Regardless of four-feet-tall weeds, I’m actually doing some major harvesting in the vegetable garden. I pulled up the garlic. More than half had begun to brown and its paper had fully formed. In my perfect world I would tie them in small bunches and hang them from the rafters. However, I tossed them onto shelves in the greenhouse to dry and cure.
Luckily, I did get a shade cloth over the plastic, so it’s only around 100 degrees in there, not 150 or so! Okay, I’m the queen of exaggeration but it’s pretty darned hot.
Rusty up at Ghost Island Farm has his neatly hung under the porch roof. He has bottles of frozen water here and there in the vegetable bins keeping the produce cool and crisp.
I trade out gallon jugs of ice into the cooler every morning, so I travel around with a mini-fridge in the bed of the truck. Handy for lunches and beverages. One more reminder concerning frozen jugs of water. Keep any empty spaces in the freezer full of them to have the appliance run more efficiently. Also, if there is a power failure (perish the thought!) it will keep the items frozen a bit longer. If times get really dire you can drink the water. Sorry, I come from the 1950s bomb shelter/survival mentality. It does seem crazy to cart bottles to the recycling center and then buy water when it can be stored right at home.
The perennial beds can use a little spiffing! Both the nepeta and the lady’s mantle have seen better days. In fact they look ghastly. I cut the nepeta with no mercy — practically to the ground. It will come back and bloom again.
The lady’s mantle is, sadly, done for the season. The dried and moldy flowers need to be cut and dull brown leaves pulled. Nice, lime green new leaves will come along and look tidy and fresh.
Russian sage is blooming and will not need deadheading. There are some along the split rail fence across the parking lot from Al’s package store. I like it along with bright yellow yarrow and a few orange day lilies.
I took a break from writing this to process the bushel of fava beans that I harvested on Saturday. I had planted them in April and ignored them until now. They really give you a lot for the effort. The entire pod needs to be boiled and cooled. Then a squeeze will release the enormous beans. Some are the size of quarters.
The inedible skin needs to be slipped off each one. I did it for some time and became so annoyed, I bagged them for the freezer and labeled them “to be skinned.”
I’ll get to it sometime in the winter when a hearty bean dish will be just right.
My friend Marie made a great hummus, replacing the chick peas with favas.
The bean is a native of North Africa, which strikes me as odd since they can withstand a freeze or two in early spring. They are popular in Italian, Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine.
I started them in large plug trays in early April, one seed per cell. I planted them out when the peas were going in. I never looked after them at all. The weeds were three feet tall. I yanked them all up at once and was pleasantly surprised with the yield. No bugs had pestered them. I must encourage you to give them a go next season.
I listened to two back-to-back segments on NPR last week. The irony did not escape me. One was about the big Washington welcome for some of the military combat dogs from Iraq and Afghanistan. They were honored and rewarded with retirement at homes of their former handlers, an altogether heartwarming story.
Then another article about the mistreatment by some of our border security personnel directed at the children streaming in from Central America. The demonstrators screaming hateful comments at little children boggles the mind. I’m not even going to a political place here, but can we really be treating dogs better than human beings?
Don’t get me wrong! I love dogs.