Monday, June 18, 2012

Last of the Spring Produce

As we near the longest day of the year here in our corner of the Northern Hemisphere, we are also having our 37th day over 100 degrees F (only three and a half more months of this!). It’s time to hide, hibernate, or go somewhere else, until conditions improve. At least that’s the survival strategy of the desert flora and fauna.
Another useful adaptation: carry your own water. (source)

There’s not much wildlife activity except nighttime rustlings and the irrepressible notes of the mockingbird. The desert plants have lost their leaves and will simply endure as they’ve evolved to do.
At the other end of the gardening spectrum, our precious vegetables will require some support from me. This will mainly take the form of water, shade, and pest control. The tomato plants are in suspended animation – not dead, not growing – and if I can somehow keep them alive until October we may get another flush of flowers and fruit for winter salads. The squash have temporarily given up sprouting plate-sized leaves, but are still producing flowers at the rate of approximately 750 males to every female.

The grapes started to ripen all at once, and I harvested all of them, including the unripe ones, to make sure the dogs didn’t get into them. (No grapes for dogs! They can be toxic!) I tossed the greenest ones over the fence for the birds, and ripened the rest on our kitchen counter.
Very nice color. Variety unknown.

It was A LOT of grapes.
 I should have weighed them, but I didn’t think of it at the time.
We ate about half, until we were tired of picking the tiny stems off. The rest I put through the juicer and we had two quarts of very sweet, delicious grape juice.

That will be it for home grown veggies, other than the rare squash, until mid-Fall. Fortunately we’ll have the herbs going for a while, and can console ourselves with herb breads, pesto, fresh leaves in salad dressings, and anything else we can think of.

How are your gardens growing?


  1. So not only are you a talented seamstress, you are also a creative cook! I wish I was closer, I would come over for a bowl or two of grapes (smile). Keep cool!

    1. Creative is a nice word for it. Mostly my culinary creations are barely edible, but there's not much I can do to ruin grapes, fortunately.

  2. I feel a bit like I'm living on another planet! My tomatoes are still indoors to save them from the cold. Warmed up to double figures today though and the bees came out - just blogged (is that really a verb?) some pictures.
    My father grew grapes in a greenhouse but of course it would be impossible outdoors here.

    1. I think so too! I can't believe it's so cold there still! Poor little tomatoes - yours are chilled and mine are baked..

  3. My tomato and pepper plants are doing nicely; I decided to try them in pots this year so that I can move them to the covered porch if it gets too, too hot. And the herbs are just beginning to sprout. So far, so good! Another week or two where we don't hit 90 would be ideal, but I don't think we're going to get that. Fingers crossed that I can keep them alive once the really hot weather arrives!

    1. Very exciting! I think pots are the best way to go when the weather is so unpredictable. You will have quite a nice farm going there pretty soon. I wish you continuing good luck.

  4. How fascinating that some plants just stop everything, waiting for the horrible heat to pass. There's a metaphor in there somewhere. Enjoyed this description of life in the garden!

  5. do not have a garden, would not have the patience, Mr. D takes care of the outside, we have flowers, fishes, but no veggies or fruits -

    In your comment on my blog i saw you live in Phoenix, my daughter Izzy lived there for 18 months a few years back -
    Isn't terrible the cat situation, it seems to be the same in your part of the world, i wonder what goes through people's minds sometimes - My oldest cat was left to himself and the second needed a good home previous owners could not keep him -