Monday, June 22, 2009

Third Week of June (Solstice!)

*Ditch water. I "helped" G. water using the irrigation ditches Sunday morning. She has an electric pump, and also has been developing a set of feeder ditches in the various garden beds. She calls her back neighbor Toby, and tells him she's going to run the water... because the flow will wind its way back to his house. He's up & ambles around to get ready--send it wherever he needs it. Then she takes a wrench and opens the gate out front: whoosh. The ditch fills up and away we go, kind of fast and furious. While she monitors the trenches, I take the hose and run around with watering that way. About half-way through, the flow drops to a trickle. The pump starts sucking air. We turn it off and stomp down the street to see what's happened. (Though we know already, that someone somewhere opened their gate and siphoned it off.) It was a pleasant walk. We discover that a neighbor has 7 bee hives and a wild-looking mix of corn and sunflowers. We can't see who's house it goes with. It would be fun to talk to them and see what they are doing. And further along, there is a gorgeous tract--like a picture book. Field crops, then orchard with cover crop I think, then chickens and several sheep. And a handsome new adobe structure we covet instantly. We see someone, so we holler to him. Tomas and Valerie... he's an artist: iconography in the Eastern European tradition. With gold leaf. Hm... (And a white beemer in his fleet. Not bad. Not bad at all.) The coveted building is his studio. He has a chicken tractor, but it's 'parked in the barn' ... my assessment not his. A rooster. What a looker. (Noisy buggers). He has a clump of green stuff in his arms; the sheep are so eager they are practically dancing and knocking him down. He says they have a small pile of wool, and haven't done anything with it yet. He kills and eats the boys. Has a deal with his daughter and wife, to leave the girls. Interesting.

*Beans, beans, beans are coming up and gaining steam this weekend. Pole beans. Bush beans. I've seen the bush beans starting to pop up in the garden proper... for several days now. The nearby little square for wax beans had a couple of sprouts we spotted Sunday afternoon. But the rings under our tee-pees were bare. Straw and hope. At about dusk last evening, when we were relaxing with a glass of wine, we suddenly realized that we hadn't looked carefully. We both leaped up to go look. And lo and behold, there were fat necks curling up! And a couple with their seed leaves out--like newly hatched butterflies with wet wings held up stiffly in the warm still evening air. A whole passel of Kentucky Wonders! I'm already eying the trellises nervously, suspecting that these fellows will want more airspace... Gloria smiles and shrugs. "I've only grown them on fences," she says, "It's all a grand experiment." Yellow pencil-thin wax beans, and Kentucky Wonders. Hmm.

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