The bare minimum

When the cicadas start buzzing early in the morning we know we’re in for a scorcher. With temps in the 90’s, high humidity and ground level ozone levels that were predicted to “approach or exceed unhealthy standards”, all we can do – without falling over – is the bare minimum. It’s a good thing we’ve finished planting because all we really need to do now is water, maintain, and harvest the bounty. As for watering, Nature helped a bit yesterday with a freakish afternoon downpour that gave us at least half an inch and by the looks of the refreshed gardens, some of it actually soaked in rather than running right off. As for maintaining, I feel inclined to leave a few extra seedheads for the goldfinch and have concentrated on staking slouchers instead. (I have never noticed our pink peony poppy seedheads looking eaten before – peeled like bananas. But today I caught a glimpse of the goldfinch at work on them and also snacking on the Verbena bonariensis.)

And as for harvesting, there were lots of flowers to pick bright and early for house arrangements, and the vegetables are coming in gangbusters. It was wonderful to be joined by a skeleton crew of very local and very willing-to-be-sweaty volunteers who spent an hour picking a cart-full for the East Bay Food Pantry and then hopefully went straight home to recuperate in front of the A/C. The rest of us on staff who aren’t relaxing on vacation (I’ll follow Gail’s excellent example in a couple of weeks) will have to find inside work for the rest of the day. Check out the fruits of some of my indoor labor here – I finally published plant list pdfs! (For future reference, they are located in a clickable page on the right-hand sidebar, underneath BECOME A MEMBER.)

What are you doing to keep cool?

4 thoughts on “The bare minimum

  1. Very cool about helping the local food pantry. Do all of your vegetables go there (of course after the grower’s share)?

    I am going to have to come down again, it has been about 5 years. 20 since I was in a wedding there.

    Reed, We encourage staff and volunteers to pick from the vegetable garden but we do a big harvest every Tuesday of whatever is ripe (or in the case of the zukes, overripe) and send most of that along to the food pantry. I hope you make another visit soon – things have changed a lot in 5 years! -kris

  2. Verbenna bonarienses is a great plant. Ours are still a ways from blooming, I was glad to read that the gold finch like them. We love those birds and attract them with niger seeds.

    The goldfinch seem to be only visiting the verbena incidentally – they’re really working on the poppy seedheads. In fact, I think they might be addicted to those! -kris

  3. I’m with Reed. A big thanks for sharing with the food pantry. I do the ordering from the food bank for our local food pantry in Pepin, Wisconsin. It’s rare that we can get enough produce and often it’s not in good condition when we get it. So you are doing a VERY good thing! Can’t wait to see the gardens in August when I’m in RI!

    Pat, Donating to the food pantry is our pleasure – truly. I hope I don’t miss your visit! -kris

  4. I commented just yesterday morning on the cicadas chirping and the impending heat of the day. It was a hot one but the thunderstorms broke the cycle I hope. Love the produce of summer and how wonderful to share it with the food pantry.

    Layanee, We always say the same things! And I hope you’re enjoying the break in the heat – feels deliciously chilly! I might need a sweater… -kris

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