It’s been a scorching past two weeks of heat and humidity, but summer only officially starts today, the Summer Solstice. What kind of weather lies ahead for the next few months?
It’s been crazy weather so far – a mild, wet spring with early crops off to a fabulous start – and then the flood came in May. On many farms and gardens, what wasn’t washed away, got waterlogged. So far this year, I’ve lost all of my garlic and onions and my potato crop I dug up this weekend was underwhelming. Was it the rain, the soil or my plants? Every year it seems to be something – trial and error and then trial and error again. But it does give one an appreciation of what does work in the garden. Berries are plentiful, my beans are abundant and the squash and tomato plants are full of just about ripe veggies. And, after several years of disastrous cucumber and pepper harvests, I think I may have a bumper crop of both.
It’s not that easy to grow consistent and abundant anything. One of our neighbors has an apple orchard and keeps their own bees. This year the bees didn’t pollinate the apple blossoms and the trees are empty of apples.
What’s to be learned – growing food is a tricky business? My lesson is to take advantage of what is available this summer – visit your local farmers market or farm stand. The summer issue Local Table has a list of area farmers markets and farms selling this season and they would love to share their harvest with you.
Seize the beet!