Sunday, July 29, 2007

Switching Mental Gears

Today was the last of the peaches and apples. Whew! July was a busy month. Now that the fruit is at a slow down, I can think about what is still left to do and it looks like Vegetables are the big winner.
Those beans that I went crazy about are now Beaning their little hearts out. I need to blanch and freeze several bags of beans. And the tomatoes are all over the counter waiting to become spaghetti sauce. The 4 ears of corn will be ready in about two weeks. The second crop of Asparagus will be ready in about two weeks. Red cabbage? Yes, there is one left. Celery, parsley, fennel. While it is on my mind, I could also start reworking some of the spent beds. Except that now the weather has decided to become summer and it is very hot and sticky here. All I really want to do is lay around in the shade and sip iced tea.
We are approaching the first harvest festival. If you weren't sure, the Pagan seasonal clock puts mid-summer right around the summer solstice. 6 weeks later is the first Harvest festival. Then the Second Harvest at mid-September. And the final Harvest festival at the end of October. By the end of the Harvest seasons I am one pooped out cookie. I usually don't plant too much for the last harvest. There are some winter squash, late peppers, last tomatoes, bits of this and that. Since I don't have to harvest acres of corn and hay, I usually blow that one off. It is too hot here to grow much in late September, but I do start my Fall garden of cabbage, lettuce and broccoli at about that time.
But there are some interesting things coming up. Asian pears and figs come in September. Then the last items on the harvest list are Jerusalem Artichokes and sweet potatoes which I harvest in December. By the time I get the sweet potatoes out, it is time to plant again for the spring. This year, I am trying to let the Jerusalem Artichokes make flowers and seeds. I have not grown them from seeds and want to see how they do.
In December, I find if I clean out one bed and re-work it with compost and worm castings, it will take me about two days. I can then start to stagger the beds in plantings. Once the beds are in full growth, I only re-work areas as plants come out and new ones go in. Most of the Fall time is spent cleaning up spent brambles, weeding, and pruning citrus trees.
So back to that first harvest festival- August 1 or 2, I think. I am going to take a long, well deserved rest from the garden and the preserving. I am going to dance and play at the beach. Then I am going to go home and eat steamed veges and simple biscuits. Then, late at night, when no one is looking, I will dance naked under the moon. (No pictures, please.)

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