Thursday, July 27, 2006

What's Growin' On: 7/27/06

Realization Of The Day:
Last week's storm (which supposedly swept through the farm at somewhere between 60 and 80 miles per hour) blew my entire greenhouse apart--and yet this makeshift bamboo bean trellis standing just a few feet away didn't move an inch. There is definitely something to be said for tipi/teepee/tepee design. Now if there were only some beans growing up those bean poles.

Okay, I know what most of you are probably thinking after reading that last sentence and staring at this photo in disbelief:

Hello!? That looks suspiciously like the same little lamb you permanently kicked out of the garden just a few short days ago for gobbling up two rows of your bush beans--and who is also responsible for pulling up and munching down most of the pole beans you planted under that trellis! Are you the biggest pushover in the world--or have you just completely lost your mind?

Neither. (Well, maybe the first one--but that was from way before.) Here's the deal. I seriously believe that I made a hasty and incorrect assumption regarding Cary and those two rows of decimated bush beans. My first tip off was the deer I recently spotted nonchalantly meandering toward the garden around dinner time. I'd been faithfully covering up all of the beans with floating row covers every single night for weeks after deer ate the first batch of them, but I'd stopped because of the storms, and because I figured the deer were done in the garden. (I know, more shaking of the head, rolling of the eyes. Deer do not get full! Ever! Maybe I am losing my mind.)

Anyway, while I stared in disbelief at the deer, saying how it probably wasn't Cary who ate all those bean plants after all (and mumbling something about grabbing the gun), Joe brought up a good point:

"Cary doesn't have that long of an attention span."

And he is absolutely right. She (like all sheep) is constantly on the munching move, always searching for the next tastier treat. There is no way she would have stood at that raised bed and systematically worked her way down two 8-foot rows of beans. I thought I had solid, tangible evidence--size "C" hoofprints right there in the dirt. But I was obviously wrong--they were in fact size "D."

So Cary is once again allowed back in the garden. I did get a few disbelieving looks from Joe who thought I just kept forgetting to shut the garden gate after myself. In fact, he still can't believe I'm letting her back in there. But the thing is, I pointed out, that all of her damage has been done already. The pole beans are history, she has pretty much already clearcut the asparagus fern forest, the bugs devoured the Nero di Toscana cabbage she recently acquired a taste for, and she did actually help tame the raspberry jungle. Besides, in all reality, she really does prefer eating weeds and grass over anything else.

This is the time of year when I pretty much give in to the fact that I have lost many of my battles in the garden, so I simply try not to get totally frustrated and just enjoy whatever there is left to harvest (although if there weren't any tomatoes it would be a whole other story). And besides, it was getting awfully boring in there without her.

I had every intention of ending this post with some useful and practical gardening advice, but I think I'd better do some laundry instead. There was a good chance of rain in the forecast today, but it seems to be passing us by. Obviously those jeans out on the laundry line aren't enough. Oh, wait! I do have some useful advice I can pass on after all. Okay, clean wet laundry on the line can definitely make it rain. But a lawnmower left out in the garden two nights in a row? That's apparently just a little too much.


  1. Cary gets a reprieve! I was looking at the picture of Cary and my eye was drawn to the background and it looks like you have a huge stand of that Tree of Heaven crap, why can't sheep eat invasive trees?

  2. Yep, it's about that time of year here in my garden, too. Some plants are looking kind of sad, so I just hack 'em back and let the others do their work. We're still waiting on the tomatoes, though. Soon! Until then, I live vicariously through you...

  3. I really enjoy your kitchen garden blog. And understand the ups and downs of home grown veg. But they give so much joy!

  4. I've given up worrying about my garden too. Weeds? Who cares--it's too hot to bother with them. No squash? Eh, who cares. If there's one thing you can buy at the farmer's market, that's it. So it's all copacetic. :-)

    Fall planting starts in August. I will reclaim things soon.

  5. You did give us a piece of useful advice: "I simply try not to get totally frustrated and just enjoy whatever there is left to harvest" Based on wha's going on in my first real garden, this is probably the single most important piece of gardening advice. The basil has been devoured by beetles; the peppers stalled back in June; the carrots are taking FOREVER; the cukes got put out too late.. it goes on and on but the tomatoes are huge and full of little green bulbs - what more can I ask for? Thanks for your blog - you're an inspiration!

  6. I am so enjoying your blog. I grew up on a farm, and hope to get back on one someday. You have inspired me to think that I could really make it happen. I had a young sheep named Cooper for 4-H one summer that followed me around just like Cary, so I'm enjoying the Cary Chronicles tremendously! Thanks!

  7. I've been facing ups and downs (well, actually downs right now) in my balcony garden, too. Thanks for sharing your stories. That makes me feel related.
    Well, I should go hang my laundry now.


March 2013 update: My apologies for the inconvenience - I know word verification is a pain - but I've had to turn it on to help stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I've been getting every day. Thanks for your understanding.

Welcome to! Thanks so much for taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love to hear about what's going on in your own garden. I know, too, that other readers also delight in reading about your garden successes, failures, helpful tips, and lessons learned. Feel free to leave comments on older posts!

I try my best to answer all questions, but sometimes it takes me a few days to get to them. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your visits to my kitchen garden!