Sunday, July 26, 2009

Garden Promise

I am somewhat giddy. Oh, I know something could happen -- hail, disease, pest invasion, etc. But at this point things are growing well. Blossoms are appearing on my green beans, the sweet corn is four feet tall, we have green tomatoes by the dozens, my brussels sprouts are showing new healthy growth, my rutabagas are about three inches in diameter, and I've seen a few small peppers growing on our jalapeno pepper plants. If this all keeps up, in another few weeks I will be swamped with garden goodies.

This is where I hesitate -- things are going too well. My giddiness is tempered by my scandinavian skepticism. Just when things seem to be going gangbusters, the order of the universe restores itself and disaster strikes. I can't decide whether to be an optimist and risk heartbreak when/if it does, or be a pessimist and be pleasantly surprised when/if it doesn't.

Sometimes I think too much.

Base line, things look promising. I pulled some weeds out of my garlic/onion bed the other day, and decided to pull up a garlic bulb to see how they were faring.

Isn't it beautiful? I can't help smiling when I see this lovely thing hanging over my kitchen sink. (Doesn't everyone dry/cure bulbs and herbs from their kitchen ceiling?) I just wish that more of the cloves I planted last fall had 'germinated.' Only about 1/3 of the 80 cloves I planted actually grew. Bad stock, I guess.

I accidentally pulled a few onion tops off while I was weeding (the weeds are thick, as I said earlier). The tops had flowered, so I brought them in and put them in some water. They are very pretty.

We've also got some green pumpkins growing. This one is the largest, about ten inches long. I put a square of folded cardboard underneath to raise it off the damp soil. I can already taste the pumpkin pie.

I have woefully neglected my few perennial flowers (daisies, mums, poppies) this year while focusing on the vegetables. The only flowers that did well on their own were the clematis and this hollyhock. The hollyhock was here when we moved in -- I've done nothing to it, but it still keeps blooming every year. This year's plant must have set from a previous year's seed, because the purple color is much lighter than the blooms in the past. I don't think hollyhocks live more than a few years, anyway.

I read an article this morning about alternate forage crops for livestock. It's kinda part of my ongoing research into Peak Oil and the way our civilization may be changing over the next ten years or so. I do know that the price of chicken feed has grown by 50% since I first started keeping chickens, just five years ago. The time may come (if it's not already here) when the cost of buying livestock feed will become prohibitive for the small farmer. Maybe I should start experimenting now with raising some of my own forage. Hmmm. It's something to think about, at least.


Karen said...

I tried to plant hollyhocks at Mom and Dad's house for Mother's Day one year and the bunnies at them! Ate them down to the nub, actually. They must have thought they were some kind of delightful buffet! Why don't your bunnies eat yours? Do your cats keep the bunnies at so low a number that they don't eat anything??? I'm so jealous! I need a barn cat without the barn!!!

Jo said...

We see bunnies on the driveway, but never near the house. I do think the cats keep them away.

I would be happy to give you a barn kitty! Zoe (one of our young outdoor cats) is about to pop with a new litter anytime now.

But keep in mind, if you have outdoor cats, you will have far fewer birds at your bird feeder...