The midwest is still going through something of a drought, and while the weather has certainly improved since having 10 consecutive days over 100 F, we still haven’t gotten much rain.
That said, the garden and chickens have mostly survived. With regards to the garden, the peas stopped producing about a month ago. I think we ended up with more peas than we got in Iowa last year, but not by too much. We’ve been getting green beans for the past few weeks as well, likely getting somewhere between 10 and 12 pints-worth (Brooke has canned 8 pints thus far). There are still more coming on, but we can already tell we won’t get anywhere near the (proportional) amount we got last year in Iowa. Same goes for the tomatoes. You can see in the picture above that the plants on the left are considerably smaller than those on the right. The right-hand ones seem to be a “cherry tomato” variety, as they’re pretty small, but still taste pretty decent. The ones on the left are the romas, the variety Brooke prefers using for canning. Sadly, while we’ve got some on there, it sure doesn’t seem like we’ll get all that many.
Aside from beans and tomatoes, we’ve still got a good number of green peppers coming on, as well as some squash and cucumbers. Brooke’s having to water the garden somewhat often just to keep things alive, and we’ve got a good deal of weeding to take care of sometime. I guess, considering the weather this summer, we’re pleased with the amount of stuff we’ve gotten, but it’s still a difficult shift from last year’s bounty.
The chickens aren’t laying eggs yet, which is quite disappointing, though not terribly surprising. Last year, the surviving chicken didn’t start laying eggs until right around now, but it’s also worth noting that chickens generally don’t like laying eggs in crazy hot weather. I’m checking every morning to see if they’ve started laying, as the weather has cooled a little bit, but no dice yet. Believe you me, I’m ready for some fresh eggs!
They’re nice and fat now, though, and they enjoy running around our yard. We probably still need to clip their wings again, but aside from one (brief) escape attempt from the large, white chicken, they’ve been pretty content to stay in our yard. The extreme heat has kept them in shady spots, though, so they tend to stay put.
Regardless, it’s a far cry from last year’s haul, but we’re making do!