Thursday, June 24, 2021

That Time Of Year

It's the time of year when the seed-starting trays are stacked haphazardly beside the sink in the greenhouse, bags of seed starting mix are nearly empty and the trusty old avocado green watering pitcher, just perfect to reach around the plants in their peat pots, is relegated back the to top shelf.

a ridiculous plastic relic from the 1970s
 perfect for the job I ask it to do every spring

It's the time of year when an early visit to the high tunnel is rewarded with the sight of morning light coloring the plants with its own special palette of green, from the deepness of pepper plants to the hairy squash plants. The brave rows of milky green cabbage plants are newcomers to the tunnel, struggling to acclimate in their new space. Alaskan Nasturtium seeds, scattered about here and there in the squash patches as a bug deterrent, have thrust their mottled leaves through the soil and will soon bloom in bright colorful profusion.

It's the time of year when the bird egg beans send out their tendrils and begin to climb up the long length of trellis.

 Of course, those early morning visits are not all rewarding as I see the trails left by a legion of slugs marauding in the night and spot pillbugs (roly polies) scurrying for cover.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

It's Cool!

There was frost on the chicken coop one morning last week. Though the tomatoes and peppers escaped damage, some of the summer squash leaves bravely rising from the confines of a raised bed, were nipped. Up on higher ground in the orchard, the apples and pears shivered but rallied, especially after the rains of the past couple of days.

Local historian Robert R. Lyman's writes of a particularly cold year in his  "History of Roulet, Pa."

"A snowstorm on 4 June 1859, was followed by a killing freeze. All growing crops were destroyed – even the onions and the leaves on the trees. Fields of clover, nearly ready for hay, wilted and fell before the bright sun. Ice froze an inch thick. Burrel Lyman's orchard made history by maturing the one and only apple in Potter County. On the night of the big freeze, a mother robin had covered it in her nest. All  this reminded the old timers of the year 1816 which was so cold that all through the east it was known as the year of 'eighteen hundred and froze to death.' "

We'll be keeping a watch on the chicken coop overnight tonight as the jolly weatherman on Buffalo's Channel 2 just announced that there will be temperatures in the 30s tonight.