The Stupice tomatoes are rolling in, along with yellow and green zucchini and assorted cucumbers. But we have never, ever been so dry. The air even tastes funny, like our tongues are turning into raisins. We drink water till we're in danger of rolling over and bursting and still feel thirsty. The plants look like they feel the same way -- though the beds, where we opened and lifted the soil with the broadfork, seem to be not as unhappy as everywhere else.
Fruit trees, especially the young ones, are hurting. I can only get water to them twice a week in five gallon buckets, and it prefers to run away across the glass-hard earth. I should have poked around with the broadfork when the soil was muck, but it's a bit late for that now. I'll try hammering in a rebar here and there and then pulling it out.
Meanwhile, I can shade their root collars with mulch. I'm wandering round the place with a sugar cane knife, cutting whatever doesn't seem needed where it is, especially knotweed, and transporting a bundle of vegetation to each of some forty fruit trees one by one, to deposit on the east, south and west sides of the small tree trunks. Chickens will tear such stuff away unless it is secured under substantial stones or inside a ring of hardware cloth or something, but most of these trees are in duck or human territory and the mulch is relatively secure.
All the greens, even the Red Russian kale, which we count on to make it through winter, are trying to bolt, so I am gathering about forty leaves daily for the poultry and another forty for the dehydrator. These will make about half a quart of dried flakes (I'm better at those than chips) per load (it's a nine-tray Excalibur) overnight. The solar dryers I made take two to three days and are a bit hard on the back -- need to rebuild them sometime -- so I'm happy to have the electric model at present.
We still have not lifted the potatoes, due to the hardened ground. Sometimes I take a chair out to the path, near their bed, and sit, musing on what's below.
Maybe there's nothing there. Gophers have to live too, I suppose.
I can't stay long. Even between the heatwaves, the sun seems unbearable in the afternoons. I wander over to the early green beans, which we're supposed to be done eating -- the remainder are for seed. Maybe just a couple that haven't filled out yet. Can't hurt, can it?
Ah. Still sweet.