Friday, August 5, 2011

Ah, Summer!

It's been nearly 2 months since my last post.  What can I say?  I've been working on my tan!  It's only because I'm German/Irish that it takes so long to acquire a decent tan.  But, alas, one has to put in the work for such beautifully bronzed skin.

I joke, of course.  I've been crazy (CRAZY!) busy.  It seems like a long time ago, but it rained A LOT this spring and early summer.  So much so that trying to do any yard work was futile and borderline masochistic.  Now that the rain has stopped and the sun has been shining, the whole yard went 'supersize' on me - especially the weeds.  It's a battle of attrition this year, as didn't get a jump on it in March like I normally can, so it's just trying to keep things under control as best as possible.  Hopefully next year will give us some rainless spring days to get some pruning done before July. 

Not to rain on the parade, but I read an article that conditions are ripe for a second La Nina this winter.  Of course, 'they' say that the second one isn't nearly as brutal as the first.  Then again, isn't that like saying the second dip in the recession isn't as bad as the first?  They are both pretty hard to swallow, no?  Anyway, I'm enjoying this fairly warm sunshine as much as possible as it may be a while before we see it again once the fall rainy season hits.

I still have plants out in front of Barbur Foods.  I was pleasantly surprised at how many tomatoes I sold in July.  I thought for sure that I would see not a single one moved, but they kept getting swept up.  They are quick ripening varieties (Gold Nugget Cherry, Sun Sugar Cherry, Stupice, Manitoba, & Legend), so they will produce ripe fruit before the nasty weather comes.  I'm happy that people are giving them a chance to get some tasty fruit that late in the season.  I still have a lot of basil as well.  That's really sold well the past couple months and my own basil plants in the garden are going bonkers too.  Hello Pesto!
Genovese, Red Rubin, Thai, Red Lettuce Leaf, & Serata Basil

Even with the record cold/wet spring, my tomatoes are doing great.  I've got tons of  fruit set and have even picked a few already.  This is in sharp contrast to last year.  It wasn't until this time when I saw the first tiny little tomato set.  Just deplorable, it was.  I'm very excited for all the tasty orbs coming my way this year.  It's gonna be beautiful!
Stupice and Black Krim - not bad for middle of July!

Peppers are largely a different in, they took forever to perk up.  The ones I planted in May have mostly been replaced and even the ones I planted in June are just so-so.  Only the ones I planted in July actually look great.  They were all to happy to show their displeasure of such a harsh spring and early summer.    Still, I've got a few plants (in pots, not surprisingly) that are doing great.  I've got a few Manzanos with fruit on them, and an Aji Amarillo that is just covered with fruit.  It won't be a banner year, but I'll get a good number of peppers to keep me (and my salsa) hot and happy.

In a sad bit of news, we lost Turbo, our Rhode Island Red that ate the chunk of metal.  Her hijinks eventually caused her downfall, as the sharp edges perforated her reproductive tract and she ended up not being able to lay eggs.  She ended up going toxic due to the rotting yolks that she wasn't able to pass.  A sad day for sure.

That of course, led to my wife and I getting some new recruits!  Baby chicks - how fun!

We went with a black sex link, an Ameracauna, and another Rhode Island Red.  Funny thing, though.  I think the dude at the store screwed up and we got a Welsummer instead of an Ameracauna.  I was looking forward to the blue eggs, but I guess today our choice is chocolate brown.

That's all for now.  It's been a fun year and I'm really (REALLY) happy to have the sun to play in the past month.  I'm excited for the tomatoes that will be coming my way in about a week.  Zucchini, cukes, beans, and tomatillos are right behind them.  It's taken a bit longer, but it'll be a good harvest.

Now about that corn I planted...I think the adage goes "Knee high by the 4th of August," right?  Fingers crossed...