Aside from complaining about four-legged invaders, I haven’t really spoken much about the garden this summer so I thought I’d do a brief update.
Our soil is still really awful, so things still aren’t doing as well as I would like. One of our friends described the soil here as “rock flour”, and that’s exactly what it is (a result of glacier movement over this area during the ice age). It’s extremely fine, but it doesn’t clump together like clay, so when you first dig it, it looks deceivingly rich and light, but a few days without rain and it reverts to its powdery form and blows away in the wind. It drains well enough, but there’s almost no organic material in it, so whatever water it absorbs, it doesn’t hold on to for very long. We amended it as much as we could this spring with horse manure, coconut husks, and compost, but it wasn’t nearly enough. I’m madly composting piles of veggie scraps with chicken litter and seaweed that I’ve collected on the beach, so next year it will get another much-needed boost.
We had the hottest summer on record this year (Vancouver broke its all-time heat record one day [33.8 C] and then broke that record again the next day [34.4 C]). We got to 39 degrees celcius (102 F) in the shade here at our place, which is unheard of on the coast (we’re higher up and farther from the water than much of the surrounding area, so we tend to get hotter summers and colder winters). We’ve also gotten less rainfall since April than ever before – our usually rainy spring was eerily dry. These extremes hindered many of the plants in the garden, but at least the eggplants are happy:
My favorite Dusky eggplants do well even during a cool summer, so they’re going gangbusters with the heat. I picked the above two on the weekend, and there are 8 more on the the two plants outside. It’s time to grill some eggplant.
The Rosa Bianca eggplants are arriving slightly later, but are also producing like crazy:
The Gold Rush and Romanesco zucchinis are producing well, but not so much that we’re getting sick of them.
Bags of whole basil are being frozen for winter use. I used to turn much of my basil into pesto, but now I prefer to freeze it to use as I would fresh basil. It tastes as fresh in March as it did in August.
Our peach tree surprised us with over two dozen delicious fruits, even though we moved it from my mom’s garden to our own after it had already started blooming this spring.
The deer aren’t taking it lying down, however. One of the gutsy little suckers actually came up on to the deck the other night and ate the plants that I was saving to plant around the chicken coop. This involved making the trek up the steps and walking 20 or so feet across the deck to where the plants were sitting – all this while we were sitting in the adjacent living room with the lights on! We heard a bump at the time, but thought it was the cat.
I hate being outsmarted by things that don’t even have opposable thumbs.