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August 29th, 2011

Good Night, Irene

Well, the storm rolled in, as we knew it would. The wind wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, but it was the rain that did my corn in. I can’t be too upset. Things could have been much worse, indeed. My wife and baby girls are safe and sound, and that’s what counts the most.

Sure, I’m a little sad—about the popcorn especially. But maybe it will bounce back?

Here are the “After” pictures that I anticipated in my last post.

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How did your garden fare?

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August 26th, 2011

Hurricanes, Harvest, and Spiders

Hurricane

I’m an optimist. Or at least I’d like to think I am. But still, I’m not sure what state my garden will be in after Hurricane Irene steamrolls through with her predicted 100 mile an hour winds. I’d like to think that everything is going to be fine, that the hurricane will be much smaller than predicted, that we’ll just get a little wind and a little rain. But just in case, I am posting some “before” pictures. It would be a shame to lose my popcorn and tomato plants in this storm. I’m hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.

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Harvest

Here’s a picture of what I harvested last night. See that purple eggplant on the side? It’s the first eggplant I’ve ever harvested from my own garden. Ha! Actually, I grew it on the deck in a big pot. In years past, flea beetles would decimate my eggplants when they were mere seedlings. This year I outsmarted those flea beetles with a container, and there you go: eggplant.

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A few nights ago, I was making a tomato salad and needed some basil. I asked my 3 year old, who was playing out on the deck, if she would go down to the garden and get me some basil leaves. She thought about it for a second, and then said yes. A few minutes later, she came back with a handful of perfect basil leaves. Not sure if I’m fully able to express how proud I am of her.

Spider

And finally, I leave you with another video. This time it’s an orb weaver spider. Every night she builds a web on my porch. Every morning I have to remember to duck or I’ll get a face-full of web. Enjoy.

The accompanying music is by my band Tin Bird Choir.

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August 15th, 2011

Goodbye Real World, Hello Dream World

I almost had another real world gardener kind of weekend. But this time I was able to get a little done. I ripped out the first round of corn and raked out the bed. I think this is where I’ll put the fall beans.

We enjoyed fresh sweet corn nearly every night for a week and a half. I have two more patches of corn coming in now. One is popcorn and the other is another sweet corn. This has been my best year for corn.

On Sunday, while it was raining, my whole family took a nap. Our toddler was sleeping in her crib. My wife fell asleep in bed after she put our newborn down for a nap in the bassinet, and I fell asleep on the couch downstairs. I awoke to a very clear vision of next year’s garden. I dream a garden.

Also, this will most likely be my last blog post as the Real World Gardener. I will be changing the name of this here blog. As a courtesy to a radio host in Australia who’s been using the name for a while, I will rethink, rename and regroup. It’s sort of a hassle, but why cling to anything, right? Gardening is all about learning and moving on, and trying new things. So is garden blogging.

I’d love to hear your suggestions for a new blog name.

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This is where the corn was and where the beans will be.

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Popcorn with a little border of buckwheat.

RWG-081511-morningglories

I made the mistake of planting morning glories 6 years ago. They keep coming up and i keep pulling them out.

What are you growing this fall?

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June 28th, 2011

cadence of summer

Maybe a twinge of sadness, sure. Or a feeling of not quite having taken full advantage of the situation. Maybe it’s the thought of having to wait awholenother year for black raspberries. The season is just too short. Although my wife assures me that we ate bowls and bowls of raspberries for almost three weeks, to me it feels like the black raspberries were here for a day, like ribbon of migrating birds seen in the sky just one afternoon and then gone. But every end is a beginning, and just as the black raspberries fade away, the red raspberries start to ripen.

As a gardener you can’t help but hear the rhythm and the cadence of the world around you. Flowers and fruits blending and melding together in Ven Diagrams of harvest and ripeness. Raspberries overlapping peas overlapping zucchini, with a steady beat of lettuce and onions, and a slight foreshadowing of corn and tomatoes. And just listen to the crescendo of cucumbers coming on now, a mild rustle to a mighty roar, their tiny tendrils performing feats of super-cucurbit strength as they muscle their way up the trellis. Do they know they are gunning for the pickle jar? Do they sense that the dill over there and the garlic over here will all chill in a summer bath of vinegar and mustard seed? And what’s that popping sound? It must be the germination of the popcorn kernels I planted last week. Yes, here they are now, little green soldiers marching in place to the beat of a summer time drum.

RWG-062811blackraspRWG-062811redraspRWG-062811butterflyweedRWG-062811-tendrilRWG-062811tasselRWG-062811popcorn

Above: Black Raspberries, red raspberries, butterfly weed, cucumber tendril, new corn tassel, popcorn seedlings

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