Monday, August 17, 2009

Caniculares Dies

The dog days are here. We've had a pretty good summer, with abundant rain and relatively low temperatures, but right now it feels like it's blazing hot during the day. It's not conducive to heavy physical labor. The sun is coming up later in the morning and I think I'm seeing Sirius* before dawn.

Some of the cows have gone camping under the large shady trees. They only come up for a drink of water when necessary. There is an army of little calves. They saunter up with their mothers and look at me over their shoulders as they leave.

Still, I have Late Summer Cleaning Syndrome. I guess not everyone gets it. It is a reaction to the things that had to be ignored during the intensive gardening and harvesting/processing of the summer. Now, I'm determined to catch up and the heat is an excuse to work inside the house during the day.

Early, I'll go out and attend to the animals and vegetables and fruit. Yesterday morning, I cleaned out three chicken coops without ever intending to do it. As soon as it cools off a little, I'll get into the flower beds and do some serious weeding.

There are still berries to pick. I've picked and processed the peaches and pears. One tree is full of small white apricots or peaches. I'm not sure which. But they are still hard and unripe. Red raspberries and a few asparagus are coming again.

Zucchini are still producing, as are pole beans. Winter squash are coming on bigtime. Tomatoes are starting to ripen and peppers have just begun to get red. I pulled out the bush beans and fed the plants to the chickens. Beautiful lettuces and other greens are up and looking like they'll provide for nice salads in the month to come. Beets will need pulling.

The drunken July bugs were much decreased this year and only bombed the roof once for a few hours. I find one or two in the blackberries. Large flocks of birds are resident. I don't remember seeing them in the past few summers, so I wonder if there's a connection.

Today, I'll try to get organized with herb collection and processing. 'Time I got started.

*The Dog Star

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Pumpkins Have Wanderlust

This is a picture of the infamous plastic garden on August 1st. As you can see, the Seminole squash is trying to escape. As of today, three days later, there are a couple of vines which have made it all the way into the driveway and some trying to get over the fence on the side of the bed.

For those skeptics out there who saw the garden in early Spring, you can also see that stuff actually grew! It was looking a little sparse, as I left room for the inevitable expansion of squash plants.

The cucumbers and beans have been producing prodigious amounts. Baskets, bags, and buckets of produce is going out into the kitchen every day to be rinsed and refrigerated. Peppers are on the plants, as are tomatoes. Beets are being pulled weekly. Some Seminole winter squashes are ready to be harvested. I'll take a few to market on Saturday.

I'm still picking wild blackberries. The thornless are also getting ripe. Red raspberries have re-appeared. A big crate of peaches is on the counter in the kitchen waiting for processing and wine is bubbling in the basement. I've threatened to make cucumber wine, but so far have only made jars and jars of bread & butter pickles.

For some reason, I'm having good luck with summer squashes this year. I think its the weather and the rain.

So, if you don't hear from me for several weeks at a time, at least you know I'm too busy to get into much trouble.

Ta ta.