Saturday, August 1, 2009

Garden report

Today we sowed beets and parsnips, in anticipation of autumn and winter. It's hard to look ahead to cooler temps right now, as we continue into our second week of 90+ degree days (earlier this week it was 106, an almost unheard-of temperature for Portland. It was so hot that I went to bed in a soaking wet shirt and turned the fan on; it was the only way to stay cool enough to sleep). Those of you who think it rains all the time here, think again.

It is HOT. And DRY. Our greens, what's left of them, are pretty wilted and bitter, despite my efforts to water regularly. They just can't stand these extreme temps. Our tomatoes, on the other hand, are loving life right now, and will be sweeter and generally more flavorful when they ripen. We're already eating our Sungolds (we came back from our annual pilgrimage to the Metolius River on July 10 to find a couple already ripe even then), and today we harvested our first Early Girls, which I will have for lunch, along with some of our basil. All I need is to learn how to make homemade mozzarella (I'm told it's not hard) and I can serve a Caprese salad (see below) made entirely of homegrown and homemade stuff.

We have begun harvesting our summer squashes and cukes. A few days ago I took about 10lbs. of pattypans and zukes to the local emergency food pantry; we're at the point where every day yields a few more, and we can't eat them fast enough to keep up. The cukes are deliciously crisp and cold and crunchy. I have resolved to keep up with the watering (I do it all by hand, although I dream of a drip irrigation system someday) so they stay sweet and juicy.

Here are some garden pics:

Sweetie made the bean trellis from some dead bike frames and wheels. The day after she put it up she got up early (around 5:30) and found some idiot trying to steal the frame (one of them used to be a high end desirable bike before it cracked), and she told him he was an idiot for trying to steal a dead frame. He slunk off, humiliated. It was a great moment.

What's doing well this year:

The Copra onions we planted are coming along well, and I look forward to having a great supply for storage this winter.

I put the basil in our main patch (you can see it in front of one of our tomatoes), where it gets full sun all day, instead of in the herb beds next to the house, where it only got half-day sun. It's flourishing.


Summer squashes


Potatoes (we assume, since we haven't dug them up yet, but the plants look good). We planted blue and Yukon golds this year.

What's not doing so well:

The acorn squash we put in doesn't seem to be doing well; it blossoms, but then the blossoms just dry up and die without producing any squashes. I planted this with the intention of giving all the squashes to a food pantry, so it's not a huge loss for me personally, but I'm puzzled by it. Any ideas?

The bush beans we put in were devoured by slugs, and the second round of bush beans we put in to replace the first wave didn't fare much better. The scarlet runners also got eaten a bit, but managed to recover somewhat, although we have fewer plants than we'd hoped.

All you gardeners out there, if you have suggestions for future forays into winter squash and bush beans, please send them along. If you are growing your own, hope your garden is faring well this summer.

1 comment:

איתי Itai said...


I love your new blog title!

חיבוק חזק, איתי