I don't know about you but this has been a strange year and I am only talking about the garden. How is it where you are, global warming and all that?
Global warming, that spark of debate sure to lead to USCWII - civil war between the Eco-heads and the Oilgluttons, has been a mixed blessing to me.
This year, i harvested my first zone 5 pineapple. I am now ruined against the mush sold in stores, having finally sampled what pineapples really should taste like. Did you know that pineapples are supposed to be crunchy? The best i can do to describe fresh pineapple is, it is like eating an airy, crisp macintosh straight from the tree. The difference between my homegrown pineapple and that which you can buy in the grocer's is pretty much the same between a vine ripened tomato and the greenhouse varieties shipped up from South America. Until you have eaten a tomato fresh from the vine, the greenhouse ones taste fairly good and you would never know they are not supposed to have a mealy texture. I think the long hot summer played a large role in this plant taking off this year (it's three years old now) and it is sending out a new fruiting shoot to boot. If global warming takes hold, you can bet i add pineapples to my garden plans.
Peas were wonderful in the rainy spring. My corn grew well and then stopped. Early varieties ripened prior to the heat and drought, later season types weren't worth harvesting. My tomato vines grew well but there was such a wide fluctuation in the rainfall that they often cracked and rotted (The garden is several hundred feet from the house and i do not water). Cucumbers were this year's zucchini and the house was the gassiest i can remember in a long time. I actually had to ask people if they knew any recipes for cucumbers as fresh and crispy cukes became ho-hum. Cantaloupe and watermelon also did well and there are still several on the vine as the kids simply tired of them. Japanese plums were magnificent! The lack of rain kept them to a modest size, but what they lacked in size was made up for in quantity. I thinned them to every six inches and still had way too many for giving away. Peaches and nectarines were disappointing, but not for any fault of their own. I tend not to spray and have not yet gotten used to their special needs to combat mold/mildew or whatever fuzzy thing it is that wipes out the fruit. Apricots took another late frost and had no fruit... again, but the tree is attractive enough to keep trying.
My navel orange took a beating over the summer with the lack of rain combined with my lack of attention. Placing the potted trees on the new brick patio increased the heat stress to the degree that they dropped all the fruit that had looked to be a bountiful crop. A flush of growth in the wet spring and the orange blossom fragrance that filled the yard was truly magnificent. It certainly would be nice to be able to plant these in the yard.
Pitting my disappointments and failures against the success of the pineapple, I for one am looking forward to zone 5 becoming something warmer.
There is something about Canada, at least this part of it, that resists any hint of warmth, summer heat is always a surprise "Warmed up today eh?" 34 degrees. It's amazing when nobody notices maize that grows a foot in a day and a half, there aren't any elephants eyes around here but these puppies are high. It is difficult to talk to local farmers about global warming with the steam from the recently spread cow manure up your nose. Pineapples you say, must try that next year along with the mangoes, neighbour over here had a 3 ton pumpkin, which is some kind of record. "Global warming?" I asked. "Cow sh*t" he replied.
Well .. we have had one of the hottest Julys on record. It is quite experience when the temperature in the shade reaches 120 F .. gardening tools are to hot to touch ... one must place tools in the shade or they can only be handled wearing gloves ... even desert plants were under major stress ... working outdoors becomes 20 minutes outside the truck ten minutes inside the air conditioned truck.
If the globe gets any hotter we will need space suites to work outside.
As far as global warming goes I thiunk the earth has been getting hotter and drier but that has been happening long before man's role was significant. The debate perhaps is how much are we adding to the warming and what can we do to slow it down ? Then again the long range forecast predicts another global Ice age.
I vote for building underground ... it's about time.
Good Day ...
I was hoping that you would put that into a readable format TMK. What you say is fine, can you make it a story? Believe me I am not trying to be a smart ass only attempting to turn your experience (or anyone elses who want to join in) into some sort of writing thingamijig.
Hello Ink ...
Well taken .. I have been sleeping with my post. I will attempt to polish things up a bit... I forget this is the writers forum.
It's a hot globe that only allows ten minutes beyond air conditioning. It's a hot tool that allows minimal handling. It's a hot debate about who's to blame. Imagine the kind of work that can be done in ten minute bites of heat and the words we would then need to invent to cover this new phenomenon.