I\’ve been away for two days doing Open Studio with a friend, and the garden\’s gone to hell in a hand basket. This happened not only because I am indispensable to the smooth running of the world in general, but also because during the weekend the state of Vermont dove headfirst into summer–sultry, hot summer, the very kind we moved from Maryland to escape and for which nobody up here is prepared.
Of course, the unnatural heat catapulted the spring plants into maturity, depriving me of the usual gentle transition into full-blown harvesting and freezing. Here is this morning\’s survey of tasks to be done immediately: harvest and freeze spinach (it\’s bolting!); ditto broccoli (the buds are opening!); do something meaningful with the lettuce (there\’s only so much we can consume); plant the vine tomato transplants into pots (they\’re starting to look peaky in their demi-tasse-sized flats from the nursery).
And then there is the rhubarb. What can I do with so much rhubarb? The most obvious thing is to let it go unharvested and enjoy its decorative qualities. But there are untold quantities of vitamins and other good things in those stalks which it would be a sin to waste. Thank goodness for the local food bank: I can give them a couple dozen stalks tomorrow.
I thinned the little apple trees on the patio today, and it doesn\’t look like we\’ll have a bumper crop of apples this year. My theory is that day after day of rain kept the pollinators at home instead of out gathering nectar. Oh well, we\’ll always have rhubarb, and roses, and giant hostas and lilacs and cartloads of anti-oxidant-rich veggies.
Still, I think it\’s a little unfair of the universe to send us straight from an ultra-frigid winter into sticky, sweltering summer.