August 29, 2020
You can watch summer squash grow. Just have a seat. The plant explodes with six at once. You are hurriedly trying to remember who likes squash, before the fruits look like footballs.
“Would you like to take a yellow squash?”, I asked a volunteer at the end of his shift.
“Oh no, I grow squash.” Then, he offers back, “Would you like some zucchini?”
Next, I look at a green bean, short and lean. I thought I had time before I had to pick. The very next day they ballooned. The gold rush is on. Now I must pick ever other day.
Then come the tomatillos, and then the elderberry – more goodies for volunteers.
The William’s Pride apples ripened a bit early this year, but the winter moth caterpillars thwarted most blooms. A small harvest but volunteers always appreciate apples.
This one’s for you. Let it sit four days.
For you these should chill in the refer, then two days on the table.
Iodine, thumb press, tacky peel … there are so many ways
I try to time perfect maturity, as much as I’m able.
The Honeycrisp apple tree was largely unaffected by the winter moth caterpillars. It is loaded. I thinned at least 190 apples from the tree. A few weeks later, I asked Dane, a young helper, to thin again in the classic way: one apple per 6 inches of space. I turned my head and handed him the pruners. Still, even with this final thinning, it will be a challenge to get them all distributed.
Volunteers are needed!
Wednesday, I asked Sue if she had a Tyranny of the Harvest story. “Sure.” she said.
(Note: Sue is infatuated with growing tomatoes, in spite of our wimpy summers. Story is a bit edited.)
When I managed the Adult Learning Garden at Seattle Tilth (now Tilth Alliance), each year I would wait until October to take my summer vacation then drive to Colorado and New Mexico to visit family. I packed the trunk with boxes of green tomatoes. They sat in the back, baking in the sun, and they ripen at different speeds. Our aim way to share with everyone we visited along the way.
Last year, we left a cousin in Salt Lake City
And were near to our friend in Grand Junction
Bad timing; no additional ripe tomatoes. What a pity!
We had to skip that visit, with some compunction.
In the end, we met our goal: to use all of them, have none rot,
before we got to our last stop.
Today, as I was leaving the orchard, I walked past the Honeycrisp. Dare I look? I glanced up and I saw an apple with those streaking red vertical lines – big, with good color. Oh my, nearly ripe.
Friends of FECO! We invite you to make a $20.00 donation for 5 pounds of organic Honeycrisp (average retail price in Washington State.)
You will need to let us know right away! You can order more than 5 pounds.
(We are out of money and we still have supplies to purchase this year.) Thank you.