The drought has had its effect. Something of a shut down by the onions. A refusal to go on. Squash and zucchini did not make it for a couple of reasons well studied already. But the leaves are booming. I have two sorts of mustard green as well as beet greens, red and green oak leaf lettuce as well as spinach. The salad bowl is full nightly. Beans boom. We are between flowerings so may well be looking at a late August harvest mirroring the mid-July one. A second planting of peas is taking off, too. Basil is booming. It will be pesto week. Collards have formed a blue green wall. All but two of the grave vines have excelled. Location is everything apparently. Having a yard full of berries now makes sense. There is nothing wrong with a yard full of berries. The rabbit has taken up residence. Were this 1870, he would make a swell stew along with the purple and yellow carrots. Starting to think about next year already. Five month to seed catalog ordering you know. Soil will need shifting, too. Much depends on soil quality.
And it has rained. It began raining about 4 am and has been raining off and on since then. Big news since we've been mostly dry since early June.
What a difference a week makes. The long vines to the right are yellowed and likely lost. I do not have the heart to photograph them. All for the lack or even delay in application of a little copper sulphate. Really? Apparently I also did not know the golden rule: do not water your winter squash from above but tickle only from below. Who knew? Lesson learned. Well, some are now saved but, as on the Day of Judgement that awaits us all, others may not be saved. In better news, the yellow pettypan summer squash are being eaten, the replacement zucchini are up, the cantaloupe show no sign of disease but no sign of fruit either, the green beans are heroic, the carrots are worth pulling from the ground and leaf lettuce continues to feed us. The grapes greens thrive. Leeks are holding their own. The raised bed built just last week shows good efforts from both the mixed greens and basil. I may mow but only to reshape the weeds. Still no rain.
On rolls the summer. The lawn has the texture of shredded wheat cereal. The squash display a range of coping that stretches from vitality to the grave. Next year more zucchini. Not the green hot dog shaped ones though I have rammed more of those seeds into the ground to compensate for the lack luster patch of blue hubbards. No, I want the yellow 1950s spaceship shaped ones, pattypens. Been watering like a mad man. Everything has made its case for increased acreage next year. I would not sow a second round of bok choi, however. Seems to be not liking the heat. Spring and fall for that one. Carrots have been eaten. Onions are robust. Made a box out front with cedar boards. The box itself cost maybe $35 bucks to build but the soil was more. Some handy, though. That's what I said when I looked upon my work and saw that it was good. "You're some jeesely handy" I said to myself. And so I was.
What do the President of the USA, the putative nominee for the GOP and the Chief Justice of the United States all agree with? The legality of an individual mandate under their jurisdiction. People are confused:
Roberts' action Thursday was enough to send right-wing commentators into a frenzy. What had happened to the man who was expected to use his chief justice clout to corral reliable conservative majorities? The Daily Caller's Neil Munro said "Robert's decision to side with progressives is a disappointment for conservatives. He was nominated by President George W. Bush, and was expected to be a reliable advocate for small government." At the National Review Online, Andrew McCarthy opined that it was "intolerable for the Supreme Court to aid and abet Congress and the president in the commission of a massive fraud."
That is funny. I was not aware that the upholding of the Constitution was a massive fraud but that is what you get when you don't know much about how law works including how little you know about how law works. I don't see any promise to partisanship here. Maybe this is how the log jam of red-blue breaks. At a certain point, the duty to the nation has to carry at least 60% of the vote. You do, after all, have to be a patriot in the cause of something other than self.
Best summed up by the wizard of Alaska: "Obama lies; freedom dies."
Bok Choi is now my favorite garden crop. I had no idea it grew this quickly. While we still wait for lettuces to get to a point where thinnings could be added to a salad, the bok choi is ten times the size. Peas are flowering. I need more carrot seed. More space, too. I want to dig up the lawn and ram potatoes in its place.
The grapes are all in and buds are popping quite nicely. There are 29 vines on the lot now. Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Concord and Pinot Noir. I want more. I am having a hard look at the front lawn for next year. It can't all be onions and squash, can it?
Beet greens do not exist on my lands. Swiss Chard needs to be renamed Swiss chewed. What the hell is going on? Lettuce is not touched. Bok choi booms but there plans are eaten down to the stems. They seem to be making a fight for it, re-sprouting leaves only to see them nibbled again days later. Sugar snap peas full the multi-story shelf unit I set out for them to climb into. No buds yet which bodes very well for plenty in the near future. Had to move a couple of tomato plants due to rouge swash popping up unexpectedly. Two Cabernet Franc plants yet to locate. 27 vines in the ground so far. Four varieties. If that turns into a lot of jam and nothing more, is that so bad? Dandelions are a thing of the past. Why do we fret? It is a 2 week event. Leeks roar as only green hairs can roar. Rabbits apparently do not like leeks either. Parsnips continue to pop out of the ground 48 times more slowly than carrots.
When you plant a garden, you really should be thinking about meals. Today, the meal I was thinking of happens in 2021 or so when I have my own white wine from our own vines and a raspberry pie from our own canes. The grapes may have paid for themselves by then. Sure, it will all be for nothing if the Mayan calendar thing is correct but you have to have dreams. Beet root is starting to impose itself on my mind. I like me a good roasted beet. And a pickled one, too. Which leads you to meat and cheese. I was thinking that my small property couldn't produce either until I saw the state of the Swiss chard out front. A rabbit got to it. So, if I am feeding the rabbit ought not the rabbit feed me. I knew a perfect rage only known by Elmer Fudd for a minute there. The squash is producing flowers already. The nasturtiums are up. I ate a bok choi leaf. Or was the other one the bok choi? I look at lawn like a desert now. A pointless patch of the inedible yet time consuming. Every front yard is a ton of carrots lost.
What is the royal role in my life given the suburban modern life that is guided by nothing that is sourced from that person, family and constitutional principle? Not all that much despite the slightly sad tepid efforts of the seemingly one term Tory government. Yet, there are things like the history of the pagents on the River Thames that give you some joy if not pride in the moment. Somewhere there is a photo of Grannie giving Elizabeth a tour of Greenock that links me and mine with she and hers directly. You (and I) may have opinions about the nature of our government but you can't deny the service - even if with servants - that herself has given. A jubilee is what she has earned and we all deserve. Sad that the tightwad loyalists of Canada's Federal level are only satisfied with portraits in embassies and not the four day holiday weekend being enjoyed in Britain.
Everything is up. Even the leeks of desperation sown where the leek seedlings failed. Leeklings? Bush beans and pole beans jumped out as well. There are a few patches for second sowings but now it looks like the main task is weeding. But what does a parsnip look like when it is first up? How do you know for sure what is the weed and what isn't? That's the trouble when you take a decade off from vegetable gardening - no institutional memory is left. Somewhere I even had a book that I kept notes in. Now it's all just "throw some seeds there, see what happens." I ate a pea shoot. It felt a bit like infanticide what with all the July peas in their pods that shoot represented. But it was good and I felt righteous. The neighbourhood smells good. Last Thursday at the softball game there was so much lilac in the air it was like being back in the flower shop my mother ran. The hubbard squash looks like it is ready for greatness. Good thing too as the front lawn looks awful. It needs a bit of cucurbita action to give it some interest. The onion patch near the front door looks so good I only feel badly about not making it five times the size.