8.12.2012

Late Summer & Garden Update

Pic: Molly the Jersey Giant and me.
Pic taken with computer camera. I ♥ PhotoBooth.
It's August in South Central Texas. You can tell by watching all the two-leggeds running from air-conditioned cars to air-conditioned buildings. Rarely will you see open car windows on the roads these days, and the only time you'll find people walking recreationally outdoors is in the early morning or early evening hours.

Here on the farm, we have extra wading pools set up for the dogs & the waterfowl, and extra shade structures in place. We've also misting hoses set in strategic areas, where the breeze blows the cooling mist further into the shady areas. All the farm critters congregate and grudgingly tolerate each other in these cooling stations. No one wants to get shoved out into the heat.

August is also a tough time for vegetable gardens - the intensity of the sun & heat will put vegetables into a panic, where they do all they can to conserve resources and stay alive.  One clear winner in the Summer Tomato Sweepstakes this year has been the "wild" compost tomato we found and transplanted to a raised bed, just to see how it would do. It has consistently (and profusely!) fruited all Summer long. Seed will be saved and replanted next year. The plant itself is so humongous it completely took over a 4'x4' raised bed. The other tomatoes that were planted have been subsumed by this beast. Poor babies.

Other tomatoes: The yellow pear has done well. The paste San Marzano was slow to start, and is slowly but steadily fruiting. May try Romas instead next year, see if they're a bit more prolific, or if slow/steady is just the way of pastes. The Dona F1 and the Costoluto Genovese paste fruited little to not at all. Matt's Cherry has almost current-sized fruits, and are too much of a pain to harvest. The chickens get those. The "Dirty Girl" (Campari-like) tomatoes we grew from saved seed didn't turn out so well - that's a risk you take when trying to grow from saved hybrid seed. It was worth a shot. None of the slicing tomatoes have fruited, so I'll have to try another type next year.

The figs are doing well, and one of the new pear trees fruited this year. Ate one of the pears a few days ago... need a few more days yet before they're ready to harvest, probably by next week.

As for me, I've obtained outside employment doing contract work for a major telco. Strange as this may sound, it will afford me more time to blog, as there's always stretches of time (say, lunch hour) where I can do some writing. On the farm, my time isn't as structured, so it gets filled with other things that grab my attention. Like shooing geese away from chewing on the new pressure washer... ahh, too late: they've already chewed through the wiring, and now we gotta take it in for repairs. Good thing processing goose for consumption is such a pain, else Spouse may have started wringing necks and plucking feathers...