Monday, July 4, 2011

July - The Month of Waiting

Gardens start with so much potential. In April and May we plant and we envision all the bountiful produce that will be the result of our efforts. The plants come up or they don't, they grow, and we wait. We now have foot high corn, beans whose flowering is imminent, garlic that will be ready to harvest by the end of the month, four varieties of potatoes in big mounds of dirt and manure, and adolescent asparagus, mostly ferns with a few miniature spears appearing. The pumpkins have been thinned to just two plants, and they are ready to fall and start growing along the ground. Outside of pulling weeds, which are incredibly bountiful at this time of year, we just sort of coast along until September and October at Dogs Run Farm.

At home, the tomatoes are loving the heat and humidity. The first cherry tomatoes will turn red or black or white in a week or so, and the big boys, the Black Krims, the orange, red, and yellow beefsteaks are getting bigger. These latter tomatoes still have weeks to go until they're going to be ripe. Until then, we will remind ourselves what the wait is all about with a photo of last year's crop. Pretty soon, but never soon enough, we will have to stop by the cheese shop for some fresh mozzarella. We also have a bountiful crop of arugula and lettuce, with green beans and fava beans coming along.

The 2010 Tomato Harvest
So the month of July will be a waiting game, with a few cherry tomatoes to whet appetites for the slicers. The WVa potatoes just need time until a September or October harvest. We will be up to our necks in beans by the end of the month. To help us though, it will soon be berry season in Ohio and that means blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry crisps. Seasonal. That was what it was like before 365 days/year of tasteless apples, plastic-cartoned raspberries, limp asparagus, and warehouse "ripened" tomatoes, all flown in from California or Chile.

We prefer to wait. Eat seasonally; that's why they are called seasons.


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