Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thinking about diversity

The main thing we've learned about gardening this year is that it's unpredictible (yeah yeah this is not new news to farmers). Last year the lack of rain made watering a tedious task and made harvests pitiful. This year too much rain (?) or too cool weather (?) or ineptitude of the gardeners (?) made harvests more pitiful. We arrived in Northern Michigan early this year (May 21) to get the garden in a couple of weeks early in hopes of an extra large English pea crop. We got zippo peas. The weeks of cool and rain made planting the premie baby heirloom tomatoes impossible so I nurtured them right into rotting and had to go buy hybrids. Next although the rain was great, the grass totally took over everything since BOTH my arms are too wimpy for much hoeing. Lost the green beans to weeds and grass. And to add insult to injury today when I went to check on the skimpy row of beets I had just painfully weeded and nurtured, I found them totally gone and a big-long-toed footprint providing evidence that some creature had enjoyed them recently.

HOWEVER, we're still getting more lettuce than we can eat or give away and the radishes were highly successful and somehow also extremely amusing. I forgot I had bought a variety of radish called "Easter Egg" and that's exactly what they look like. Mostly oval and 3-4 different colors. That's why I'm thinking about diversity of plant crops, species, life forms, whatever. Who knows what the next failure will be and the world needs alot of backup plans.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Celebrating burgers & clan

So this year the weather was gloriously perfect, everyone who had been hiding indoors because of the crummy June weather came out and most of them launched boats, cousin Donna and I had made two parades by noon and we had 25 of the clan for burgers in our front yard. Thank goodness the elders used to host lots of card parties so we have an inventory of rickety card tables and lovely applicade and embroidered linen clothes to go over them. Actually logistics is about all I did since I gave up control of the menu and asked for pot luck and Bob cooked the burgers. Predictably, narry a gourmet treat arrived, but not having to do much work was a good trade off and I could concentrate on my wine.