Tuesday, July 24: 

another extract, this one from an email to ourselves:

Spent the last several hours considering life a bust and mine in particular a sterling example of complete inadequacy, a point of view that solidified as I stood over the wilting corpse of yet another squash plant.  All the squash in the raised bed with the asparagus is riddled by vine borers.  A plant which yesterday was perfectly beautiful is wilted terribly today.  I cut off parts, stabbed the stem in various places with my Uncle Henry, and squashed young squash bugs in a state of near despair.
I walked down to the big garden as it was getting dark.  I had stacked all the sheet metal from the woodshed roof against the fence by the carpark place, and weeded the asparagus while I watered all the stabbed squash vines, and waited for all the boys to get home from baseball so that they could watch the bread in the oven while I went down the hill, and finally they came home so I took the wheelbarrow full of weeds and moldy cantaloupe – one dollar a crate at the farm auction and we did eat about half of them before they spoiled — and I went down to the big garden to see how bad the vine borers were in that garden, but it was really too dark, so I gathered some more weeds and went down to the pigs.
They really appreciated the cantaloupe.
Then I undid the hose into the stock tank, which took a while because I was turning the wrong hose and holding still the other one, instead of the other way around, and pulled it into the garden and watered the young squash vines and then dropped the hose into the row for the night.  I was somewhat reassured about our gardening by the absolutely lush appearance of the garden — I mean, if it was really a failure, would it look so good?  The onions are things of beauty, and the tomatoes show as yet no signs of developing blight despite the damp heat; the peaches are nearly ripe but not quite, and if the first planting of corn somehow forgot to put out ears, the second planting, the one that is so stunted, is setting ears at a great rate.  The pigs are models of perfect pigness, and although the boys are still bothering me to let them give Baby more grain, I have to say I think the milk cows are doing well, too.  We have them in paddocks at the bottom of the pasture, and S-3 and I are fighting about how big the paddocks should be.
We made bread today, seven loaves and five or six dozen sandwich rolls, and a dozen pizzas.  It took the whole day, of course.