Sometimes, especially for a novice gardener, things just don’t work out. This is the case with the cantaloupes that were fighting powdery mildew. Spraying whole milk on the leaves seemed to work on the test plants, but while we were experimenting the rest of the patch was overrun and we were not able to get it in check. Tomorrow we will remove the plants. The sole fruit, now about the size of a large lemon, will be cut in half and added to the platform for the birds to dine on. There’s always something else to take care of, so lets not dwell and move on to happier news.
Though it’s nearly 90 degrees here in Georgia, its time to wrap up things in the garden and start collecting seeds and nuts. The table is full of collected seeds, peppers (thanks to a great neighbor) and nuts; all to be distributed to friends and family. The peppadews were a hit, so we are saving some of the seeds to be planted next year. The walnuts are for dad, who will feed them to his chipmunks. A few weeks ago we were talking on the phone, and dad looked down to see one sitting on the toe of his boot, waiting for a handout. They have already starting gathering for the winter. He says that pecans are like crack to the chipmunks, so every year we haul some to West Virginia. Last year, they, along with the birds and deer, received black walnuts, pecans, and about 50 lbs of acorns. This year we will add hickory nuts from a tree around the corner that I came across on my walk a couple of days ago.
One of the best parts of raising vegetables and such is that you get a chance to barter with others. Why this brings me such enjoyment I don’t know, but thinking about these Georgia peppers, seeds and nuts being exchanged for West Virginia apples and recently butchered pork makes me very content, and maybe even complete. Sometimes I like to think that I would fit better in a different time, but then I think about my allergies and my laziness and think that maybe I’m good in 2016 after all.