Monday, August 3, 2009
Hot Summer Days and a Pea Emergency
It's been hot here. Have I mentioned that already? Even if I have, it bears repeating. We haven't had a day under 90 degrees in over two weeks now. And last week, well, we're just going to try to forget last week. Triple digit temp days are no fun. Gardens wilt, animals languish, people get irritable...it's ugly. Oregonians aren't used to such extreme temperatures.
Fortunately, here on Critter Farm, we're pulling through just fine and everyone is doing their part to make the best of it.
Roxy, my farm pup, and Reggie the goat have decided that the quickest way to the water is to drink from the hose at the same time:
The time of year and the higher than usual temperatures have made my perennial gardens look very dried out and overgrown. Being helpful goats, Pete and Reggie kindly offered their brush munching services:
...which I politely declined, telling them I preferred they keep their munching at the garden perimeter, helping me to maintain the veggie garden fence line:
They're very good at this. The goat boys love balancing on the boulders surrounding the garden(s), eating the weeds between and next to the rocks. They've resisted head-butting their way through the fence netting to get to the tasty vegetables inside so far. Good boys!:
Here's Reggie taste testing the apple tree rope. His work is never done:
Despite the heat, to do their part for garden clean-up, the chickens gobble up grape leaf trimmings. It's a tough job, but, well, you know. Here they are, taking one for the team:
Of course, Reggie and Pete are always willing to lend a jaw, too:
Something is eating my green cherry tomatoes. I think it's the ravenous Skeleton Key Worm. Kidding. I don't think such a thing exists, but doesn't this hole look like a key would fit in it?:
The grapes aren't complaining at all about the heat. Here they are, looking perfectly photogenic:
Here comes the pea emergency part.
With this extreme heat, we've had to water our garden twice daily lately. I had been procrastinating getting a bigger trellis up to support the imminent 8 to 10' pea vines that are growing unbelievably quickly. The weight of the additional watering pulled over about half of my beautiful, succulent, Alderman shelling pea vines:
This is just short of catastrophe around here because the peas are my man, Jim's, #1 favorite crop of the entire year. The peas had just started to produce and, due to my delay, here they are, suddenly folded in half. Not good!:
I launched into almost immediate damage control. Measuring was necessary. I like to measure things:
The driveway became the emergency staging area for the new, soon-to-be-taller pea trellis:
Fortunately for me, my step-dad was on hand to assist with everything, including the vital lashing of the crossbeams to the stakes:
My strong farm son appeared just in time to pound the new structure into the garden soil:
Peas, safe and stable again:
Here's how the peas thanked us:
They're actually doing quite well in this heat. Go figure!