My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Mid Summer Musings

 Time to tie up the cukes and melons
Sundays for some are a day of rest for some. For me they are slightly less hurried days in the garden. Watering, catching up on things like tieing up cucumbers and melons. Days of meditation while the birds sing and the chickens cluck. 

all done

Gardening in this extreme and harsh climate is not easy. When the rabbits take out the first 75 broccoli and cauliflower plants and the pack rats wipe out the next 150 seedlings you cry. 
a full bed of ready to cut lettuce gone over night

When the squirrels take all of the big green tomatoes then turn their attention to eating every half grown cantaloupe you scream. And set more traps. Live traps they won't go in. Rat traps that they trip and eat the bait any way. 
squirrel eaten tomato

When the plum tree is loaded but you don't get a single good fruit because the birds have pecked them all. Every. Single. One.

When you hide some cantaloupe plants in the middle of the summer squash and they find them any way, you lie in wait in the heat if the afternoon with the .22 and hope the sweat doesn't blind you at the worst moment. 

June is probably the hardest month of the year. Mice, pack rats, wood rats, kangaroo rats, chipmunks, ground squirrels, birds of every sort. Not to mention slugs, stink bugs, grasshoppers, grubs and javelina. 

The heat wears you down. 110° F with 4% humidity, you feel like you are cooking. Chore time triples because you have to keep the waterers full and wet down the chickens pens and give them shallow pans of water to stand in to cool off.  You have to spray down the shade cloth and set the hose as a mister to keep some from dieing in the heat. You lose some any way. The heat is exhausting. 90° at 6:30 in the morning. Things go undone just because you are so exhausted you can't move. 

part of the 125 pounds of squash
And yet. Yet in the midst of dieing hens and heat exhaustion and $400 water bills there is abundance. Miraculous abundance. Wonderful and amazing bounty. 125 pounds of squash. 200 pounds of potatoes.  10 or 20 pounds of greens a week. 20 or 30 eggs a day. Lovely surprises like the leeks that did so well your first try. Or the carrots that are bigger and straighter than last year. The beautiful sweet beets. 
sweet rainbow beets
And the promise of more. The chard and collards plants waiting to be set out. The winter squashes just beginning to form, a promise of good eating this winter.  Holding your breath the squirrel doesn't like watermelons. Beautiful flowers. The rain clouds rolling in from the south hopefully bringing the monsoon. 
assorted cherry tomatoes

And with those promises hope springs eternal. Hope the melons come in like gang busters. Hope the flowers thrive and the new seedlings make it. Hope in tomorrow. 
tomato Black from Tula

I wonder if faith and hope are just other words for perseverance and stubbornness. I must be stubborn to keep up 12-14 hour days in the heat. Either that or stupid. But that hope, that promise of abundance keeps me going.
Black Tail Mountain watermelon
Cactus flowered dahlia grown from seed
beautiful baby leeks
Calendula blooming between baby sage plants
a bucket of flowers, zinnias, marigolds, dahlias
a patch of flowers for the bees and butterflies
wild four 'o clocks bloom above the tansy
my fortune one day at lunch

1 comment:

  1. You are having horrible varmint issues, but it's amazing how you've been able to cope. And I can only imagine the amount of hard work you've been doing, especially with all the watering. Your squashes, beets, and leeks are just beautiful. I've never been successful at growing beets, just can't seem to get the timing right in the fall.