Sunday, September 25, 2011

An Awful Year for the Garden

We had a very late and heavy show melt this year, which gave me an excuse to not get out there in the mud in the spring, so the garden got a late start. And then it rained like hell for a while, so it stayed soaking wet out there until we had about three weeks of no rain at all, at which point the whole garden dried up. I should have watered more, but we were busy with other things, like a little vacation we really needed, so only some things (tomatoes and peppers) really got enough water. Silly me--plants need water!

Then, of course, we had a hurricane followed by a tropical storm and upstate NY saw more water than it had in a hundred years (the new normal with global warming), so the garden was literally underwater and only the things in the high raised beds actually survived to tell the tale. The squash--especially the pumpkins and zuchini--fared especially poorly, while the tomatoes did OK, we got some peppers (the Thai peppers did well), and the radicchio is beautiful! And there's a section where I let some Jerusalem Artichokes take over--they seem to love all this water. Can't wait to dig up those roots!

Fortunately, not everyone is as lazy as I am when it comes to growing food. Yesterday at the Cooperstown farmer's market, I bought some baby bok choy and some mizuna greens from the nice man from Gaia's Breath Farm who said it was a funny year for them. Some things did well, and others did not. His mizuna greens certainly did well; they're delicious! Our friends Dave and Sonia at Nectar Hills Farm had a very good year, as their veggie farm land is high up and well drained. Of course, their organic land is mostly covered in grass, which their cows eat, making for some very delicious New York grass-fed beef.

And Ellen White Weir's place over in Cooperstown is doing great. She grows all her own flowers which she uses in her natural skin care products like lavender skin care treatment and calendula flower salves. Ellen also runs a New York Nature Camp for Kids that no amount of water could disrupt!

Meanwhile, it's time to plant next year's garlic here at the Supak place (my family thinks it's great that I'm growing garlic, as my Great Grampa Supak was a garlic farmer in Ontario, California way back in the day. I'm adding manure to the raised garlic bed (very important to grow garlic in a raised bed because it keeps the bulb up out of the floodwaters) today, and I'll be planting the garlic soon. You know, because I'm really lazy...