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I made some bread today…

Homemade bread

for the first time since my brothers left Germany. They spent two and a half weeks with me here, and are back home in New York state now. It was a lot of fun having them come to visit and it almost made me forgot that I am living so far away from home. I am enjoying spending time here with my husband Thomas and our ten month old daughter Anna but my thoughts still wander to where I grew up and where I would later spend most of my weekends (especially during harvest season!). Right about now in my garden back home I would be harvesting Roma, Cherry and Beefsteak tomatoes, zucchini, butternut, acorn and summer squash, cucumbers, leeks, peppers, and if the seeds I planted when I was visiting this summer have yielded any crops yet there would also be beans, beet greens and broccoli rabe. My family will have to do the harvesting this year, and the eating!

Unfortunately for us here in Germany the small garden we put in our back yard did not fare too well. We have had a ton of rain over the past month and it is still not ceasing. Our tomato plants were first attacked by fleas, which I managed to stave off for a while with a little soapy water (organic soap) solution sprayed on every branch and leaf. What a pain that was! But then rot set in on some of the plants and spread quickly to all of our other plants and with all the rain there wasn’t much I could or, at that point, wanted to do about it. The tomatoes were lost save a few that I managed to harvest before all of the plants were affected.


These were the lone survivors.

We have a bounty of yellow squash coming in from the plants in our back yard though and the beans are just about ready to be picked as well. Some of the squash was victimized by very large and hungry red slugs, the likes of which I had never seen before moving here, that seem to be residing en masse in our back yard. Instead of trying to divert their attention somewhere else or moving them out of the yard one by one, which is the only organic and friendly way I have found to get rid of them, I figured I would let them slime a few of my squash as long as they left me enough to eat, which they inadvertently have.

Yellow squash

The community garden that we have a plot in this year has been a bit more productive. We have harvested beet greens, chard, carrots, onions, leeks, lettuce, cabbage, fennel, potatoes and flowers! Canning season is here and I am excited to start canning and freezing our produce. But that will have to wait for another day.

Beet greens