Monday, July 06, 2009

Staking Tomatoes and Strawbale House Renos

There's been a lot of rain this summer already. One farmer friend who lives west of the city told me she had 4 inches of rain in one downpour, and her lettuce was drowning in large lakes that had formed on her hard, slow-draining clay soil. The way she predicts what the season will be like is to follow the first three days after the spring equinox, and that will give a general indication on what April, May and June will be like. Then the three days after the summer solstice give us indicators for July, August and September. She swears by this method, which she learned from a grandfather who also farmed.

We've also noticed the rainy weather, as we've been trying to get started on the exterior work of finishing up the strawbale house addition (there are many previous posts about our building project, which can be found in our 2008 blog pages). We've now prepared the post holes and had them inspected, begun the porches (there is a large wrap-around porch and new front deck/steps coming), and then of course the plaster. We've continuously had to watch the weather reports, and tarp up the straw walls at night in case of rain.

Also spent the day staking some of our tomatoes - we grew about 25 varieties this year, and kept between 2-5 plants of each kind, so we have around 60-70 tomato plants in our yard! It's hard to believe we found fairly sunny spots for all of them. No ripe tomatoes yet, but lots of blossoms and some green ones coming. Usually we have been eating the early red or cherry varieties by now, but the weather has not only been rainy, it has also been cool. Everything seems to be ripening a little slower than most years.

All the Tulsi Basil I seeded a few weeks ago in flats was planted out into garden beds today, and it's looking beautiful!

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