Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rip Van Winona

It seems it's been forever and a day since I've showed my face on these internets!  How long have I been sleeping?  Ha - that's a funny thought.  Sleep.  When I'm dead!  (This is also known as winter.)

I've signed up for a couple more Sundays at the Tigard Area Famer's Market.  Come on down and check us out.  The produce vendors are now there and you can get all the ingredients for a fresh meal.  Not to mention some plants for meals later on this summer!  Splendid idea if I don't say so myself.  Market opens at 9am and goes till 2pm.


While the temperatures are warming, we can't seem to get an extended period of sunny days.  Even so, the garden has been growing steadily.  I've got fruit setting on tomatoes (Black Krim & Stupice) and the peppers are beginning to bloom.  I'm amazed at how my grafted tomatoes are doing.  They are 1-2' farther along than the conventional plants.  I guess that actually works!  They are all blooming and a couple have set fruit already.  This is all excellent news.  Last year, I didn't get a tomato to set fruit until August 1st!  THAT SUCKED!

Looks to be a bumper crop of grapes this year.  Last year was a very poor harvest - only 2 bunches!  Lot's of blooms are dotting the new branches right now.  I'm excited to make my legendary grape jam this fall.  It's addictive (the jam, not the canning.)

Another thing I tried this year was to transplant carrots.  I'd heard all the warnings that they transplant poorly and they would die quickly, but I'm never one to listen to age, reason, and experience.  I've got to dig that hole myself.  I'm glad I did, because these carrots are the BEST carrots I've ever grown.  Enormous straight roots, strong chartreuse tops, and all neatly in a row.  It was a bit of extra work, but I started another flat of them to transplant this week.  If they are going to come out like that, I'll put in the extra 15 minutes to transplant each one individually.

Of course, not everything is going according the master plan.  The corn I planted 2 weeks ago still hasn't sprouted.  It's a supersweet variety and it needs 70 degree soil to germinate.  I thought after a couple 85 degree days, it would take off like a house on fire.  Sadly, that was just a tease and the soil is staying in the low to mid 60's for now.  The peppers I planted in the middle of May are looking tepid at best.  May need to replace them, but a few are showing signs of life.  I'm also not seeing a lot of fruit on the apple, pear, cherry, and plum trees.  The vicious cold spring played a big part in that.  That's okay, as it will likely be a nice harvest for them next year.

The best news, of course, is that we are expected to have excellent weather for the summer solstice.  There are few things that affect me more than to have crappy, rainy weather on the solstice.  It's the greatest day of the year, simply because it's the 'longest'.  I (heart) the sun and I long to enjoy it for as much as possible.  To have it covered up by clouds just pisses me off.  Like taking a new toy away from the birthday boy.  Temper tantrums ensue!

Alas, it's time to do some plant stuff.  Potting up basil and lettuce tonight.  Getting things ready for my cart in the morning at Barbur Foods, and prepping for Sunday's market in Tigard.  Good times!  Looks like we get sun tomorrow.  We'll see...

Cheers - take care everyone