and September. I did not plan for a superior tomato year.
The young peach tree -- a Red Haven -- bore many fruits back in early August; tasty but not super sweet. We canned more than a dozen pints. We planted the old peach in 1996. In recent years it has dropped a few big limbs. Each year we consider chopping it down. A month ago its fruits were small and hard and green. The old peach ripens late. It is a hardy peach, a Reliance, its fruit sweet and juicy. For a week now we've been harvesting basketfuls of peaches from this tree. Yesterday Srini and his mother canned a dozen pints. We're done with canning peaches for the year, the old peach may live on.
The only crop that has suffered this year are the green beans. A deer mowed down the bush beans a couple times. It eventually recovered to yield a handful of beans every few days. My pole beans neglected to climb the poles until late, by which time the Japanese beetles found them.
I'm already planning for next year. Thinking about how to outwit the deer and how to schedule my work to leave open time for the garden harvest. Or maybe I am just hopeful.