August in upon us and the summer has only 48 days left. Many will welcome the relief from the hottest summer on record in their area. Here in eastern Nebraska, my area is today into day 45 without a drop of rain. Some areas of Nebraska have received token rain storms but well below our normal rain fall for this time of the year. Farm cash crops and gardens alike have suffered under the relentless heat even if irrigation and watering has been done. At Terra Nova Garden over 2,000 gallons of water has been hauled in two 55 gallons drums just in the month of July. The water hauling has paid off and the tomato crop has started producing.
Today with the temperatures in the 80s will provide a day that is meant for canning tomatoes. I have given away as many as I can give away which has been about again as many as you see here in this picture. The first flush of tomatoes is almost over. I suspect that because of the hot weather the next flush will be a while in coming. I really wasn't planning on canning tomatoes this year but there they are waiting for the canner.
This has been an amazing year even with the hot dry weather. These pumpkins were harvested from the garden a few days ago. Normally pumpkins are not ripe until September in Nebraska. The neighbor across the street from where I live grew these at Terra Nova Gardens. Bradley my grandson is on the right and the neighbor's son is on the left. Since this picture was taken my neighbor has sampled the watermelon and gave his seal of approval. Most gardeners this year have said that the size of the vegetables are smaller but the flavor is wonderful. It's like the flavor of a normal sized vegetable is packed into the smaller size.
In the last post, I wrote about the picnic table and the lawn mower that had been donated to the Terra Nova Gardens and Urban Ranch to help with the care and maintenance. Since then the donations for the garden have rolled in a steady pace.
This is a donated tiller. Everything looks to be good but it just won't fire up. I checked the spark, air cleaner, and compression. All look good. Upon removing the spark plug for inspection, it appears to be getting gas so I'm stumped as to what could be the problem. I have it in the shop now to see if it's worth fixing. I suspect it will need a carburetor kit or something minor to get it into service. It will be a great asset for the garden.
A few days ago a friend of mine called to ask me if I could use a composter. My mind thought of a plastic barrel that held a small amount of compost material. Much to my surprise when I went to pick it up, it was the deluxe model. This composter now resides by the raised beds in my backyard. It will be come the composter for these beds which will now be used for growing plants for the big garden (Terra Nova Gardens).
In addition to these items the list continues. Someone gave a refrigerator for storage, another gave string for the weed whacker, wire tomato cages, a roll of weed barrier, and yet another gave a roll of chainlink fence fabric. All of these can be used at Terra Nova Gardens. It has taken on a life of its own. Even if folks can't go and work there they want to be a part of the project by donations. I never thought it woud end up like this that first day when I showed up with a spade, hoe, and a rake. Unbelieveable favor has been shown to me by everyone that has heard about Old Nebraska Dave and his garden. I am truly overwhelmed by all the interest.
My daughter, who has no interest in gardening, has gotten involved. She works for Walgreens. A couple days ago, the store where she works was cleaning out the garden seed section. They can't just give away product but they can give big discounts. She convinced the store manager to sell her all the left over seed packages to her for a penny a piece. She brought home 270 some packs of every kind of vegetables herbs imagineable. Oh, yeah, and her manager only charged her $2.00. These are packages that orginally sold for a dollar a piece. I have started communcating with penpals through letter writing from the GRIT personals. Even they have sent sunflower and catalope seeds for the garden next year. It blows my mind how things just keep coming into my possession for the new garden.
This is Terra Nova Gardens in July 2012. I still can't believe how far its come in just one year. My neighbor across the street that grew the pumpkins has encouraged me to pursue the idea of sinking a well in the area where the spring is. That would be in front of my truck just past the picnic table and to the left behind the big cottonwood tree. Even in this dry weather there is water on the surface. It's down about six or eight inches from Spring level but still has plenty of water in it. It's about maybe 10 feet in diameter and serves as a watering hole for much of the wild life. Life goes on at Terra Nova Gardens.
Have a great August everyone. Let me know if the garden has left you good fortune this year. If you have any extra rain, can you please send it my way? :0)