This is the time of year I mentally call "the summer doldrums". It’s when the heat, the weeds, the bugs and the problems have done their damnedest and I’m not sure I care. The weeks on end of hundred degree temperatures have left their mark. It’s hard to do much work in that kind of heat. When I hear the reports on the radio concerning that laws are needed to make sure farm workers get shade and water, I shake my head. I believe that if 99% of the people tried to do this kind of labor in the summer sun for an hour, they’d collapse and swear off fruit and vegetables forever. I know that I can’t really do it, and I do it a lot more than most people. Did that just make sense? If not, blame it on the summer doldrums too.
So, mostly the plants are ok. The bush beans have taken a big hit from spider mites, but then again, who wants to pick beans in the aforementioned weather? Many of the late-planted items are doing well. There suddenly are gourds hanging on the trellis, watermelons and melon-melons (that’s code for any melon not a watermelon), pumpkins, and tremendous flowers. Eggplants are everywhere and they are very tasty. Finally we have tomatoes to eat. And the tomato plants are all trying to flop over, making more work! I keep thinking that nothing stinks quite like tomato plant…. Squash is extra everywhere and is also good. Almonds are curing here and there. Today the almond processor down the road finally started up their machinery, and now we’ll hear the whistles and squeaks for weeks to come. I think the harvest may be less good this year, just a hunch. The changes of season are already visible, it is darker earlier and lighter later in the morning. It won’t be long until fall officially arrives and afterward, the long march through winter.
In other news, our solar installation project has begun and before the year is over they should be installed. We are researching what to do for a greenhouse, and also hope to have a beehive ready within a month. The greenhouse will be a gigantic project, since I hope to build-it-once-build-it-right. The problem lies in that the amount of options are huge, and the amount of my knowledge on the subject is not-huge. We have much more research to do before we settle on a design or kit that fits our budget…more on this subject will doubtless follow.
Lastly, we have had another loss. Our best hunter, Darkness, has not come home for a week and a half now. That means he has likely passed on to the Big Catnip Plant in the Sky. We miss him, he probably was attacked by something bigger and hungrier than himself. But he had a good, happy life doing all the things he loved. Also, our old cat Socks has slowed down dramatically in recent weeks. He also may not be long for this world. We’ll see…..it would be shocking to be down to four cats. Not that low numbers ever last long!