The “Lazarus” Garden

Since it’s supposed to rain for many, many (thank you God) many days, I slipped out to the garden for a long “lets-see” (that’s what my dad used to say: “let’s go out for a lets-see”. That’s Texan for: “let us go out and look to see what we can see”) before the rain.


Though the dogs usually go with us most places (not restaurants), they are not allowed into the garden until after the harvest. I like that they go after voles and ground squirrels, but all that digging also disrupts sensitive plants. So “no dogs allowed”.



I understand why the Irish have been associated with cabbage and potatoes~ these veggies seem to do well in our garden no matter the weather or the beating that a Montana summer offers. Here’s a good example. Flat Dutch cabbage (this is an awkward pic but shows how large it is with my big fat garden shoe in there for perspective). This plant was beaten to smithereens by hail just 6 weeks ago. Now look at it! It still has several more weeks of growth potential since cabbage tolerates cooler temperatures. All of our cabbage and B. sprouts (of all things) look good. Broccoli and cauliflower not so much.



Broccoli is pretty pathetic.


Kale and Swiss chard have completely bounced back from the storm. There are a few tell-tale holes but that could also be cabbage worm damage. No matter~ this whole plant and more of this row is going into the dehydrator for later use through the winter.

And look at this! Summer squash! I really didn’t think we’d get any squash this year! The yellow squash is just days from ripening and we will get to eat this zucchini tonight! I can’t believe it! We even have many more squash coming on! MANY MORE!!! Yay!!! I never thought I’d be sooo happy to see squash in the garden~ especially zucchini. I love zucs but they can get pretty boring after a whole summer’s eating. But not this year! Zucchini~ YAY!


New Ace Sweet Peppers F1


Anaheim Hot Peppers- mild heat (supposedly similar to Hungarian Hot pepper in taste~ this is my first time to grow these so the jury is still out)


The peppers are small but we might have a bit more time for them to gain some heft. I’m not going to pick them yet. We have cool temperatures in the forecast but not freezing temps. So I’m just going to wait and see if they will grow out a little more.



I started a fall crop of beets in the raised bed that had garlic. Usually by the time fall comes around, I’m pretty “gardened” out. But this season was so wonky with a freeze at the end of June then the damaging hail in July~ other than weeding (which has been almost non-existent) we have not been able to enjoy the garden much at all. So I planted some beets. They look good so far. Beets don’t mind the cooler temperatures so a fall planting might perform better than spring anyway. We’ll see.

The green beans are soooooo cloooooose. They are blooming like crazy, man!

Just a little more time……



The same with the cucumbers.


But no corn this year. It looks good right now but it’s just barely started to tassel. It should have 2-3 more weeks of very warm weather to produce well filled out ears and we just don’t have that in the forecast. Corn is always iffy here. This nice patch of green leafy corn stalks will make our sweet Maisy happy.


The potatoes and onions are doing well. (I don’t have pics of these. No pictures of potatoes? I love potatoes! What’s the matter with me?)

But the best surprise are the sunflowers! The whole sunflower patch is starting to bloom!


I. am. just. amazed!

I can’t EVEN believe we have live sunflowers stalks at all let alone flourishing, blooming flowers!

No REALLY! 6 weeks ago these plants were just single sticks poking up out of the ground; stripped of leaves and barely alive.

Now look!




—-It’s silly really. I can’t explain the sadness I felt every time I looked out my kitchen window to see what I assumed was a lost cause. I truly thought the harsh weather brought complete and final destruction to our garden this summer. (It’s not like we are solely dependent on the garden to survive. I can actually walk to a grocery store to buy food if I had to. It would take awhile but I could get there.) But the time and work that goes into producing your own good food is a year long endeavor. Farming is a struggle. I don’t mind hard work. And I have it so much easier than most women in the world. I’m reminded almost everyday how easy it must have been for the early Montana farmers to fail. The back breaking work. Living on the edge. The hunger and probable sickness. How hard it must have been to have a summer like this one we’ve had. It’s because of those who came before us that we are able to live here now in relative ease. I try not to take their sacrifice lightly.—-

But God is good. And to my great surprise and complete undeservedness (Is that a word?) He completely rose this sad garden to productivity and beauty.

I am thankful.




Today’s count: 0 33 eggs. 0  1 gallon milk

What’s for supper: pork ribs with zucchini and onions sauteed in butter and garlic

Weather: A slight chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. Patchy fog before noon. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 67. South southwest wind 5 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Tonight partly cloudy, with a low around 41. South southwest wind 5 to 7 mph becoming calm in the evening.



Published by Elizabeth

Flowers make people happy!

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