The Garden is Finally Looking Like a Garden

Reader Contribution by Ginnie Baker
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It’s mid-July, and the garden is finally looking like a garden!

Things got a slow start with the cold spring but the tomato plants have small tomatoes, the squash plants have small squash and the pumpkins have small pumpkins.

The cabbage is beginning to form small heads so I think I’ll have plenty to make my yearly jars of sauerkraut.

My friend, Bonnie, and I have been lamenting the fact that none of our seed potatoes are coming up. I’m not sure why; I’ve always had a good crop of potatoes.

I know things will be late this year, but “better late, than never!”

My two apple trees are loaded with apples. I had my doubts this year because of the very harsh winter we had and with the plight of the honeybees. But, all seems to be well; both trees are loaded.

I’ll have to cover the lower parts of both trees with deer mesh to keep the deer from munching all the young apples, something they do every year. They bring the young ones at sunset and help themselves to the ripening apples.

My friend’s cornfield across the road lived up to the old saying, “knee high by the fourth of July’” but his soybeans are getting a slow start. It was so wet and cold this spring, he couldn’t get them planted very early.

Just as a lot of farmers around here, the soil was too wet and cold; they feared the seed would rot in the ground before it could spout.

The weather and temperatures have been so up and down, my flowers aren’t the best. The weather forecast for this coming week has our temperatures at 68 degrees! Imagine that? The middle of July, no less.

My miniature donkeys, Samson and Delilah, don’t mind the cooler weather at all. During the heat of the day, they pretty much stay in their barn with the big fan. Delilah knows just where to stand to take full advantage of the circulating, cooler air.

The two of them continue to be a real delight to have on the homestead.

Delilah is such a gentle girl but stubborn as the day is long. When she doesn’t want to do something, she plants her little hooves and won’t be led out to her pasture for anything … just staying “planted” in one spot until she decides to move.

Samson, on the other hand, is all energy from sun up until sun down. And, probably during the night!

He loves to pester Delilah, nipping and doing everything he can to agitate. She puts him on ignore until she can’t take anymore and then she nips back. It takes him totally by surprise.

They both have balls and rubber buckets to play with in their stalls. Delilah isn’t big into playing but Samson loves nothing better than to take a ball and try to force it through the bars of the gate.

His other favorite activity is to take the rubber bucket in his mouth and bang it loudly on the bars of the gate. He’ll do that when he thinks it’s time to eat! They have clocks in their stomachs; they get fed at 4 p.m. every day and they know exactly when that time comes around. They both start braying and calling me to come down to the barn.

And guess what? It works … I come down to the barn and feed them. It’s like Pavlov’s dogs in reverse! Who’s training who around here?

I like to keep this Amish proverb in mind every day:

“The best things in life, are not things.”

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