Adelante! One month til Summer!

I like sunflowers because they say "Good Morning!"

I like sunflowers because they say “Good Morning!”

My husband has been putting a lot of time into our garden this year, and it’s paid off. We’re already getting flowers and fruit. 

I can't believe we'll be eating fresh tomatoes pretty soon.

I can’t believe we’ll be eating fresh tomatoes pretty soon.

The weather is different every year – I will never forget the summer we didn’t get a ripe tomato until August First. That was the year we got a week straight of rain in June – that’s right, Jooooooooon! That was an interesting year – every year here is an interesting year. This year I predict a long growing season, that’s IF you can afford your Cal Water bills.

Hey, did you notice it rained Friday night? I know cause there’s water in my rain barrel. I will be sure to leave that in place the rest of Summer – I’m telling you people, you never know around here.

We planted a big garden, my husband added some new stuff this year – lots of beans.  He got several varieties from his favorite seed catalog, with exotic colored flowers and fruit.

I never had purple green beans before.

I never had purple green beans before.

He planted them along every fence so they would shade the tomatoes when the sun gets mean in about a month. I like beans because they produce every day, I keep a zipper bag in the fridge and when it’s full we eat beans. They start out slow – takes a couple of days to save up a bag – but within a week we will be picking them every morning and eating them for lunch and dinner. They are great on salads, after a 3 minute boil. 

Can't have beans without squash - this is a long variety of "crook neck" squash.

Can’t have beans without squash – this is a long variety of “crook neck” squash.

Since childhood yellow squash has been one of my favorites. I’ve always eaten it steamed or boiled a few minutes to tender, with salt and pepper and butter and mayonnaise on the side. But a few years back I learned out to make a squash pie that will have you begging for more. It’s done like pumpkin pie, but you can use plain milk, boiled. It’s not for the lactose intolerant – this summer I’ll try it with goat milk. 

I miss having small children, although the big ones have come in quite handy. They been working for us really hard all week, digging out the garden beds, mowing weeds, cleaning up brush. My older son has his own garden, where he and his girlfriend have been practicing “permaculture” with chips and other mulch. The younger one does not care for gardening himself but is happy to spend the day with Dad out in the sun.  Every so many days they walk away from chores and take their mountain bikes up in the hills. 

When the kids were little we did a lot more reading. Two great books about gardening are “Squash Pie” by Glen Rounds, and “Carlos and the Squash Plant (calabacito)” by Jan R. Stevens.   A good long read is “Farmer Boy,” by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  When it gets over 95, it’s nice to have a good book and a shady tree. 

Remember to wash behind your ears!




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