Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer garden has arrived

The summer garden has arrived:

Something about this picture takes me back to the east coast. California has endless charms, but summer is surprisingly not one of them.  California summers are brown and gardens are created out of what would otherwise be brown. In Pennsylvania garden's are carved out of the green. What would otherwise be green is replaced with a slightly more controlled green.  While nothing in this picture is nature, I think the hedge continuing into the live oaks (whose foliage gives us some measure of green year round) gives that impression.

Most visible in this picture are the beans (front left), potato (front center), sunflower (front right) and kale (back center). The garden has produced some food -- we've had bok choy and kale on a few occasion, shared a single cherry tomato -- but so far has largely been the green equivalent of "all light and no heat." I think that will change, but I worry that Nicole will miss the best of the harvest. Adding to my guilt is the recent realization that the tomatoes I planted (Brandywines), while being known as some of the best eatin' tomatoes, are some of the slowest to mature. 80-100 days for the fruit!

These tomatoes remind me of one of those 6 month old dogs you see, already quite large but with GIANT paws. The tomatoes are already fairly large, but they look like miniature giant tomatoes. If my gestalt is true, it looks like they'll be on the vine quite a bit longer.

Gardening '13 has not been without it's learning, or sometimes re-learning. Aphids of various shapes and colors, white cabbage butterfly caterpillars, leaf miners have all arrived.  The leaf miners destroyed our chard but seem not to be an issue at this point in the season (the beets have bounced back remarkably). The aphid issues have responded well to spraying them off with water. The cabbage butterfly caterpillars make for a fun, proactive, hunting expedition on the back sides of kale leaves, which seems to have kept them more than in-check.

Hopefully, stage 1 was building and planting, stage 2 was largely growing, and we will now be moving into stage 3... eating! I just hope it comes to fruition before Nicole leaves.