Essential Summer

Garden update: all the rain has stressed the food gardens a bit. This morning, we saw that the summer squash is developing that nasty gray leaf fungus that’s a consequence of being too wet for too long. The plants have slowed production. One squash rotted on the vine. It looks like we’ll get a week or two more of summer squash before we must pull the plants. This hopefully prevents the fungal infection from spreading to other plants in the garden. It’s a necessary evil.

Summer is flying by, beautiful people. I was driving some backroads this morning when I noticed a traffic cop hiding behind the bushes, radar gun pointed at me (I wish they’d redesign these radar ‘guns’ – it makes me cringe when someone points a gun-shaped device at me). As some of us know, traffic cops have a monthly ticket quota to meet, and as we near the end of the month, they’re out en masse, working to meet that quota.

That’s when I realized that we’re nearing the end of the month. The end of July already. Seriously? We’re approaching August, the harvest season. It feels like it was just planting season. Last night, my husband was talking about football. This is not good.

Good news though – it’s 90 degrees today, and sunny. Essential summer weather. Everyone around me is gritching about the heat and humidity. I’m reveling in it. The hotter, the better. You may love winter and snow all you want, but one thing’s for sure: you don’t have to shovel humidity.

Our tomato plants are weighed down with tomatoes. We have German Pinks, Cherokee Purple, Cherokee Black, Plums, Thai Pink Egg, and Cherry. Once they ripen, it’s sauce-making time, as well as salsa, salad, pasta, sandwich, vegan souvlaki, and tomato pesto-making time. Too many tomatoes to handle. It’s a problem I love to have.

Our Thai Pink Egg tomatoes, grown from imported seed (imported seed travels through customs via registered mail, and we must pick it up and sign for it at the post office), are maturing beautifully. It’s so satisfying to grow and harvest tomatoes that have been started from seed, particularly a unique seed, instead of the commercially-produced hybrid tomato plants of questionable origins that are found everywhere.

We still have peaches on the trees! Squirrels have made off with a lot of them, but there’s plenty left. They’re slowly increasing in size. There’s no sign of fungal disease despite all the rain. Cross your fingers that our luck holds. There are very few things in life than fresh peach pie made with your own peaches. My husband could literally take a bath in it. So could I. I picked one the other day and tasted it to see what the squirrels love about these small, hard, unripe peaches. Not a smart thing to do. Now I know that squirrels have strange taste. Yuck.

The thing that’s making me happiest right now, besides our very cool banana trees, is our papaya tree. It’s nearly 2 feet tall and healthy. It may never give us papayas, but it’s a very cool tree to have in your winter living space.

Much love,
Barbie xox

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