Well, the garden is about done here. I do still have some broccoli growing, and some peas and herbs, but most of the vegetables are done. I've been letting the chickens graze in the big garden. They love that! The small garden still has the broccoli and peas, but the tomatoes are done. The chickens frequently escape into that garden, too, but then Katie scares them back to the other yard. She loves chasing the chickens, and so far she has remembered not to actually touch them.
This summer, the peppers grew well. The tomatoes did ok, not as well as I'd hoped due to weather and deer, but still better than last year. And I planted lots more, so I'd be sure to at least have some tomatoes. The cucumbers did well, including the fall planting. I think we'll do that again next year. The peas did much better in the fall, but that was probably due to the fact that I planted them in a sunnier location. The pumpkins, cantaloupes, and butternut squash all did alright. None did as well as I'd hoped, but all did ok. The zucchini did ok for a time in the early summer before falling to blight, like usual.
The herbs did really well this year. I had good crops of cilantro, basil, sage, oregano, and I've always got lemon balm. Mint didn't do quite as well as in the past, but it is in a pot and probably the soil is not as good. I'll have to add dirt next year, or some kind of compost.
Speaking of compost, the "working worms" are doing really well now. Lydia loves worms and is often playing with them, so I've told her that the compost worms are "working worms" not "play worms" so I don't have to worry about her killing them. She does like to check on them with me, but she doesn't pick them up and mush them around. They have just about finished one tray of compost and are working on a second. The worm bin sits in the corner of my kitchen, and I've been pleased to report no smells coming from it, and no fruit flies, either. Between the chickens and the worms, we don't have too many food scraps left!
As for the fruit trees we planted, those did not fare as well. The plum and pear trees look great. The peach tree did look good, but I think maybe a deer ate its leaves, because they are gone now. The apple, cherry, and mulberry trees never did sprout leaves. I'm debating about trying to plant a newer, bigger fruit tree from just a local place. Even though the pear and plum trees look really healthy, both are very small.