clarentine: (cavalier)
It's official - summer has arrived. The fireflies are once again decorating the night with semaphore declarations of love. The heat has been here a good week, and the deer flies are already driving us crazy, but until the fireflies return, it isn't summer.
clarentine: (cavalier)
Yesterday, my commute gave me the complicated lace of branch tips stark against a salmon-pink winter sky.

Today, it was a pod of whales swimming ponderously across a sky gone just pale with the coming dawn.

Whenever I feel down, or overwhelmed, the remedy is always there waiting for me. I just have to remember to step outside my head, quiet my thoughts, and really see.
clarentine: (cavalier)
This post - https://medium.com/message/never-trust-a-corporation-to-do-a-librarys-job-f58db4673351 - and the news it communicates, is awesome. So very awesome. Every generation has computer software it uses, and loves, and then abandons when something that seems cooler comes along...only to find out later the previous software did some things better or was more fun to play with. The past seemed lost forever; software is all too often now not backward-compatible, so the early versions might as well not exist. Old movies, books, games, all rendered as if they'd never been.

But they do exist, and so does the Internet Archive, and things we had given up on might now, again, be accessible. Read the article; I know what I am struck most by having once again available (MS-DOS-based Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game, anyone?), but like those thousands of old games and movies, we each have our own favorites. I hope you discover yours there. And if not, who knows? It might be the next item the Archive team turns its attention to.

I just acquired another non-profit worth donating to. (And another reason to despise Google, but let's not go there just now.)
clarentine: (Default)
Don't tell P., but the ceremonial first raspberry has been eaten. >:-)

I also picked the first couple of tomatoes, the small-fruited Sungold, while out picking up grassy weeds for the chickens' late afternoon snack. We've been picking green stuff pretty regularly already: basil, parsley, chard. The spring-sown lettuces are finally bolting; we had a terrifically colorful dinner salad the other night, and I have more for lunch tomorrow. The tatsoi I originally seeded last fall, and harvested for seed this spring after the greens were done, have gifted me with a brand new crop...which itself is already starting to bolt.

The sweet potatoes ought to be a better crop this year with the addition of three truckloads of manure and one of top soil. I'm experimenting with this crop; last year's harvest included a lot of finger-thick roots which ordinarily would have been useless to me. I kept them, however, on the chance that I could plant small tubers in addition to the more usual slips. The tubers I planted (in amongst slips both home-started and bought) have thus far given me strong top growth. If I also get a solid crop from them, I'm not going to worry about starting slips next year. Holding tubers for planting is far easier.

The corn (the early variety called Hooker's) is already tasseling...and the damned things aren't even hip high. I have no idea what happened. I don't think this variety is supposed to be this short.

Coming along are the pole beans and cucumbers and later tomatoes (Cherokee Purple and German Johnson as the main crop, with Jersey Devil and San Marzano as a sauce crop and the highly-recommended slicer Tangerine for fresh eating, and scads of my home-started (and seed-saved) grape tomato called Rose planted wherever I could squeeze them in).

The garlic I planted last fall is starting to look like it's approaching harvest point; I'll probably get back from summer vacation to find it all lying flat and golden and ready to pop out of the ground. The onion and shallot sets all appear to be growing strongly.

The one thing that's not really doing well, for reasons I don't quite understand, are the various squashes, both summer and winter. Some of the losses were due to crows, I think. I've got more plants started up by the house to go in this weekend, hopefully too large to be crow bait, but I have a feeling I've got some work to do this winter to get the soil nutrients balanced out.

In other places on the farm, we have apples planted last fall (both trees doing well) and a Rosseyanka persimmon (likewise); willow slips planted this spring for hopeful coppicing this winter; blackberries (which are fruiting but not yet ripe); and strawberries (which fruited very nicely this spring and need desperately to be weeded and mulched and shade-covered for the summer). The bitty asparagus came up fine this spring, but I think we have a couple of years yet before they're strong enough to harvest.

And then there are the flowers. Cosmos and marigolds both came up in a happy riot of color all through the garden from last year's plantings. I expected them, but what I also got, and had not expected, was the borage which popped up here and there from the pitiful plants I seeded in last year - gorgeous sky blue flowers on massive-leaved plants! I've added cleome to the mix, and tithonia, and more marigolds, and Lemon Queen sunflowers. I also seeded in a different strain of cosmos, one supposed to have a much higher incidence of red-orange flowers. My own strain produced, for the first time in the six or eight years I've been saving seed, some lemony yellow flowers, much paler than any I've seen before. I probably ought to specifically flag those plants for saving.

And that's life on Always Something Farm in June. Check back in a month and see how crazy I've gone from harvesting at the peak of the season. >:-)

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