Friday, August 14, 2020

Was it Worth It?

 Now I'm not saying our local farm stands don't have good Sweet Corn, but back in 2018 every one was raving about our local sweet corn and we didn't find any to be very good at all.  Tough.  Bland.  Despite the great convenience of having someone else do the growing and figuring out when to pick, I decided I had to grow my own.  

Last year I tried the Gotta Have It which I had previous experience with.  This year I also tried this SS3778R (F1) sh2 that's a lot of numbers and letters!  A month ago this whole bed went flat in a burst of wind and I began to question my sanity.  Was it worth it? Trying to grow a crop like sweet corn in raised beds?  


  This corn was awesome!

I have a nice full bed of it and there are a lot of ears.

Nice big ears.  Two to a stalk in most cases.

The other bed which has Gotta Have It is not doing anywhere near as well.  It has about a third of the ears and they aren't developing very fast.  The stalks are awesome.  And I make sure I water the bed (along with the other) at least every three days because it has been so hot and dry.  We'll see how it turns out.

The fact that I didn't write a blog entry last weekend is indicative of my general malaise and lack of enthusiasm.  Not just with gardening, but life in general.   I spent a couple of days this past week trying to remember what "fun" was. Since Covid-19 has wrung all of the fun out of this summer.  But then I decided this is fun. I got past my summer burn out. 

I work in an essential industry (gas and oil) and have my own private office (nearest coworkers are hours away) so my work routine has been completely uninterrupted.  I take every Friday off from May through July.  I am now down to every other Friday through the end of the year.  That's how I burn up vacation time without being missed and having work pile up.  Everyone gets used to me not being available Fridays.  

I didn't have last Friday off so I was looking forward to today.  Yesterday at the office I wrote up a long list of heavy duty chores like weed whacking and pulling out cucumbers.  When I looked at my list this morning I knew this would be one of those days where you sweat all the way through your clothes and at the end of the day you barely have the energy to get out of them and into the shower.  And I love days like that.

I've finally gotten past the point where all of the cauliflower and cucumbers and cabbages were sitting in the fridge demanding to be eaten.  Things are much more manageable now.  I've been keeping up with my garden housekeeping very well.  I've cleaned 4 beds out and planted them with buckwheat.

The earliest buckwheat has gotten quite tall.  Last year the buckwheat crop in this bed below was very yellow and sparse.  I've taken special care with the soil and it is now doing as well as the other beds.  That is an unsung advantage of planting cover crops.  You can compare the health and fertility of different beds against each other.

It is finally tomato season.  I've been eating mid-sized Black Brandywine tomatoes since the first of August, but my Barlow Jap Tomatoes have finally begun and they are the best they have ever been.  

Four big, beautiful Barlow Japs all ripe at once.

The Barlow Jap plant is healthy as can be.  I've only done some structural pruning on branches that were not in a spot where I could support them.  It has barely shown any sign of Septorial Speck or Blight. The Pineapple tomato (below) on the other hand has had a big problem with Septorial and I pulled two Black Brandywine I had in beds because they were blighting out faster than the tomatoes could ripen.

The Black Brandywine plant in the container (below) is still healthy and producing well.  Just a little bit of leaf curl.  This is my first year for this variety and I have to say the taste is very good.  For black or brown tomatoes I still prefer the Paul Robeson overall.  But I'm enjoying them this year.  They are a little on the small side for a beefstake.  It takes two slices to fill a sandwich.  They are the perfect size for topping a hamburger.

Well that catches me up on my garden blogging.  Tomorrow I am actually going to clean the house! And learn how to shell baby Lima Beans.  I've been experimenting one pod at a time in the garden but its time to pick a bunch and I still haven't worked out a good method.  Luckily, if I fail at shelling babies, I can always let them mature on the vine and store them dry.  But its the baby limas I'm interested in.

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