Wow, 1 day short of a month without posting. Sorry about that! This has turned in to a bit of a whirlwind summer with extreme temperatures (and an extreme lack of water). I also recently upgraded computers and am still working on getting all of the necessary drivers and software installed to set me back to rights. (Ok, so that is the one excuse in this post and the reason for the lack of visual entertainment, no software = no digital pictures). In truth, I suspect this permaculture class has me in such a retrospective and observational mood that I am loathe to put anything down to ink and paper (figuratively at least) lately. In many ways it has given me license to contemplate (my normal state) without having to push myself out of thought and into action. I know I keep promising a more detailed rundown of all I have gleaned, but it truly is overwhelming and I think that in many ways I need to complete the design process/project and fully process things for a bit. I do intend to at least try and pay it forward to some extent here -if for no other selfish reason than the adage that teaching it again is the best way to understand and remember something.
I’ve met some pretty fantastic people and hope to develop, maintain and continue relationships afterward as well. It is actually a bit strange meeting so many people with similar interests when you have become somewhat used to being the food and garden obsessed lone wolf. in the crowd…
Other news on the home front includes a heatwave topping 105 degrees on our fair hill, temperatures unheard of and weather breaking for the area. The hot snap resulted (methinks) in the catastrophic failure of the first scarlet runner crop. A week after the super hot weather, all plants dropped all of their blossoms and all of their growing (still tiny) beans. Since cooler weather has rolled in, blooms are beginning to develop again so there may be a fall harvest (water and weather willing).
I at my first backyard ripened tomato in July that I believe I have ever eaten here in the PNW. I feel as if our tomatoes should be going gangbusters with all of the hot weather, but the truth is that they have struggled a bit this year. Most likely this is due in part to their location (the bed they are in was due for some serious amendment that never happened this spring) and the lack of spring and early summer rain. We are currently having to water from the city’s water supply and as a result are rather stingy.
We have eaten scads of broccoli and have several heads of cabbage. I am behind in making sauerkraut again as well as getting fall seeds started (what else is new?). Gary’s 3 sisters garden is producing well with tassels on the corn and patty pan squash going gangbusters. I am experimenting a bit with the dehydrator that a friend lent me. I have a baggie of dehydrated squash I plan on using Hank’s approach on this week. We gapped a bit in our lettuce planting, but have a whole new crop coming up in the shade of the Rhody in the backyard. Multicolored beets are waiting for me in the fridge and the peppers are blossoming and growing. The carrots have done well too, despite the meager water allowance.
On the downside of things; We suffered a complete massacre of our trees courtesy of the Seattle City Light hired tree service. I have never in my life seen such a hack job as they performed on the Crimson Maple and Douglas Fir in our front yard (and the other trees on the block). The turf war/pissing match between City Light and the other utilities is very evident in our front yard. Imaging a full tree outline, now take the uppermost left quarter completely away. That is what our 50+ year old Crimson maple now looks like. All limbs even looking sideways at the power lines were cut back to the trunk - but all limbs entangled in the phone, cable and other lower utility lines remain. We are now left with decisions to make on what to do with 1 and possibly 2 irreplaceable trees that have been incredibly compromised. The “free” service that the utility trimmers provided will likely end up costing us a thousand in tree removal when the time comes (at least for the Fir).
Really and truly there has been a lot going on and I sense even more burgeoning in the next two months. There are additionally some home improvement tasks that need to occur before the end of September. Namely the replacement of the two old windows in my office. Ahh the fun never ends!
This post turned into a bit of a laundry list, but so goes life I guess. So how are your summers treating you (Do I have any readers left…)?