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Saturday, June 27, 2015

New potatoes are the best

We water with soakers but also freshen things up a bit with a spray nozzle. 

The garden, along with everything else, is trying to dry up. It was 101F here yesterday. Eugene had an official record at 98, so I think we had a record too. And no relief in sight for the next ten days.

It's quite the emergency. I have friends who have moved to motels for the duration, or are camping along streams and sitting in the water.

Things are maturing much faster than it says on the packets. Peas quite suddenly decided they were done, and I hauled the brush to the poultry for their inspection. They always eat about half the foliage before they're jaded, so it's worth the effort.

Broadbeans are also done, quite suddenly as well. I have gathered all I can use as fresh or frozen and will pick the rest for dehydration (they make good "roasted nuts" in winter) and as seed for next year. The last half row will be seed, and they should dry in the pods, so it's separate pickings.

As the day advances, I put a wet cloth in the back of my coolie hat and also hose myself down from time to time. These garden shifts are short -- half hour on, half hour off. I chop and drop the stalks and will return the empty pods to the mulch as well, then add new straw.

Broadbeans are not well known here but we find them to be our most reliable crop. They are quite good for most people -- a few react to them or at least to the foliage; I don't. I usually steam them alone or with rice and serve with a little butter or salt.

Around here we can plant them any time from November to March. They come up when they are ready to do so, which is quite early, and you can as a rule plan on having them out of the garden by July. Leave the roots in the ground if you can, instead of taking them away. By next year, the bed they were in will have slightly elevated nitrogen available to some other crop, not to mention improved tilth.

Next, I had better lift the potatoes. They show signs of maturity as well, and anyway the gophers have moved in. I will just have to tell myself that new potatoes are the best ...


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