Monday, October 1, 2012

The Seasons


It's hard to leave the beach farm today, but I've little energy for pulling the few weeds or yanking the dried cucumber vines. So I sit with the breeze to my side. Tilden is empty, too, lacking the activity of summer. Somehow, I feel as if I've missed the summer this year. How can that be?

We began in grand fashion, grilling on weekends, planting on schedule. The garden was full of experiments this season, with plenty of success and some notable failures. I've discovered which filet bean, the French green bean, I prefer to grow out of 6 strains attempted. "Nickel" the outright winner, but also "Velour" for its deep blue-purple coloring. Fennel grew wildly and the tomatoes had no blossom end rot to speak of.

My fall brassica and lettuce plantings were delayed by our trip to Minnesota. They never overcame the lengthy run in the starter tray and now the purple cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli succumb to a menacing hoard of harlequin bugs thanks to the excessively warm winter. And there are worms, many worms, although not the typical cabbage moth worms -these are striped down the length and have some color. 

It was a stellar year for the herbs. I've clipped more fennel, rinsed it, and will heat it to 140 degrees in the oven with hopes of extinguishing whatever life remains within its branches. I gave it the hard eye under harder sunlight, and did not see anything remotely like life on its stems or seeds. Where do those gnats come from?

The carrots did much better this year, although initially pungent, they are getting sweeter as cooler nights become the norm. The eggplant, a seed gift from Marie, are the most beautiful I've grown. "Rosa Bianca," from Hudson Valley Seed Library. They taste wonderful too, but you must get them before any rain because they split like tomatoes.


The Fed wants us out by October 1 this year. Oh, yes, that's today. Clean up they say. No occupancy during the off season, too. They want to fix 'er up. A dumpsters a comin'. Who really knows, although I've been told the tilling is off the table and that is good news. But, they have declined to replace our well-aged, rusting, leaking, galvanized steel pipe irrigation lines, and that is not such good news. I'm not really sure what to expect on my next visit.

This yellow flower was blooming in the lawn. I've never seen it before, or at least not there in the lawn.


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