Contented Acres Produce

  (Gustine, California)
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Give Me an Inch (of rain)

What a difference a month - and an inch of rain makes. Last week I measured .48" of rain in a couple of days. This week has totaled a similar amount, and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day should bring a bit more. This is more rain than we've had since last spring and welcome, indeed.

The sticky loam builds on my boots as I work, a minor nuisance. All of the work now is with hand tools since the tractor would cause compaction of the soil.

When I was young I despised hoes and rakes and all manner of hand tools. Now I love to follow the wheel hoe or my push seeder. I enjoy weeding with a stirrup or tri-hoe. Even pulling weeds by hand is good in small doses. The tractor is a great tool, and necessary to get the big jobs done. But it's not my favorite way to work in the garden. 

Today over 600 plants were set out, mostly bok choi, broccoli, and cauliflower. The perfect moisture in the soil should make the usual watering in of the transplants unnecessary. Especially if the predicted storms materialize.

The close-planted lettuce in the cutting bed is suffering a bit from the moisture, but most of the garden is very content with the rain and the weather. And except for a temporary slowdown in harvest ready veggies - so am I.


Still No Rain!

Today's weather forecast showed showers from midnight. Today's sky showed clouds and more clouds. But the only water my garden got today was from the well. Practically all the water my garden has had since summer was from the well. Halloween weekend brought a scant tenth of an inch. It's almost Thanksgiving and so far not a sprinkle.

I guess I shouldn't complain. Especially since I'm fortunate that I can water the entire garden from the well. Rain in my garden is pretty much a luxury - when it comes at the right times. And late November is certainly the right time.

The dry weather does allow me to sow and transplant pretty much at will. I have taken advantage of that and most of the garden is up and growing right now. The first greens are ready and salad mix harvest will begin as soon as I can get the baby lettuce bed weeded. Mustard, arugula, Persian cress and spinach went in this week's greens mix for a spicy soup or stir fry.

Radishes and just a few turnips have started. Next come the beets, my favorite root crop with three varieties in the ground already. Overall the garden is happy - but a half inch of rain would sure be nice!

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