Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Height of summer

Well, we're here. Yesterday I picked zucchini, green beans, and raspberries: the defining three crops of mid-July in this part of the country. I like that. I like that my life here can be defined by the crops of the moment, and their accompanying harvesting and cooking duties. 

I've been offering a small prayer to the Bean Gods every night before I head in to bed. Remember last year, when the deer breached the fence and gobbled my crop? They waited. They knew. They timed it so my plants were as loaded with beans as they were going to get, and then, they leapt. That was the night of July 12, 2012, so I've been waiting with baited breath as the nights tick slowly by and beans ripen... and no hoof-prints appear in the dirt. I am hopinghopinghoping the extra strand of wire all around keeps them out out out, but I am taking nothing for granted. 

Meanwhile, this little garden is looking pretty cute, for its first year in existence. The bishop's weed, which I anticipated would be sprouting all summer, is pretty much gone, even from around the roots of the currants where I couldn't dig it out. Take that. In its place, I have a lovely showy rudbeckia, and some silvery-leaved chamomile relative, and variegated pineapple mint, and two little lavenders. I planted a "beneficial insect attractant mix" on the right, which has turned out to be a fun combination of buckwheat, mini sunflowers, basil, dill, cilantro, and some clover species. I'm not sure it's luring praying mantids and lacewings and ladybugs, like I imagined it would, but it is kind of pretty all the same. 

It's just the beginning, but I can see how it's going to be.

Similarly, it's just the beginning of zucchini season, but I can see how it's going to be. BLOOMING NUTS.

I gave one to my neighbor Jody, and three to my mother-in-law. I have three gallons of frozen shredded already, and we've eaten them in ten meals in two weeks. Tonight is cold pasta salad with grilled zucchini, tomorrow is stuffed zucchini in tomato broth. I'm not ready to yell for help yet, but... I may reach that point! 

In the rest of the garden, the tomatoes are slowly swelling, the calendula (left side of the middle bed above) is about to bloom, the fennel (right side) is looking mighty nice, and my rows of mustard and bok choy and broccoli raab I sowed to replace the now-eaten beets are coming through. 

Some little tasks are starting to build up this week, which makes me a little anxious. But in this heat, and with these deadlines, I just have to let the garden be, for most of each day. I spend a few minutes in the foggy mornings, and maybe an hour before bed, but that is really all I can muster. Today it will be 91. It's 74 in the house, and headed nowhere pleasant, I imagine. 

Sigh. I'm thinking Del and I might have a date with the creek tonight.

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Pink of Perfection said...

What a sight! That top picture just about took my breath away!

Becky said...

I am zucchini green with envy! Hope the heat stays tolerable for you.

Heather said...

oh those brick paths! they would be so much nicer in my garden than the amazing amount of weeds that we have right now :-) beautiful pictures.

Kristina Strain said...

Oh, don't be deceived: those bricks need weeding too!

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