Congratulations to the August winner, R.B. from the Syracuse area. He entered the drawing in May of 2011. If you haven't won yet don't despair. I keep all of the entries and just add to them. Also, you can enter as many times as you like. Just fill in a contact form at the Devine Gardens website.
So far the garden has avoided major pest and disease infestations. Some of the tomatoes have early blight but not late blight. Early blight slowly kills the leaves but won't kill the plant in days like late blight. Your tomato plants will still be productive with early blight. I have been spraying all of the garden plants with vermicompost tea about once a week or when the rain stops. Boy has it been wet!
Earlier in the season the cabbages got some cabbage worms but they were splitting because they were so huge so I made them into sauerkraut and some of the best coleslaw we have ever had. The broccoli was amazing. I dug up some potatoes and made salt potatoes with butter, so good. Tonight I'm making one of my summer favorites - ham boiled with potatoes and green beans. All in all I'm real happy with the garden this year.
We got 6 chickens and a rooster in May - 2 Barred Rock, 2 Wyandotte, 2 Rhode Island Red and the rooster is a bantam Leghorn. Four of the chickens have started laying eggs. One of the chickens, Grace (don't even ask how she was named) is very talkative, likes to have her back petted and has even let us pick her up. The chickens have free range of the yard and are a lot of fun to watch.
Mike and I have been busy this summer putting up the fence behind our house for our family dairy cow. Her name is Betty Boop and she should be coming in early October. Her calf will be due around April. This is her first time having a calf. It's also my first time having a cow. All of the fence posts are in the ground and the braces are done. We have to run high tensile wire, install the gates and hook up the electricity to the fence. The pasture will be about 7 acres. We are also having two 6 month old steers come in early October to keep Betty company.
The worms are healthy and busy making vermicompost. I have made a few nice batches of compost. Hopefully, I'll be able to make quite a few more before the snow and ice comes.
I hope all of you and your plants are doing well. There are going to be some spectacular days as our warm weather starts to cool down into fall. Enjoy!