The summer that wasn’t
Gray, cloudy days. No hint of sunshine or blue sky. 11 degrees (52 F). Sigh… so much for summer weather!
I suppose I'm being a little bit pessimistic. It's only June 14, and summer technically doesn't begin for another 7 days, but it is usually lovely out by this time of year. I remember last year, just after Caden's birth (late May), we had a bit or rain and clouds, but mostly we had warm, sunny days that made me so happy.
Gray and rain does not make me happy.
Not that it is up to the weather to create a sense of joy or contentment in my life (thank goodness, considering where I live!), but still… I yearn for sunshine.
Speaking of yearning for sunshine, let's talk about my garden. It was going so, so well, with a few weeks of relatively nice weather that really seemed to be gearing up for perfect garden growing weather. Now, I fear that some of my warmer-blooded plants are just barely holding on for dear life.
The cold weather found me running around outside a few nights ago, deciding that enough was enough and my little plants just weren't going to make it if I didn't do something and quick!
My on-the-fly solution– some tomato cages and bamboo garden poles stuck around my tomatoes, and a large tarp that I fought with to cover it all up (I had a picture to show you, but my camera is having uploading issues at the moment).
For my little plants, like my cucumbers and watermelons (sadly, I've already lost one of my three), I just covered them in whatever containers I could find. I managed to cover a couple of squash and corn, too, but just ran out of containers, so I hope the rest of them are alright.
I think I'm beginning to get a glimpse into how a farmer feels. Speaking of farmers, I know that our local weather is really doing a number of everybody's crops, not just my own little garden. The strawberries should be ripe and luscious, and they're just not at all. I'm sure everything else is suffering somewhat as well.
(A picture of my strawberry patch, that is strangely void of strawberries or even flowers, and my lettuce and greens, below, that are flourishing nicely in the cool weather)
Even though I know the local produce will be more expensive this year, it makes me want to support them more because I have a whole lot more empathy now than I ever have before. However, it also makes me incredibly glad that I do have my garden and that at the very least, we will have some fresh vegetables, even if it's not quite the harvest I hoped for.
Then again, it's only June, and July and August are supposed to be beautiful, hot and much drier, so I suppose there's hope for my garden still. We tend to have nice Indian summers that go right through September, so that's a solid 90 days of prime growing time right there. Hmmm, maybe things will still finish well in the end.
Kinda makes you realize how spoiled we are, doesn't it? We're so used to the food just magically "appearing" in the grocery store, without ever realizing the toil and hardship it took to get it there. Bad seasons happen- too much rain, too hot, too cold, insects, drought.
I may or may not have the gardening season that I am hoping for, but one thing is sure. I am learning so much more about self-sustainability, about providing our own food, about the time and energy and determination that it takes, and also about the possibility and hopefulness that goes with it. There is something deliciously wonderful about waking up in the morning and peering out your dining room window to see a garden growing, slowly more and more green every day.
Well, today we're off to the mountains (Golden Ears) about an hour away and we're hoping to find some better weather over there! Regardless, I'm sure we'll have a fun day playing together as a family. And maybe, just maybe, the sun will poke out and smile on us a little while we're at it.
My cucumber plant is on the way out for the same reason. I should have moved it our of the rain like I did my tomatoes. I am seeing the benfits of container gardening this year :o) Most of my things have been under cover for two weeks.
Hoping for sun!
We are also having wet and cool weather where I live. My greens are also doing well, but other, warmth loving things are not doing so great. I understand where you are coming from.
Last summer was my first garden as an adult (on my own). It rained and was cool for 3 weeks straight in July. The bottoms of my tomatoe plants turned yellow. I still got some things, but nothing did that great. Well, my basil and carrots did. This year my basil failed to germinate!
I know what you mean by having more empathy, too. With all the rain last year, a farmer in our church had to plow ALL his hay under. It was too wet. A late frost (end of June) meant hardly any strawberries for the local farm, and also hardly any blueberries. In turn, we had bear problems as the bears came into town to find food. I hope this year is better. Two days ago I watched hail the size of dimes fall all over my garden and high, high winds rip through it.
Hang in there. I know its tough to want the garden to do well and not get what you expect. I hope it does well for you. The covering ideas you have sound good. I have also heard of finding an old window to make a cold frame. Haven’t tried it (no old window). I want to try to do something similar with something else, when I find time. I FINALLY got the rest of my garden planted. It took me forever since I let my 2 year old help. She loved it. I think it was worth it but it took A LOT of patience. 🙂 I think that with gardening, every year is a surprise. I hope our gardens do well!