Typically, it’s about this time of year when I lose all desire to care for my garden. I mentioned before that I tripled my garden size, which felt so productive in the spring, but now is when reality sets in for the long haul. I realize that are aspects of my personality that may be too lazy for a huge garden in NC heat. Yes, there, I admit it. I said it!
But then I go out to tend to the weeds. (Well,”weeds” would be a really pleasant term, it’s more like a forest of undesirables growing amidst the bounty.) And when I start looking through the plants, I am shocked and thrilled. Beautiful veggies, more than I can eat in a day, are flourishing. Flourishing, I tell you. This is my first year, after MANY years, where I have a garden that is producing, with the desired results, and suddenly the hard work starts seeming manageable.
I will have to take a picture of what my garden looks like. It’s a total mess, I tell you, but it’s working. It’s one of those scenes that if you saw it you might say, “If she can do it, I can too.” And yes, you can.
So far I have yellow squash, cucumbers, blackberries, a few raspberries, and more zucchini than I will be able to use. I finally have enough squash to make this amazing Paula Dean Squash Casserole. Yum, it’s a killer recipe (and yes, I need to retake pictures for it), and then I plan on tasking my daughters the chore of making zucchini bread all summer. Plus, it’s the first time I will be able to share the bounty and that is so exciting.
My raspberry and black berry bushes are producing as well. Now, the raspberries only give us enough to pick and pop in our mouth. I am praying for the day when there’s enough for me to bake with and freeze, although it’s been four years, and I still haven’t seen that yet.
But this year, I will have lots of black berries. Yesterday, I picked four quarts, flash froze them so they didn’t stick together in one clump, and then stuck them in freezer bags right away. By freezing some now, I’ll have them for smoothies later on when the prices on fresh fruit are much higher. I love blackberries, but you do have to sacrifice your body if you really want to do some heavy duty picking.
I planted one thornless bush, but the rest are growing wild throughout our property, which is a blessing, but tricky non the less.
I am now waiting on tomatoes, and peppers. I planted between 20 – 30 plants of each, and I am almost ready to pick my first tomatoes. The peppers I am waiting on. They aren’t  looking really promising, but I can’t figure out what would have gone wrong. They were planted in excellent soil, so I am hoping they will just take a few more weeks to get there. The kids love raw peppers and we add them to our daily taco dip.
So share with me how your garden is going?
Are you excited, discouraged, ready to give up? Trust me, I know all the feelings well.
I love Tasty Tuesday this time of year because many of you start sharing recipes to use all this wonderful summer produce, and I love new inspiration.

Simple Rules for Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods –  As always, please link directly to your recipe post and not your blog URL, so that everyone can find the recipe months from now. The new image link that I amusing will not accept your recipe without a link back here to beautyandbedlam.com.
Also, Please do not link up a recipe meme that you have started. Thanks for your understanding.
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