Thursday, July 12, 2007

Trouble in Eden

We returned from my brother's wedding in Florida to an exploded garden. We had tons of cucumbers (still tiny), loads of lettuce (gone bitter), and missing blueberries. It seems the bluebirds and robins like blueberries. Damn. Serves us right, though, for being so lax about getting the netting on. Next year.

We also discovered, especially in the last couple of days, that some of our plants have been munched. I suspect the woodchuck. He shows up in the lower yard several times a week, munching on various plants (including hostas), and dashes away when I open the sliding door. I can't tell if he has good eyesight or good hearing, but he doesn't have good manners. Based on the chomps' height -- and his proximity -- I blame him. Our acorn and butternut squash have no leaves, and the basil is mangled. I hope they can recover (and I need to make pesto soon).

This morning, I let the cats out at 3 a.m., coyotes be damed, so that they might earn their keep by securing the garden. (I let them out because I am up from 2:30 to 4:30 most mornings, for some reason -- baby is active, I think.)

Another unfortunate fact is the tomatoes' fungal problem. I take part of the blame (Mother Nature is also culpable). David suggested we planted the tomatoes too close together, but I just refused to believe him (I wanted to have as many plants as possible). Well, I think their wonderfully abundant leaves don't get enough circulation, and with the cool and rainy weather, they don't get dried by the sun. I tried to solve the problem by cutting off all the lower, yellowed leaves, but it keeps creeping upwards. So, let me publicly admit that My Husband Was Right.

I hope the tomatoes can ripen before we lose all the foliage. There are tons and tons of tomatoes already (especially on those crazy Tumbling Toms), but all are green. Can we wait three weeks?! We are dying to begin our daily tomato sandwiches.

In happier news, our beans (the bush ones, not the pole ones) are ready to eat, as are our zuchhinni and squash. We've also had some lovely swiss chard and herbs lately. When our sink gets fixed (it has a clog somewhere in the pipes), and I can get back into my kitchen, I will make some beans with a little butter. Summer!

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