Ah, another tax day. Regardless of your political persuasion or tax bracket, tax day tends to sting a little. But at least we are still alive to see another one. And I guess it makes sense that tax day is in spring (can you imagine it in the dead of winter? Ugh.). The day may feel a bit black, but all you need to do is look outside and you can find a few flowers to bring some welcome color back to your life. And these flowers are free. So here is a little early “refund” from all of us here at the farm. Now go find, and enjoy, some flowers of your own…..
Spring is fully here in Norcal, and that means lots of sun and lots of breezy days. It also means that it’s time to really get back outside and work in the garden. So far we have artichokes, potatoes, blueberries and strawberries and herbs to work with. Not a bad start. We cleaned up our beds and planted our tomatoes, peppers, cukes and eggplant. Of course, we got a very cold night right after planting. Gardening, your name should be Murphy. Such is life.
Happily, the orchard has gone from blossoms to fruit and we have berries, cherries, figs, peaches, pears, nectarines and apples on the way. And we are still using up our citrus. Life truly is giving us lemons….the good kind. I guess we just need to make some lemonade and mix a few more drinks for friends. Somehow, I think we can handle that.
And finally, the flowers are really starting to pop. This makes us happy. Always. Everywhere we go there are flowers. The wildflowers line our highways and back roads, the trees are in bloom and our gardens fill up with color. And summer is coming. Things will get even better.
- Peach Tree Growing (auntiedogmasgardenspot.wordpress.com)
- More Blossoms….Because We Can. (putneyfarm.com)
- Master Gardener: Which fruit trees need pollinators? (redding.com)
- A Day in the Garden: Made to Order (gardeningnirvana.com)
As we move toward winter the rains come. Overall, this is a good thing. The pastures go green, our lakes recharge and there is snow in the Sierras. And it makes things pretty in the garden. We just wish the rain wouldn’t knock the petals off the roses…sniff…at least more are on the way. And this is still California, it is supposed to be 80 degrees next week. No complaints.
While summer is winding down across much of the country, northern California often has a second or “Indian” summer in September and October. For many of the microclimates in the Bay Area, Indian summer offers better weather than our “real” summer. This time of year, the fog will roll back some, the wind slacken and sometimes go offshore and things will heat up. On the farm this means tomatoes through September, another crop of strawberries and more roses. We don’t know if we will have Indian Summer this year (it was already a good summer, no need to be greedy). But a new bloom of roses is here, so we may as well share.
Just two weeks ago, when it was still cool, our Gravenstein (or what we think are Gravenstein) apples were barely showing on the tree. But a few weeks of warmth and sun and the tree is thick with apples. Gravensteins are a “variable harvest” apple, which just means the fruit ripens unevenly. The apples will ripen and develop a slight red blush on top, but they are tart and tasty even before they fully ripen.
The animals seem to think they are ready. The Deer love the apples and we throw the apples that drop early over the fence. The deer will congregate to that same spot every evening to see what fell from the trees. We will thin the apples this week to get a better crop later in the season- the deer will be extra-happy for a few days. Now they just need to stay on their side of the fence.
Otherwise we leave you with flowers on a beautiful summer day. Surprise at the end…