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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Full of themselves

So it is June. We are harvesting peas, greens, garlic scapes and rhubarb regularly, and a few raspberries, cherries and pie cherries have appeared.We would be eating goumis but a freeze hit all the blooms and left us just one tiny berry, which I reverently brought to Beloved for her to eat, as she has first choice of all orange things.

The broadbean shade plan seems to be working, as most of the lettuce and other spring things are holding out well; the arugula and Chinese cabbage bolted anyway, however.

Looking across the Rose Gate into the lower garden we see (or don't see) blueberries, peas, potatoes, corn, sunchokes apples, pears, a cherry, raspberries, quinces, rhubarb, grapes, scarlet runners, green beans, summer squash, winter squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, dill, peppers, broadbeans, lettuce, kale, spinach, onions, leeks, Chinese cabbage, mangels, garlic, comfrey, beets, chard, arugula, radishes, turnips, broccoli, assorted mints.

The soil is damp and loose and a heat wave is coming, so this is the day to attack weeds. Because we have a matted straw/clippings mulch with a lot of woody material in it, hoeing can be frustrating, and it's a large garden to try to weed with hands or hand tools. So I have pulled apart my Japanese sickle for now and hammered it into the ferrulled end of an old hoe handle. With it I can inveigle the blade in behind one or more weeds and pull toward me, feeling a very satisfying "snick" as the cut is made beneath the mulch. Roots thus left in the ground are more useful to soil fertility and condition when left in place than just tossed on top of the mulch or thrown, with their foliage, over the chicken fence.

The sickle is still handy for harvesting greens and veg, too. It has a beveled edge and sharpens quickly. Everyone should have one.

I'm now at the age where, every year, I'm a little less up for this. The weeds, on the other hand, are young every year and full of themselves

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