Early Wednesdaymorning, I looked out the window in hope, but all was dry as an ancient bone. Once again the rain had bypassed our area. I was a bit ticked off. Areas that have been blessed with rains are getting more. Those of us who haven’t, still aren’t. But, at least we don’t have wildfires…yet! Sauntering into the kitchen to make the morning tea, I surveyed the kitchen island, where the produce picked Tuesday sat, along with two bouquets I’d made last evening.
And the harvest from the day before sat on the side counter. The last of the “Dragon Tongue” beans had been picked into a plastic bag because I was out of empty buckets. It was time to make up more giveaway boxes.
Since I’ve begun to know the recipients fairly well, Box 1 was a quick fix. An elderly couple that can no longer garden, who love melons and tomatoes, will fix cucumbers with onions and vinegar, and enjoy fresh beans got the final picking of purple beans, two kinds of melon, 2 burpless cukes and an assortment of tomatoes. They don’t eat a lot, so their box is small. Sadly, they don’t like summer squash or peppers…
Two bachelor farmers also love melons, but they have their own tomatoes, don’t like cucumbers, peppers, or summer squash. I usually tuck in a couple of servings of something baked because they don’t bake (this time it was black raspberry & blueberry crisp), but they know how to cook beans. Last time I took purple beans, which they’d never seen but were willing to try. It also gives them something new to tell their other retired farming friends when they meet for coffee. So, they got the last of the “Dragon Tongue” beans, which will give them a new story to tell.
“Box” 3 goes to a retired couple who once had a large garden and miss it. She loves to cook and they often have grandchildren stopping in to eat with them, so she can use larger quantities. And, since they are “old time” gardeners, a bug bite or two doesn’t bother them at all, so they got the entire bucket of French Garden beans, which apparently both the striped and spotted cucumber beetles prefer. Who knew? Fortunately, they love cucumbers and summer squash, peppers and tomatoes, and they got 3 1/2 melons plus a head of cabbage. That ticked one job off my list.
While D delivered the boxes, I hurried to the Lavender Slope before it got any warmer and before the sky cleared to avoid the searing sun. The stone-covered slope really reflects the heat, which can make shearing the lavandins more uncomfortable. The top row of lavenders had been sheared right after they bloomed, and the “Imperial Gems” are already beginning to rebloom, but I’d been tardy getting the lavandins done.
While I was shearing, I noticed there were lots of new growth stems that were perfect for cuttings. I haven’t done lavender cuttings since I sold the herb farm six years ago, but it was always one of my favorite tasks. I have no desire to do the 3-4,000 I used to do each August, but I’m thinking lavender plants would be good sellers at our garden club plant sale next spring, so I prepped a plug flat and enjoyed a good hour taking cuttings, inhaling the fabulous, relaxing fragrance and doing a bit of weeding as I moved along the rows. After taking lavandin cuttings, I decided to do a flat of lavenders.
If I’m going to go to the trouble of babying two flats of lavender cuttings, I might as well make it three, so a plug flat of rosemary and lemon verbena cuttings were next. Lemon Verbena ice cream has been on the job/wish list, so I’d planned to harvest some leaves today anyway so this actually “killed two birds with one stone” so to speak.
The bulk of the afternoon was spent watering…and harvesting so once again the counters are full. A kettle of tomatoes went on the stove next, destined to be marinara sauce. It can slowly simmer while I run into town for our monthly book club meeting. While I’m in town, I’ll pick up cream and a bag of ice for the ice cream, and some bacon for quick, easy BLT’s for supper.
Then, I’m going to sit down with my job list, and TICK OFF all the things on the list that were finished today! Slight chance of rain tomorrow, so there’s still hope!