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Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

Rain rain rain

For the last three days, it rained.  I mean non-stop, continuous rain.  It was never hard, just constant, and we got a little over three inches.  The garden certainly  needed it.  I don’t irrigate (except when things were just getting started) so all my plants were looking incredibly sad.  Except the weeds, which have won the battle of the garden this year.  Sigh. 

Because of the constant rain, I haven’t harvested anything in four days.  I did run out and pick a few zuchs and some okra, but my poor beans are the size of my forearm.  I hope they don’t stop producing.

Along with the rain came cool weather- I don’t think it’s been over 68 degrees since this weekend, and I actually had to shut my windows and put an extra blanket on the bed for the last few nights.  HELLO!  It’s AUGUST!  Pair that with the sudden and shocking realization that I was looking out into the woods and seeing yellow and red trees and I’m pretty bummed right now.  This year has been frustrating in the garden, but hopefully the next few days of warmth and sun will kick everything back into growing mode.  I’m not ready for the garden to be done with yet…

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Anyone who lives in New England remembers what last summer was like.  May was cold and wet.  June was cold and wet.  July was wet and cold.

The only thing that I grew that did well was potatoes, and several things just up and died like my eggplants and corn and lima beans and okra.  Admittedly, most of that was probably due to neglect, but the cold weather certainly didn’t help things.  It was a challenging year to grow hot-weather crops, and combined with the late blight that spread quickly and wildly all over the eastern US, it spelled disaster for a great many Solonaceae.   Our CSA had an embarrassingly small tomato crop last year, but we were luckier than some neighbors, who had to pull up their entire tomato crops.

I was certainly a little nervous to be growing primarily crops that need lots of hot, sunny weather to thrive, but I didn’t need to.  This has been a GLORIOUS spring and summer for hot crops.   Lots of days of very hot (for up this way, at least…) weather, full sun, and the occasional soaking rain.  It’s been wonderful, and my plants are very happy because of it.

ALL of my tomatoes are fruiting, the big standout being the Arkansas Travelers, who have set a truly startling amount of fruit, even so early.  And yesterday I noticed the first ones making the change from bright green to mild yellow.  I’ll be seeing red soon!

The ones that will ripen first are the Sungolds, of course.  We’re supposed to have hot, sunny days for the rest of the week.  If I get lucky, I’ll be picking the first of these by the end of the week, I bet.

The biggest tomato so far is actually on a surprising plant- one of the last ones that went in the ground.  These little guys are still quite short- just under 2 feet (the vast majority are up to about 3.5 ft high at this point!), but this Black tomato is biiiiig.  I was tempted to pick it off green, since I should be letting this plant put energy into growing, not setting big fruit, but I couldn’t help myself.  I want this one to ripen- and ripen early!

(I know, I know…I shouldn’t be touching wet tomato plants- but this was the only one that got handled and then I left the garden!)

Other things are happy, too.  Check out my Serrano Peppers!  These guys have grown like crazy over the past two weeks, and are dripping with flowers and eeny little peppers.  These are the biggest of all of them.

And my first potato flowers!  YAYYYYYY!  I cannot WAIT for fresh potatoes!  Soon, my sweets…soon…

Someone’s been gnawing on them…haven’t seen any buggies on these though- guess I need to take a closer look.

How’s about all that GREEN!?  Isn’t it glorious?  How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?

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Where is summer?

June 21 is the Summer Solstice- the longest day of the year and surely-SURELY- the official harbinger of summer, right?  Well, Massachusetts doesn’t seem to have gotten the message this year.  This is, by far, one of the gloomiest Junes I have ever experienced.  I don’t think we’ve had more than one day where it has been over 70 degrees.  The sun has been shy but the rain hasn’t.  I feel like I’m in Scotland.  Everything is damp and cool, including the soil in my garden.  I lost about half of my Okra plants- not sure if they weather had anything to do with it, but they looked great last weekend.  Everything seems to be growing slowly, slowly, slowly. 

I’m just so eager for blazing hot weather and sun for days, though I’m certain as soon as that happens I’ll start complaining about that, too!

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Forgive my very long absence!  (Well, at least from this blog.  Readers of my personal blog will know this is rather par for the course.)  Two weeks ago, I got a promotion, and I have been working like a crazy person.  I worked 57 hours one week and 52 the next!   I’ve been exhausted to say the least.  But, the benefit of working so much is that I am off until January 5th!  Woo Hoo!  Two weeks!

I’ve got lots of cooking plans over the vacation, and I’ve already successfully completed several of them, including roasting one of our new farm-raised chickens that we got from our CSA.  I wanted to truly taste it, so I only seasoned it with salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of parsley.  I am not exaggerating when I say it was the best chicken I have ever eaten in my life.  I do love chicken very much…but this is just spectacular.  Not only was the meat delicious, lean, and plentiful, but it also produced 5 quarts of the best chicken stock I have ever made.

I’m so glad that there are 5 more in my freezer right now.  They were a little pricey for us at $5/lb, but I’m telling you that it is so worth it.  Especially since we never buy or eat chicken anymore (not after Omnivore’s Dilemma!) so it was OK for us to splurge.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat conventional chicken again!

I’m terribly sorry that I didn’t post at all over the last few weeks, because we had a HUGE snowstorm that was quite impressive.  We got easily 2 feet of snow over a 36 hour period.  In fact, in that time, it didn’t stop snowing a single moment.  It was the most snow I’ve ever seen and it buried everything around here.  It would have been a good weather post!  Ah well, you’ll just have to take my word for it!   I can’t even show you later pictures, since it all melted on Christmas Eve.  All that and still no white Christmas!  Bah!

My seed catalogs have started coming in, so keep an eye out for a planning post soon!

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Dear Gods of Weather

Please do not take your wintry vengence upon me.  I see you punishing my fellow bloggers, but I don’t know why!

What do I need to sacrifice to you to assure me of warm weather and no snow?  I don’t think I can take flurries just yet.  Please wait until December at least!

I don’t want to end up like these guys!

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First Frost

When we got up this morning, there was a thick layer of frost on our cars.   This wasn’t a little rinky-dink frost either, the grass sounded like I was walking on broken glass.   It’s our first one we’ve had so far, though there have been other frosts very close by.  We live on a little hill, so that makes a difference I suppose.  I’ve been anticipating our first frost since October 10th, so I feel like I got 13 extra days. 

Good enough for me!  Two of my green peppers made it to full red and I was able to leave my beans on the vine long enough to get a grocery bag full of mature pods that I’ll shell.  Sadly, none of them made it to full dry, though many of them have leathery, almost dry pods.  I’d like to save some for seed.  Can I let those dry fully off the vine and still use them for seed?  Anyone know?

As of now the only thing I’ve still got in the ground are carrots and Jerusalem Artichokes.  My peas were still bearing as of last night, but that frost may have killed them (it’s pitch black when I leave for work in the morning, so I wasn’t able to check them).  They never really did much anyway.  I think I maybe got 20-30 pods off of them?  Ah well…experiment completed!

My garlic still needs to be planted.  Hopefully I’ll get to that this weekend.

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