Saturday, August 06, 2011

August 2011 update

What a lush wet summer! The rains just keep coming and that's both good and bad. Spring rains during plum, cherry and apple blossom time led to poor pollination and little fruit production. I harvested the cherries, picking a few as I rode the lawn mower between the trees. I enjoyed this year's crop but no one else will. I know, that sounds selfish but the birds got a few, too. And that was it. We will eat the plums and perhaps the apples, too.

The grapes have loved the heat and rain and it looks like we'll have the biggest grape harvest in years. The Frontenacs that were planted last fall won't produce much. It was an important year for them to get their roots established. One vine has a few and we're looking forward to tasting them although they're right at the height for my little flock of roving hens to get to them first.

The garlic is ready for harvest. Yesterday was a dry day and I should have started the dig. Instead I weeded, dead-headed flowers, tied up tomato and grape vines and prepared for a tour. The rain has returned today, so will look to the first of next week to dig the garlic.

The hollyhocks are producing an outstanding bloom, as are the daylilies. Though we're into August, which can often be a dry month with grass turning brown and leaves dropping, everything is as lush as a tropical jungle (and we know what a tropical jungle looks like after visiting the Amazon in Peru and Bolivia this last March).

  The vinegar maker is busy waxing newly bottled vinegars this morning. He has plums and apricots beginning the fermentation process, rhubarb finishing in air-locked carboys, and a variety of vinegars nearly ready for infusing or bottling. We've also harvested herbs when they were at their peak. They're in the freezer for use later in the year. The basil is tall and lush; ready for pesto, infusion or freezing. Next month we'll dig horseradish and maybe start some tomato wine.

Hollyhocks 2011

The buildings are almost obscured by the height of the plants
 in the herb garden.

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