By LYNNE IRONS
I was working in Edgartown last Thursday during the rather impressive storm. We did not experience hailstones but ran for cover anyway. I don’t recall being so terrified of thunder and lightening. We were on the harbor in a big open space. That, combined with the news of a 42-year-old fisherman struck and killed in Chatham, made us less cavalier than usual. I remember Craig Kingsbury telling me of two separate strikes he experienced. Once, he said, he woke up 20 feet from where it took place.
Since I live in Vineyard Haven and have my own gardens there, I was interested in the many reports. Someone lost a windshield, many said they had never seen such large stones, and the roads were covered with twigs and small branches. Roger Spinney reported that the First Baptist Church took a hit to its lightening rod, causing the bell to ring. My new vegetable garden must have taken a direct hit. Tops of tomato plants were broken, onions and artichokes were flattened, and there were big dents in the squashes. I think the winter ones will scab over, and I ate the zucchini right away. At home my apple trees lost a tremendous amount of baby fruit. One tree had many dozens of quarter-sized green apples covering the ground.
This event got me thinking about natural disasters and the havoc resulting. The aftermath of Hurricane Bob was strange at best. Because it was a dry storm, plants were damaged by the salt-laden winds. I remember the forsythia and lilacs blooming in October that year. I guess they thought they had experienced a winter. It was the abrupt end to the gardens that year. Worldwide there are floods, fires, drought and storms of biblical proportion. The toll on human life is tremendous. We seem to go on in spite of it all. Nature is very forgiving. Something seems to sprout after all is done.
Thanks to Marie Larsen. She brought her mother, Ellie, over to the garden with several family members for a big pea-picking. It was Ellie’s 84th birthday. She is an excellent weeder with a cheerful nature. I am a great admirer.
I planted Ronde de Nice, a French zucchini. It is perfectly round, about the size of a baseball. I cut it into wedges and sauté with baby Walla Walla sweet onions. They seem to retain a crunchy texture better than some varieties.
Let’s back up to fava beans. I talked about them a few weeks ago but neglected to mention how to prepare them. If they are good-sized, after removing from the pod, they need to be boiled in salted water for 10 minutes. The translucent skin will then slip right off. Try using them in place of chickpeas for a yummy hummus.
Aren’t the rambling roses simply spectacular this year? (I am rapidly becoming the queen of superlatives.) Both the Cape Cod Rambler and the Dorothy Perkins are cascading over stone walls and up into junipers. I love that look.
Sarah Palin is the gift that just keeps on giving. I thought she likened herself to a pitbull with lipstick. That breed of dog is renowned for never letting go and here she is quitting her elected job? Honestly, it boggles the mind. I attempted to listen to her speech and could not figure out what in the world she’s talking about. I then switched to the Fox News channel. (I had to hold my nose.) I had to see what the right wing pundits had to say. They reported that she has a 45 per cent approval rating from all voters. Now granted, they didn’t call me, but who are these people?