Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hot Days

Whew, it's hot and getting hotter. This week is going to be record breaking for us in the Pacific Northwest.

The Bellevue show last weekend was already hot. There was so much hype about how high the temperatures were going to get that I think everyone made plans to go to the beach or something instead of coming over to the show. It was dead and sales were so slow that it turned out truly awful. So disappointing.

And I came back to find that my pumpkins are suffering the dreaded powdery mildew disease now too. They looked great on Friday morning. And Monday morning the entire thing is a goner. There's nothing to be done at this point, it's too far gone to save anything. Total bummer. Now I remember why I decided a few years back to skip the veggie growing and just do flowers. You work so hard, spend so much extra time watering and caring for them, fighting bugs, fighting diseases, mulching etc and then they don't put out. I'm back to thinking I should just save all my time and energy - not to mention water bills - and just shop at the farmer's markets. Let the experts do the farming. I'll just do my picking there instead of the back yard. It usually looks better than what I grow anyway.

The exception is the tomatoes. I love those and they always do well here. They are exploding now in all this sunshine and I'm already giving some away, having more ripe ones than I can eat this week.

And OH MY GOD the plums! I have a plum tree in the front, little green things. Don't know what they are and I've never liked them all that much, even though they are tasty and free and no work at all. The neighbors go crazy for them, and I let them pick as much as they want. But this year? This year is different. I've never seen so many fruits in my whole life. The branches are so low you can hardly get under it. One big branch cracked and split under the weight over the weekend. And I spent Monday morning scrounging every piece of bamboo pole, 2x4, lumber scrap, pvc pipe, garden stake etc to prop up branches. I had to get them off the electrical wires too. It was starting to get really scary. So the front yard looks ridiculous - dozens of poles propping up branches all over the place. It's like a funhouse trying to maneuver around the poles, up the steps, and to the front door.

Cityfruit.org is keeping track of city fruit trees, with a huge list of projects they have in the works - from growing to help with harvesting. We've contacted Seattle Tilth to have volunteers come harvest the fruit this year, donating the plums to food banks etc. But we've got a few weeks before they are fully ripe and it's nuts out there.

The cats are totally crashed out, they are so hot. We keep trying to relocate them to cool spots in the basement or breezy windows - it's cooler inside, but they insist on being outside under the plants, their little fur coats must be so miserable. This week is Seafair - the boat races and the Blue Angels screaming overhead all week. The jets arrive today, which will make the cats even more unhappy. And a bit scary even for us.

And it's Coupeville this weekend. I'm already working on that. Anacortes and Coupeville switched weekends this year and Coupeville comes first in August. I'll get info and link up in a bit. Promise. I'm pickling beets this morning and need to get back to it. Super cute candy striped Chioggia beets in a crazy yummy pickling brine. Just a couple bunches of beets from Bellevue's Sunday market. Not a year's supply. Well, maybe that is a year's supply. I mean I like beets, but a jar of pickled beets can go a long way.