It’s been Nine Whole Weeks already! Can you believe it? I sure can’t. It just seems like yesterday that I was perusing seed catalogues and dreaming about spring. So far, it has been an interesting year.
You must be dying to know about the current deer situation right!? Well, after they walked along my newly emerged lettuce row (Has anyone wondered why there hasn’t been lettuce for the last few weeks?) and mowed all 40’ of it to the ground, they moseyed on to ‘greener’ pastures. Either that, or they are too scared of the Black Cloud over my head every time I see my little lettuce stumps to come back. Thankfully, it has regrown. As to whether or not it tastes ok, remains to be seen. Stressed lettuce, due to lack of moisture and high heat, means that copious amounts of salad dressing is required.
I do have one deer story though. I was picking peas and when I stood up to stretch my back, who did I spy but a little Doe munching her way through the corn patch at the other end of the garden. I froze, and she continued enjoying her salad as she walked towards me. A few moments later, when she was a scarce 100 feet away, she finally saw the pink shirt wearing, cowboy hat silhouetted, 5’10 person standing right in front of her brown eyes.
Her head went up, her ears shot out. I didn't move. She looked over her shoulder, I took three quick steps towards her and froze when she looked back at me. This continued on for a few minutes. She would look away, and I would step a bit closer. Finally, she had it figured that something wasn’t...quite...right... and she started walking away. So, holding true to form, I gave her a little chase, shouting and waving my arms. (I don’t want to know what my neighbors think when they see me out in the field chasing deer.) She was the last deer I met in person. One of them snuck back later to massacre the lettuce, but like I stated earlier, there hasn’t been any further damage.
The season is starting to draw to a close. I am hoping that we can continue to dodge the killing frosts. We have had two cool nights that fried a few leaves, but nothing overly damaging. If we are successful in avoiding frost, there will be another four weeks of deliveries! In the weeks ahead the corn will be ready, (It's 8’ tall!) the various buttercup and spaghetti squash will mature, and the parsnips will start to appear. I was hoping that I would have broccoli and cauliflower, but, with no pesticides being applied and a floating row cover failure, the cabbage butterflies have beaten us to the punch on that one.
Next year I hope to be setting up a larger greenhouse and I will grow the crucifer crops under a roof instead. That is my master plan to foil the cabbage butterflies! Well... a master plan for the second time around, since the floating row cover was master plan number one. That’s the ‘wonderful’ thing about farming, one must always have a few spare master plans floating around.
One more thing that I'm hoping to do next year is plant more cherry tomatoes. When I’m watering the tomato house I end up eating my profit. Those crazy little tomatoes! It is such a treat to have them growing on the farm, but wow, the temptation to pull a ‘deer in the lettuce patch’ is intense. The potential ensuing stomach upset is enough to deter me somewhat.