Well, according to the locals, the week we’ve been back has been Summer in our neck of the woods. While I’m a little peeved that this year’s weather (so promising in June!) has turned out to be so cold and rainy, I at least have evidence that we had a summer, of a sorts.
Upon our landing, it had been somewhere between 3 weeks and a month since my poor veggie patch had gotten any attention, let alone love. I didn’t feel guilty about this, but I was dreading turning the corner of the house to see it: forlorn, bedraggled, dried out to a husk, and vermin-eaten.
You can imagine my glee, then, when The Boy (in an attempt to get me off the couch, probably) encouraged me to go look, since “it might cheer [me] up.” So, grabbing a colander, I headed out back to see…
- Carrots! That’s right, of the (approximately) 683 carrots I planted this year, about 4 or 5 of them have remained uneaten (at least above ground). What’s more, they’re looking lush and possibly edibly big.
- Lettuce! Enough to make a salad, finally!
- Tomatoes! Lots of them! There were a mass of Roma tomatoes still in the green phase, and approximately 8,637 grape tomatoes, all in varying stages of ripeness. Having now trimmed back the excessive tomato foliage a bit, I’m hoping that the more air/less damp will help them out to produce more. This action on my part is especially funny when one keeps in mind that I don’t even like tomatoes raw (exception: salsa).
- Green peppers! Admittedly only two at this point, but the poor plant (who I’d given up all hope on, when it never flowered) has barely been watered or nurtured… and there are still more flowers on it! Sadly its red pepper and habanero brethren seem unlikely to flower or fruit this year; ah well — maybe next year.
- Healthy-looking cucumber plants! I’m holding out hope for actual cucumbers later this fall. This is probably unrealistic, since the temperature is already dropping pretty low at nights, but still.
- My beloved brussel sprouts! Completely stripped of their former pretty leaves, but with sproutling young new ones. They’re a fall/winter crop, so I’m hoping they’ll get enough warm sunny days to make a recovery.
And that’s about it. All in all, it’s probably kind of pitiful for your average backyard garden. For me, however, this is huge victory: my little garden has risen beautifully to battle against the odds of…
- It being my first try at a garden (see: plant placement, importance thereof) as well as having had a late start with the seedlings. All this coupled with late frost.
- It being the summer I got married — quite frankly, the garden wasn’t a priority at any point this year.
- It having been left to its own devices for a month, poor thing.
I am completely stoked at this garden’s production. Huzzah!
So, what do I plan to do with my veggie riches? Well, I harvested about a dozen Roma tomatoes which are slated for salsa-making early next week, along with a bowl full of grape tomatoes which I’m going to dry, possibly tonight.
Other plans include eating the carrots (or at least unearthing one for inspection) next week, and probably some lettuce-steamed dumplings, which I haven’t made since moving to Ottawa because, umm, I refuse to buy lettuce. Store-bought lettuce tastes like water, and it angers me to see it in my fridge. The lettuce I’ve grown may well also taste like water (although the leaves I’ve sampled thus far are pretty tasty) but at least it’ll be home-grown, chipmunk-resistant, non-pesticided watery lettuce. Or something.
In not-quite-in-the-garden-but-pretty-close news, we came home to find a large-ish spider had taken up residence next to our back door, at around head-height.
Being that spiders generally eat bugs, and that this one is outside the house, I didn’t particularly have a problem with it. (In fact, I may be secretly hoping he’ll eat all the earwigs. If only the damned earwigs would climb up that high…) The Boy, however, would like to relocate said spider, on the grounds that it was “too big” and it was squicking him out. (Note: he probably said something manlier than “squicking out”. Probably.)
When I pointed out that spiders eat bugs and that earwigs = bugs, therefore spiders = good, he replied:
“I just don’t like when they have big ‘butts’.
And I can not lie.”
Who says there’s no poetry in his logic?
Sadly, as of this writing, the spider, and its carefully-constructed web, have mysteriously vanished. The Boy claims no responsibility. Hmm…