season update – what grew, is growing, and still to come

This morning the sun ducked behind clouds and instead of retreating before the heat I took some pics of growing activity.

At the top of the hill stands a solitary thistle. Thistle, a symbol of Scotland, brings back memories of vacations in the Highlands. And the pipes of the Black Watch swirling through our living room when my Dad, who fought in a Scottish regiment in WW2, would play our favorite record.  Not that it is universally admired – here is a quote from In agriculture the Thistle is the recognized sign of untidiness and neglect, being found not so much in barren ground, as in good ground not properly cared for.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand here are 2 closeups

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe savage January lows doomed all my fig trees and some blueberries and a hardy citrus.  But the figs, ever optimistic are growing again (and will likely be again felled in January).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow is blueberry and blackberry picking time and each morning I fill a couple yogurt 1 qt containers with fresh pickings in between scoffing down healthy helpings.


I walk slowly through the high grass to give snakes time to move out of the way, but I was unprepared for the silent yellow wasp attack.  No buzz warning or preliminary fly around, just a quick landing and nasty bite/sting.  And when I returned having lost the contents of 1 container in the hasty exit, they were still there and gave me a 2nd lesson.  I shall have to better time my visits to this blackberry patch.

I ordered and just received 15 chestnut and 15 hazelnut trees and, since it is hot now and some hazelnut were suffering, I am nursing them in my tree nursery next to the deck which provides afternoon sun shade.

a small chestnut - whether it will survive our weather and the inevitable blight attack will be seen
a small chestnut – whether it will survive our weather and the inevitable blight attack will be seen

I have introduced several new features to my tomato growing and will not enumerate on them until I see whether they produce a measurable difference.  There are lots of green tomatoes and, at this time, they are looking good.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis season has been good, so far – lots of lettuce (tho next year I will do more Cherokee than Black Seeded Simpson which have been insipid), radish, kale etc.  A pleasant surprise has been the size and quality of my   onions – I planted several varieties from bulbs and they all tasted mild and great.  Next on will be cucumbers, okra,  beans, squash, potatoes.  My cucumber plants are growing well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this week I bought 9 Beuregard sweet potato vines which I planted out in the areas cleared of onions and lettuce.


In my orchard, which is acquiring more permaculture trappings, I earlier planted a strip of 4 rows of different corn plus beans and squash.  The corn is looking good.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd if you look carefully you will see the small squash and bean plants which have some catching up to do.

the three sisters
the three sisters

The late April 15 freeze harmed a number of my apple trees and the peach tree.  However, most importantly, my best apple tree with the sweetest apples was not affected and is bearing heavily.  Here is just one down laden branch (which I really should thin).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are so many contenders for imaging – the hop plant reaching greater heights, the muscadine vines ever multiplying.  I shall have to be selective and show one of my onion plant heads which I am allowing to go to seed and provide for next year.


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