Dear Carol, Mary Ann and all of other friends,
I’m hot, and yesterday, the water well broke in the middle of my shower. It’s 8:00 a.m., and the temp is already 81F with today promising to be another scorcher above 100F. From the weather map, I see most of the continental U.S. is in the same shape. As long as the air conditioner holds steady, we’ll be fine. The guys from the water well company will be here soon to fix the well, and I’ll celebrate with a shower and watering the garden. The well didn’t have any problems for 40 years, but, in the past six months, they’ve replaced the pump, fixed a fuse, and now a broken pipe.
In spite of all of this mayhem, the potager is pumping out the vegetables. Without me to squish them, the squash bugs were victorious after I returned from Buffalo, but I’ll just replant once they’ve moved on. We have loads of green beans. The ears of corn are growing larger, and we have tons of tomatoes. Earlier in the week, I made sauce so I can enjoy it this winter, and we’ve eaten sliced tomatoes with nearly every supper. A funny story about the corn . . .
Bill came in the other night and said, “The corn doesn’t look very good, and I think it’s because there’s some kind of vine strangling it.”
“Those are Kentucky Wonder pole beans,” I said, “I’m doing a three sisters planting of corn, green beans and cantaloupe. Pumpkins are traditional, but I like cantaloupe.” He looked doubtful.
“But the corn is being strangled,” he said.
“That corn is just fine.” He just shook his head and walked on.
I think I stress him out sometimes. He likes neatness and nice straight lines. I color way outside them.
To help him de-stress, I bought squash at the farmer’s market (there is no shame in this) and fried it up for him just like my Grandma Nita used to do. The cucumbers are starting to make lots of cukes, and I love them sliced with onions in a bowl of Japanese vinegar, olive oil and water. How’s that for blended cultures?
All of the eggplant is growing and bearing, and I’ve had Thai basil eggplant several times. In fact, it’s a very good veggie year here although I’ve heard other gardeners complain. Because of the torrential rains they have rotting plants. I think mine didn’t rot because the potager is like four large containers. Good drainage, but it also means they need a bit more water than the plants in the ground, and we’ve hit the dry spell which will continue to September.
I also came back to gravel paths partly covered in Bermuda grass, my nemesis.
Bill said, “Hey, the paths look bad. Tell me again why we don’t use Roundup?”
“Because it’s a dangerous chemical, and we are out in the garden all the time.”
Before he found some Roundup, I quickly got out the sprayer and Burnout II, which is organic and began working on the paths. Of course, the sprayer stuck, and he stopped trimming up trees to help me. As he unscrewed the spray tip, he said, “Now, tell me what I’m working with.”
“It’s not a chemical. It’s clove oil, vinegar and lemon juice.” Looking at his hands covered in it, I said. “This is why we don’t use chemicals in the garden.”
He just nodded. Maybe I’m making a convert after all. I can only hope.
Til next time . . . .