Beau June 14th, 2009
It really feels like summer with the warmer and humid weather. Finally a good bit of sun for the garden to really take off. I’m more excited by the day to see the vegetables growing. Some may wonder, “Can you really be excited simply by watching a garden grow?” To which I say, most assuredly, yes. It’s like God is present all around you with the beauty of the moment, day, season… It’s an enjoyment or appreciation perhaps, but to see food grow from seed where none grew before is almost magical. And it represents other things too… hope, simplicity, tangible results of effort, even saving a few dollars here and there. And it’s fun to remember how much you can actually do at home.
The hollyhocks are in bloom too- these grew on a couple of stalks last year, but now there are three times that many growing very tall- reaching past six feet.
Everything is starting to produce, so now it’s a matter of keeping the weeds down and the bugs away from the goodies. In another experiment I’m going to try training cucumbers (below middle) on a wire fence.
I supported the top of the fence because cukes can get somewhat heavy, but we just don’t have a lot of room for them to spread out. If you’ve grown cucumbers before you know they could take over the whole garden if you let them!
The sugar and snow peas are finally here and even the beets look halfway decent with the tops filling out. The beets don’t seem to get very large though, and I’m wondering if that’s because our soil is too compacted? I didn’t till this year, but instead topdressed the rows with a couple inches of mulch and organic compost. Much of that probably washed off in the rain. Perhaps I’ll do the same next year, but only after tilling the row to loosen it up.
That may also be better for our potatoes (above). They’ve come along really well, but the soil is pretty thick. Some of you professional potato growers have figured out that loose mulch works very well and makes harvesting that much easier. Maybe we’ll try that next year too.
This morning I went out to pick some of the peas- they grow so fast once they get going! Fortunately the spring has been cool and wet, but I don’t know how long our pea harvest will be. This will be the first big week for them. Last year we grew beans that lasted almost all summer. But I enjoy peas so much more than beans! Maybe we’ll plant them again in September for a fall harvest? Never tried that before.
On a different note in recent gardening news, a lot of folks are worried about looming passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (HR 875). While the idea and intent make sense in terms of safer foods for everyone, some organizations (here with comments) and people (here and here) believe small farm and livestock operations, organic gardening, farmer’s markets, and even backyard gardens could all be affected negatively by government regulations run amok over time. In some areas of the blogosphere the subject nearly incites panic.
“The fact that Rep. DeLauro is “shocked” that people have taken notice of her piece of ambiguous and questionable legislation should be a wake up for our nation that our politicrats are expecting us to continue being sheep. There is nothing wrong with the American public demanding greater transparency and a much more well-defined bill to be set on Obama’s desk once the legislative process is complete. When politician’s don’t hear from anyone but corporate lobbyists, lawyers, and special interest groups is when the legislative process goes awry. Kudos to the radicals and the misinformed public for asking questions and demanding clarification…if even they are “inflammatory”, “hysterical”, or “misguided”. ” Glenn Grossman
After a little reading and practical reasoning however, the fears don’t appear to be justified. But fears are borne from lack of clarity and/or transparency of intention. There are simply too many questions left unanswered and that’s where the concern arises. I have to say I’m squarely in the camp that opposes bigger government intruding into our lives. Meaning I don’t enjoy seeing more government… more regulations… more laws to juggle and comply with and obey. I don’t believe the government can protect us from all evils, including ourselves, nor should it attempt to. But hey, the folks on capitol hill just want to do what’s best for us, right? I have visions of FDA inspectors running around looking for ways to justify their existence…
Here at home the leaves on the trees are becoming that deep summer green once again. It’s nice to see shade, and places where dappled sunlight falls through the trees. Somehow it brings thoughts of quiet afternoons or exploring places not seen.
While I walked around early this morning I saw that the heron was back again. It had an even bigger fish in its bill as it flew away. I just shook my head… the dogs wandered around with me, looking for the rabbit that haunts the garden.
Old man basset hound tells the yellow lab “Woo…woo…wooooo… this is my spot!” How about those ears!?