The garden has, for the most part been going really well. Our strawberries finally gave us some ripe fruit. We've been really frustrated because the berries go from white to rotten, in the blink of an eye. Having never seriously grown strawberries before, I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. We shoved some more "straw" (meaning, unraveled rope fibers) under the berries, and hoped that would appease the Strawberry Gods.
Everything looks really lush and healthy, with the exception of our chard which is infested with leaf miners. (Does anyone have any advice for dealing with leaf miners, without resorting to insecticides?)
The gigantic plants in the middle of the garden are our fava beans, which are producing massive pods. Our brugmansia continues to struggle. I don't really know what it wants. It alternates between looking terminally ratty, and bursting into astonishing blooms. I'm considering giving it a haircut, to see if at least I can get it to look less spindly.
The swarm I collected a while back is doing splendidly. They bees are very busy, flying up and out of our yard at a furious pace.
This weekend, we had enough time to harvest and prepare our fava beans. We have to admit to not liking them as "string" beans. There's something about the flavor of the actual pods that both Robb and I find kind of disgusting. So we decided to stop pretending that we liked them that way, and let them mature into shelling beans. What you can't tell in this photos is how massive the pods are. Most of what you're seeing is about ten inches long. This basket of beans weighed over four pounds, and when we had them all shucked, we had over a pound of shelled beans. Preparing fava beans is the ultimate in slow food. Labor intensive, but so worth the effort.
Robb made some tags for our various fig trees out of scrap copper. However, they have not been installed, because I haven't taken the time to puzzle out which plant is which.
Our little backyard orchard is looking good. The lapin cherry is covered with baby fruits. Robb built a sort of farthingale to protect the tree from our hooligan hens. It looks a bit bizarre, but is worth it if we get to eat home-grown cherries. The plum tree is bursting with developing fruit. It looks like only a few of the grafts will hold onto their fruit until maturity, which is not surprising, considering how slim those branches are. The pluot is covered in green fruit. The persimmon is blooming. (I must take photos.) The lemon has recovered from a rough (for us) winter, and it putting out new leaves.
The flax plot is almost knee high. I'm really insane for embarking on such a crazy project as trying to produce my own linen. But when has that sort of thinking ever stopped me?
How about you, dear blog reader? Are you growing anything?