Monday, June 16, 2008

Cold in June

I have been working hard to get the garden in after having to wait to do so because of all the heavy rain and hard winds we received. All I have left to do is re-till the section in front of the high tunnel -- it's been tilled twice, but the rains have made the weeds grow like monsters -- and plant the hops, winter squashes and beans. I think I will forego the heirloom beans (you have to baby these heirlooms until you've grown and saved the seed for three years to acclimate the variety to your growing area) and just put my hopes with the Provider green beans for this year. On the 4th of July I will plant Green Wave Mustard Greens, Detroit Red Beets, and Scarlet Nantes carrots for late harvest.

I took some pictures of the garden. You can see how cloudy it is and has been. Sunshine has been brief all month, and while I am thankful for the rain after three hard years of drought, it would be nice to have at least some warmer temps. You can see how lush the woods are and how high the creek is -- it's almost to the top of its banks. In the garden I have covered three rows with Agribon to protect seedlings from wind and to give a bit more warmth. Tom is at the doctor today, but I hope to go back to the field after supper and cover the cucumbers and eggplants -- I already have the wire hoops in place so it shouldn't take too long. It was raining this morning so I cleaned house and scrubbed out the seedling trays and put them away till next year. It is supposed to be really cool tonight.

You wouldn't believe how many bug bites I have. I look like an escapee from the CDC. Mosquitoes and flies may be plentiful, but I have only seen ONE bee this year. Who knows what the harvest will look like with the temperatures more like September than June.

So what's in the garden? Mandan Bride flour corn; New England Pie Pumpkins; Lisbon Bunching onions, Southport Red Globe onions, and Stuttgart yellow onions; Peas (I went with several seed packets I received free from Jungs last year); Forellenschuss, Paris Cos, and Jung's leaf lettuce mix; Bull's Blood Beets, Bloomsdale and America Spinach; Kohlrabi, Collards, Copenhagen Market Cabbage, and Wong Bok Chinese Cabbage; Sweet Fennel, Genovese and Lemon Basil, Sweet Annie, Marigolds, Calendula, Bee's Friend, two kinds of Statice, Honesty, Cilantro, Mammoth Dill, Curly Leaf Parsley; Red Cloud and Kennebec potatoes; Perkins Long Pod Okra (some is also in the high tunnel), Black Beauty Eggplant (Round Mauve is in the high tunnel); Boston Pickling Cukes and Green Slicer cukes; and Charentais Melons. In the high tunnel are the Round Mauve eggplants, more Perkins Long Pod Okra, spearmint, catnip, and Italian Flat Leaf Parsley; St. Valery carrots; the "found" tomatoes -- Bloody Butcher, Chadwick Cherry, Riesentraube, one each Arkansas Traveler, Mortgage Lifter, and Cherokee Purple, and a couple of Rugers. Let's pray they all fruit! Something has already chewed most of the King of the North Sweet Peppers and half of the Okra, but most of the hot peppers -- Tobasco, Joe's Long Cayenne, Thai Hot and Laos -- are looking fine. They must be too hot for the bugs to chew on.

Once I have the garden planted I will work on setting up a meeting for the Local Food Atlas Committee so we can get to work on next year's atlas. I have several ideas to offer the group and need to do some research before the meeting.

Sarah is back in Detroit doing more training. She may be able to come home for a few days before leaving for Afghanistan. We will be sure to have a bar-be-que for her!

Almost forgot to tell you about the wild life. I can tell we are in for more weather because Sandy brought up a big turtle out of the woods. You know you're in for lots of rain when you see those guys heading for higher ground. This morning a fox ran through the yard three different times. And on the way back to the house from the field, a large gray wolf crossed the road in front of me. It had an injured fore paw but was moving quickly. When I told Tom about it, I said it must have run along the edge of the marsh right in back of the house. He said he saw two deer running through the woods and he figured they must have been running from the wolf. I wonder how it hut its leg.

Time to go. Stay warm and dry! My prayers go out to all those suffering from flooding in the Midwest and the effects of natural disasters all over the world. Peace (in wisdom) Be on Earth and Among All Creatures!

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