Fall garden update: sunflowers, corn and peas

When it comes to the sunflowers, it looks like we’ll have a few Hopi Black Dye seed heads that will fully mature, but I wasn’t expecting much from the Mongolian Giants.

Then I took a closer look at one of the largest heads.

This is only about a third, maybe a quarter, of the size it should be, and yet there are maturing seeds in here!! There are so many developing and opening seed heads still, too. I don’t think there are any other Mongolian Giants like this one, with pollinated and maturing seeds in them, but while looking at them this morning, I did see some bees fluttering around, so who knows what will happen? It’s been such a strange growing year, there’s just no way to know anymore.

Some sad little peas among some sad little corn! This is the sweet corn block that is doing the worst, and yet they are still trying to produce little bitty cobs! We’ve got the most pea plants growing in this block, though, so at least this area should see the most improvement from their nitrogen fixing capabilities.

And we’ll even have a few peas to harvest!

The Montana Morado corn – what’s left of it – is being left to go to seed, and a few of the cobs have uncovered themselves. Which is helpful, since it lets me see how the seeds are maturing and drying on cob. A fair number of peas interplanted with them have been managing to grow, too. Not a lot of pods developing, but I’m seeing flowers around.

When it comes to the corn, I find myself waffling back and forth over whether or not we want to try growing them again next year. I still want to get Maize Morado seeds to try, and maybe we’ll do the Dorinny Canadian hybrid again. It’s hard to guess how much better the sweet corn would have done, had we not had drought conditions. The soil is nitrogen depleted, but we did use a water soluble, high nitrogen fertilizer on all the garden beds, a few times over the summer, plus were able to amend a bit with the purchased garden soil.

Is it worth trying the sweet corn again? I really love corn, but until we are able to improve our nitrogen depleted soil, is it really worth it?

The Re-Farmer

Our 2021 garden: still growing!

Today is likely to be the last hot day of the year. As I write this, we are currently at 26C/79F, with the humidex at 30C/86F. We are expected to reach 28C/83F with the humidex making it feel like 31C/88F. We are supposed to get a couple more days in the mid to low 20’s before the highs start dropping to the mid to high teens. So far, overnight temperatures are also still supposed to remain high enough that there are no frost warnings.

I headed out to do my rounds later than usual this morning, and we had already reached 22C/73F.

There has to be something wrong with the squash tunnel thermometer. It may have felt warmer than the 22C it was when I took this photo, but there is no way it was feeling like 42C/108F! Not even being in full sun, like it is, should result in that extreme of a difference. I suspect the dial is stuck. I haven’t been looking at it since the temperatures finally cooled down, so it may well have been sitting at this reading since our last heat wave.

In checking the sunflowers, there was only one little pollinator that I saw! I think the heat waves we had over the summer killed off a lot of our pollinators. There just wasn’t enough food to sustain them. The mild temperatures we are having means more of our sunflowers are actually budding and opening their seed heads, but I don’t know that they’ll have a chance to be well pollinated.

Some of the Mongolian Giants are finally taller than me. Hopefully, the opening sunflowers will lure any remaining pollinators to them. They may not have time to fully mature, even with our predicted mild temperatures, but they will at least provide some food for our surviving pollinators.

These are the Hopi Black Dye transplants that got chomped by a deer. They have all recovered surprisingly well, and are budding and blooming. They don’t need as long of a growing season as the Mongolian Giants, so it should be interesting to see if any of these get a chance to mature.

The green peas are enjoying the cooler temperatures we’ve been having, and I’m seeing more pods developing. This photo is of one of the pea plants growing among the Dorinny corn, the remains of which are being left to go to seed. The three blocks of sweet corn are still green, but they aren’t really growing. At this point, I don’t expect anything from them, really. They’re just there for the peas to have something to climb. Any pea pods we get is just gravy, as their main purpose is to fix nitrogen into the depleted soil in this area.

The winter squash and melons are the ones I am monitoring the most right now.

Remarkably, even as the plants are dying back, we are still getting fresh blooms, and the newer Red Kuri squash are getting noticeably bigger.

The mutant seems to have stopped getting bigger, and is now deepening in colour and developing a harder skin.

As this other, larger Red Kuri is still doing.

I did a nail test on the oldest of the developing Red Kuri, and you can see the mark left behind. Still not ready.

The Teddy squash are also still managing as well.

If we do end up getting frost before any of these larger squash can fully mature, we will still be able to harvest them and eat them. We just won’t be able to store them for long.

The melon vines are dying back faster than the winter squash vines, but their fruit are still hanging in there! I was able to pick this Pixie melon, only because the vine it was attached to had died back completely. I suspect it isn’t quite ripe.

My daughters discovered something about these little melons. After they are cut in half and the seeds scooped out, they make perfect ice cream bowls! I’m not big on ice cream, but I finally had some last night, in half of a Halona melon. It was quite excellent! 😀

I am glad we found these little, short season melons. They have been among the most enjoyed producers this year. I think we will try different short season varieties next year, but the Pixie and Halona are definitely varieties we would grow again. I’ve also saved seeds from some grocery store melons that I plan to try. They are larger varieties, but if we start them indoors early enough, and we don’t have another drought, we should be able to grow them. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Well, I got that backwards!

You know, it’s a good thing that we labelled the things we planted in the garden beds, and left those labels there.

Because apparently, my memory sucks.

For the past while, I’ve been posting photos of our sunflower seed heads. Particularly the Mongolian Giant sunflowers.

The transplanted ones are much taller and stronger, and further along – at least in the row that wasn’t eaten by deer!

The other, direct seeded ones, next to the transplanted ones that got eaten, are developing their seed heads and blooming, but they are smaller and less robust plants. Even most of the eaten ones have been recovering and are producing seed heads. Their stems are stronger. They’re just shorter.

While checking on them this morning, I noticed the labels at a direct seeded row in one of the blocks was lying on the ground, so I picked it up to push it back into the ground at the end of the row it was at.

Which is when I noticed what was actually written on it.

Hopi Black Dye.

Hold on. I thought this bed was all Mongolian Giant…

So I went to the other bed and looked at the label.

Mongolia Giant.

Which is when I remembered; I’d deliberately planted the Hopi Black Dye seeds in the southern bed, regretting that I’d put the Mongolian Giant transplants in the southernmost row, because they would shade the smaller Hopi Black Dye sunflowers.

One of the flowering seed heads is starting to droop as it matures, so I took a closer look, brushing off the spent flowers.

Yeah. That’s definitely purple.

For some reason, when I remembered transplanting the Mongolian Giants in the southernmost row of the two sunflower blocks, my brain decided that the southernmost block had also been direct seeded with Mongolian Giants. I’ve had it backwards for months. But now that I’ve actually looked at the labels after all this time, I remember that I’d direct seeded the Hopi Black Dye sunflowers in the southern block, where they would get more light, even with the taller transplanted Mongolian Giants shading them a bit. Which turns out not to have been an issue, since the transplants in that row were chomped by deer, and are now shorter than the Hopi Black Dye, so they are getting the most light of all the sunflowers out in these blocks.

Which means we have quite a lot of Hopi Black Dye sunflowers with seed heads open and developing, and only a few Mongolian Giants.

And that, my dear friends, is why I’ve gotten into the habit of labeling things, taking lots of photos, and using this blog as a journal for documentation, writing things down as soon as I can, as much as possible. Lord knows, I obviously can’t trust my own memory for things like this! 😀

The Re-Farmer

Our 2021 garden: the weather was not willing

We did not get the predicted thunderstorms last night, though we did get rain. While I was out doing my morning rounds, I could hear thunder around us, and it was even starting to rain a bit by the time I was done. So, no work was done on the garden bed I’d started on yesterday. We had rain on and off all day, so hopefully those bottom layers got a good soaking.

A few more of the Mongolian Giant sunflowers have started to open up. If the mild temperature continue, I hope to at least see some Hopi Black Dye sunflowers open as well, before the first frost hits. Some areas in our province have already had frost in August, but so far, we are good.

I am really hoping that first frost holds off for quite a while, so that these Red Kuri squash get a chance to mature. Our first frost date for our area is Sept. 10; just over a week from now. From the looks of our long range forecasts, we will continue to have very nice overnight temperatures; cool, but nowhere near freezing.

I especially would love for the Teddy winter squash to have a chance. Yes, we finally have fruit developing on them! Again. I found three of them this morning. Where the Red Kuri/Little Gem squash ripen to a deep orange-red, the Teddy are a mini acorn squash, becoming a deep green and only about a pound in size. The critters have been staying away, after using the cayenne pepper all over the garden beds, even though we have no been able to re-apply the cayenne due to the rain. I am hoping that, having gotten a mouth full of pepper, the critters have learned to associate the garden beds with “ouch”. 😀 If we can keep them away, these are supposed to be a prolific variety, and their small mature size should mean they may have a chance to fully ripen if we have a mild fall.

After checking the outside of the squash tunnel on the winter squash side, I went through the inside of the tunnel and found something waiting for me!

One of the Halona melons had dropped to the ground! I am so happy with how they are doing. 🙂 Of course, after finding this, I checked all the others, but none were loose. After I finished my morning rounds, I made a quick trip into town to run some errands, then headed out again later to meet a friend. While I was gone and there was a break in the rain, the girls picked the beans and some summer squash – and found two more Halona melons on the ground! I’m a bit surprised that it’s only the Halona melons that are dropping; the Pixies are still hanging in there. Literally! 😀

My friend and I went to the local Farmer’s Market this afternoon, and I had a chance to talk to my neighbour that sells pork – this time with a budget, and I picked up some sausages. 🙂 We had a chance to talk for quite a while, and I’m really looking forward to being able to get together with them. There are quite a few things they are doing that I would like to do as well, and I am eager to see their methods! And, from the looks of it, I won’t be able to go back to the market this year. Starting tomorrow, our province is imposing medical apartheid. With nothing to justify it, either. If we want to go to any “non-essential” places, we will have to show our papers to prove we’ve gotten the double jab for Schrodinger’s virus. The jab that works so well, those that have already got it are going to have to get a third one, while still covering their faces and remaining in physical isolation from other human beings. Our government doesn’t actually have the authority to impose such segregation, but they’re doing it anyhow, and people are being forced to comply through threats and coercion. Most illogically, while those who can’t have, or decline to have, the jab are now barred from doing things like buying food from a farmer at a market, instead of in a grocery store, the market vendors themselves are not required to have the jab. The levels of psychological manipulation and behavioural modification from our politicians and in the media, including social media, have gone into overdrive and, sadly, many people are getting sucked in and don’t even realize it. The levels of bullying and verbal abuse I’m seeing online has also increased substantially, in just the last few days. In typical gaslighting fashion, the same people who are doing the bullying are also the same people virtue signalling about how, if we don’t like it, don’t take it out on the poor employees trying to enforce the (illegal) restrictions. The obvious implication being that people who disagree with anyone being forced to partake in medical interventions against their will are the bullies when they voice their objections.

Meanwhile, another neighbor of ours I only recently met in person had an accident almost a week ago, breaking his neck. He requires surgery but isn’t getting it, nor is his family allowed to see him. They are literally denying him health care right now, because he is declining medical certain medical procedures that are unnecessary. Our health care system sucked before this, but now, it’s gotten beyond ridiculous.

Ugh. I was talking about my garden. I didn’t intend to go into a rant. It’s part of what we’re dealing with now, though, so I’m leaving it there.

I am so incredibly thankful that we are living here on the farm, and not in any urban setting. When I came up with the sub-title for the blog, “Sometimes you need to go back, to go forward”, I had no idea how true that would be.

The Re-Farmer

Our 2021 garden: morning surprises

While doing my rounds this morning and checking the gardens, I was pleased of fine a really big Madga squash ready to pick. After being seasoned with cayenne pepper, the groundhogs are leaving the summer squash alone and they are finally getting a chance to grow! There were even a few zucchini to gather.

The few sunflowers that are opening up are, of course, looking gorgeous!

So far, it’s still just the Mongolian Giant sunflowers with seed heads that are opening. Too bad it’s so late in the season, but we’re still enjoying them.

I had my first little surprise while checking out the squash tunnel.

A little, ripe Halona melon, just sitting on the ground! 😀 So of course I had to check the others that were turning colour, and found the biggest one was ripe, too. The only reason it hadn’t fallen of its vine was because it was already sitting on the ground. 😀

Then there was my second little surprise.

The Tennessee Dancing Gourd vines are starting to die back, revealing two “huge” gourds we had completely missed seeing before!

This is about what their full size would be, I believe. Gosh, they are adorable!!

Our morning harvest!

What a difference in size between the two ripe melons.

I am so happy with how these are doing. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Our 2021 garden: progress and pruning

As always during my morning rounds, I checked on the various beds to see how things are growing.

This most mature of our Red Kuri squash has ceased growing in size, and is just beautifully deepening in colour as it ripens.

While it’s neighbour is getting bigger. We won’t have a lot of mature winter squash at the end of the season, but we might have at least the two of them before first frost hits. Which, I hope, will be very late this year!

The one Mongolian Giant with so many seed heads, now has more of them opening and blooming!

These ones just amaze me. These are the Hopi Black Dye sunflowers that were started indoors, but did not actually germinate until after the other ones were direct sown outside. They were much smaller when transplanted, then all but one got their heads chomped off by deer. And yet, not only are they recovering from the deer damage, they are producing seed heads! Meanwhile, the ones that were direct sown are looking a lot bigger, you can see where the seed heads are starting to develop, but so far, they still have not actually emerged as obvious seed heads.

I do want to try these sunflowers again, but I think we will have to invest in a seed tray heat mat to start them indoors, to help with germination.

Yesterday, we picked summer squash and beans. Today, it was tomatoes!

Because of their small size, I use one of the red Solo cups to collect the tomatoes, and this time I quite nearly filled it to the top! That’s the most we’ve gathered, yet. 🙂

You can see a few of the tomatoes have split, from all the rain we’ve had recently.

I also “topped” the tomatoes this morning. I had no idea this was a thing, but a couple of garden related channels I follow had talked about it. It is only needed for indeterminate tomatoes, as they just keep growing taller, putting out more blossoms and fruiting, until the first frost kills them. That leaves a lot of green tomatoes. For this time of year, pruning the tops off the plants will stop them from getting bigger, and the green tomatoes will start ripening faster, instead of staying green longer, so there will be more ready tomatoes before first frost hits.

If that is what starts happening, with how loaded the tomatoes are with green fruit, that should hopefully mean we will start harvesting enough at once to make it worth preserving them in some way. With their small size, I’m not entirely sure what method we’ll use, yet. Only my husband and one of my daughters eats tomatoes, so it’ll pretty much be up to them to decide that one. 🙂

Thinking ahead to next year, the Spoon tomatoes are fun, and they’re great for fresh eating – we’ll likely grow them again, though they are also likely to self seed. The Mosaic Mix tomatoes are doing well and being enjoyed, but we want to try others. There are several varieties of cherry and grape tomatoes my older daughter wants to try, and I want to grow paste tomatoes. I may not be able to eat tomatoes fresh, but I can eat them if they’ve been processed enough before being used as an ingredient. Plus, we have the Yellow Pear variety of tomato we already picked up seeds for to try.

We need to start going over our plans and wish lists for next year’s garden, so we can plan and prepare things this fall.

The Re-Farmer

But it’s a good tired…

Okay, I just have to start with the obligatory garden photos. 😀 I took these yesterday.

The largest seed head of the Mongolian Giant sunflowers is opening up beautifully. Still nowhere near the size a Mongolian Giant seed head should be, but we’ll see what happens in what’s left of our growing season.

What amazed me, though, was seeing several of these.

The King Tut purple peas are still growing and producing! The green peas next to them are basically gone; completely died off and dried out, barely visible among the weeds and wildflowers that are left. Peas do not usually last this long, so I’m quite impressed!

I didn’t get to posting yesterday for a happy reason. An old friend from high school is in the province and was able to come for a visit. Even my husband was able to join us for a while. Aside from running into her briefly at the grocery store, we haven’t seen each other since we graduated! We had 35 years of catching up to do, and it was awesome. 🙂 Then, she and I headed out to a local farmer’s market. I’ve driven past it many times, but had never stopped in. With the crazy going on these days, I wasn’t sure if it was even a safe place to go for someone who can’t wear a mask. The mandates were over, though, so we gave it a visit, and that was awesome, too. No issues at all. Best of all, I found a vendor that has a homestead and supplies pork, among other things – and they live only a few miles away from us! In the spring, we’ll be able to make arrangements for getting a half pig in the fall, so they know how many piglets to raise. So now we have local suppliers for both beef and pork!

The place has a little bistro during market hours, and we ended up enjoying some awesome food and just talking until they closed down. Wonderful people running the place. We definitely will be coming back before my friend heads home.

Today was our city shopping trip, so I headed out as soon as I was done my morning rounds. I actually made it to Costco this time. With restrictions relaxed, I didn’t have to worry about being able to stand in line outside. It was the most pleasant Costco trip I’ve had in a long time. Unfortunately, by the end of it, my hip was giving out, so that was the only stop I made before heading home. Which was okay. I was able to stock up on the main things. It was a bit disconcerting, though. I didn’t buy more than I usually did at Costco. In fact, I probably bought less than usual. And yet the final bill was about $200 more than the last time I was able to do a full stock-up trip there. Prices have really gone up in the past few months. 😦

While I was out, I got word about a freedom rally in town this evening. I had time to get home, unload, then head out again. I wanted to be early, because I wasn’t quite sure where it was happening. It’s not an area of town I usually go to. There were people already there and even my friend was eventually able to join us, so that was awesome. The rally was to protest the school board forcing children to wear masks all the time which is, at its most basic, illegal. The government and health department can make recommendations, but cannot force, anything that goes against the charter rights and freedoms, or the human rights code. That’s actually written into the health act and the charter. Anyhow, there was a really good turnout, and I ended up meeting people in person that I’d been getting to know online, and even a family that may become “neighbours” soon! It was funny to discover we had other personal connections, too.

The people from the school board were not particularly useful to talk to. Their stance was basically, they’re just following orders. Now where in history have we heard that line before?

While there, I learned our province has made another step backwards. While I was on the road home from the city, our government announced that the mask mandates start again tomorrow, even in many outdoor venues that had been exempt before. There is no actual reason to do this. We aren’t seeing any surge in hospitalizations or deaths. It’s all been so arbitrary, and like all the lockdowns and restrictions is just as illegal as the schools forcing kids to wear masks.

All the families there with school aged children were planning to homeschool, rather than engage in government enforced child abuse. The school is going to lose a lot of funding over this. Some of the parents I spoke to told me they were getting to many calls from the school to get them to register this year, it bordered on harassment. I’m hoping to keep in touch with some of these families, since we homeschooled the girls completely. I look forward to being able to help and encourage a new generation of families taking this route! There is the makings of a vibrant local community. Something that didn’t exist, when we last lived here and were homeschooling.

The whole event just happened to be next to the grocery store, so when it was all done, I stopped by to pick up a few things I wasn’t able to get in the city before heading home. Even with the the sale prices, I still spent way too much money. 😦

One of the things I want to do is get chickens, for eggs and meat, but we are not at all ready to have birds yet. I was hoping to get to that point in a year or two, but the way things are going, I think we need to prioritize that and make it so that we can get chicks in the spring.

So, along with building high raised garden beds for next year, we need to build/acquire a chicken coop. Preferably a mobile one. That way, the chickens will be playing a significant part in soil preparation for planting.

After all the running around over the past couple of days, and being around so many people, I am feeling quite tired. It is, however, a good tired!

It has been a wonderful couple of days. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Our 2021 garden: morning after the rain

The gardens seem to be really enjoying all the rain we’ve been having!

The Ozark Nest Egg gourds are having a growth spurt, and more flowers are blooming.

They are the first ones I’ve seen with only three petals on them.

So far, I’m only seeing male flowers, but I might be missing some. I’m not about to lift the chicken wire protection just to look.

On the leaf above the blossom, you can see that the cayenne pepper is still there! I’m rather amazed it didn’t get washed away.

The newest Mongolian Giant sunflower that opened is looking very nice. What surprised me, though, was…

…finding that it is growing stalk babies, too, now!

I don’t know if I’m supposed to prune them or something, but I’m leaving them be.

I even picked some teeny tomatoes and cucamelons this morning. 🙂

It’s been interesting on some of the zone 3 gardening groups I’m on. Quite a few have been sharing photos of all their green tomatoes that they rushed to bring in, before the rain, so that they wouldn’t split. If you like at the tomatoes in my photo, you’ll actually see a couple of Spoon tomatoes that have done exactly that! I’m not concerned about that, with these little guys. What caught my attention more, though, were all the people talking about getting overnight frost. !! They are all at much higher elevations than we are, so while they are zone 3 like we are, us being so close to sea level makes a difference.

The Re-Farmer

We have cows!!

The skies have been teasing us with the possibility of rain, all day today! The weather app says we’re at 26C/79F, with the humidex at 30C/86F, but we’ve been getting some wonderful breezes that are making it feel cooler.

It was while we were outside, enjoying the breeze, that I noticed we were being watched.

The renter rotated his cows to the home quarter today! I am so happy to see them. 🙂

While we were out, we even got a few spatters of rain and could hear thunder in the distance. I really hope we get a decent rainfall! Particularly since we’ve decided not to water the garden beds this evening.

While heading over to the furthest beds, we ended up chasing a woodchuck out of one of the corn blocks. He seemed to be just passing through, and wasn’t eating anything. In looking at the developing head on this Mongolian Giant sunflower, I can see something has been eating it. This would be the grasshoppers. Thankfully, those seem to be fewer, though compared to the clouds of them we had not long ago, that might not be saying much.

The sweet corn in the middle block seems to be developing the fastest. It’s interesting to see how a few stalks just shot up (relatively speaking!) while the others are staying small.

I don’t know how much corn we’ll actually get from these, given this year’s conditions, but it does look like we’ll at least have some for fresh eating, if not for freezing or canning.

Dang. Looking out my window, it seems the clouds have moved on. I think I’ll pop outside and enjoy the breeze a bit longer, while there is still light. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Our 2021 garden: we have silk! and loving the new tool

With today’s expected heat, I was out in the garden by 6am, and ended up staying out there for almost 3 hours, watering and weeding. The watering was started after replacing the connectors on three hoses.

I’m a goof, but it did work.

When I bought the connector repair sets, I got what was left on the display, and didn’t even think to look at the sizes. They are for 1/2 inch hoses.

We have 3/4 in hoses.

No matter. The clamps they came with could tighten enough to properly seal them. They will do while I am on the lookout for the right size connectors.

The little flexible piece I got for the tap, to prevent kinking, leaks. In several places! I guess I got a cheap one, though there wasn’t much choice. It still leaks less than it did before. One of the leaks is at the tap itself. Every single hose we’ve ever hooked up to that tap, leaks there. I plan to replace the tap itself, eventually. Meanwhile, there is some very luscious growth happening around the blocks we have under the tap. 😀

When I headed out again this evening, I got to break in the new action hoe.

What a fantastic tool!

I first tried it in one of the onion beds. It did well, but the onions are planted in a three row grid, and it just didn’t fit in between them, so there wasn’t a lot I could do with it, there. Mostly, I used it in the space in the middle, where the purple kohlrabi failed to grow.

It was at the Mongolian Giant sunflowers that it really did the job!

The soil here has always been rock hard, and baked bone dry. Right now, the only soft soil is the layer we put down for each row, and that was just a few inches deep. That anything we’ve planted here is growing at all is pretty remarkable. This thing worked like a dream!

Now, don’t get me wrong: it was still really hard to work around the sunflowers.The soil in between the rows is even harder now, as we walk between the rows to water things. It wasn’t just the hard soil, but also the very fibrous roots from the plants that were already growing here, and now enjoying regular watering for a change. This hoe was able to cut through those roots, and the rock hard soil at the edges of the paths. I was then able to pull out the cut weeds and their roots, before hilling the loose soil around the sunflowers a bit.

I am very impressed with this thing! The tool I was using around the corn before worked well; better than a regular hoe, but not as good as the action hoe. It was one of the unusual tools we’ve found around the place. The head of it is shaped almost like a mattock, except… not. LOL The “hoe” part of it is longer and narrower than a regular hoe, and it has a two pronged spike on the other side that I believe is a weeding tool. I’ve never tried to use that end, yet. It works really well at cutting into the hard soil. Better than a regular hoe, as least. Unfortunately, it’s quite old, and the head sometimes pops off the shaft.

I was doing one last row with the action hoe in the next corn bed, when my daughters came out to do the evening watering. My older daughter had finished watering the beds closer to the house with the hose, and when she came to continue watering where I was working, she told me about something awesome she found in the Montana Morado corn.


Our very first corn to start showing silk!

If these are going to be maturing so unevenly, we may need to hand pollinate the silk, just to make sure they do get thoroughly pollinated. It would be pretty hit and miss to rely on the wind to pollinate the corn, when there might be only one or two corn plants ready to be pollinated at a time.

I am so happy that this corn seems to be working out so well!!

Today is supposed to be the last day of our heat wave. After this, we are dropping to more average temperatures. The expected high had been 38C/100C for a while, then it went down a few times. By morning, we were forecasted to hit 34C/93F, which we did hit. I don’t know what the humidex was. The forecasts for thundershowers tomorrow have shown up, disappeared, then showed up again, several times today! As I write this, it’s past 11pm, and we’re still at 28C/82F. The overnight low is expected to be not much cooler, but we are also supposed to get some rain, too.

I’ll believe that when I see it. From the looks of the weather radar, any rain or storms sweeping through are going to go right past us, and hit the city. But if we get even a little bit of rain, I will be happy. Even with all the watering we’ve been doing, twice a day, things are still really dry. I could really see that while weeding. Even at the start of the day, which the ground still looked damp from the previous evening’s watering. While hand weeding among the beets in the old kitchen garden, I had the hose set to mist, so the water would make it easier to pull the weeds out by the roots. I’d already watered the bed before I started weeding, yet when I pulled up the weeds, I could see how dry the soil still was.

When we build our permanent beds, having some sort of watering system would be very useful. We do have sprinklers we can use, but I’d rather have something less wasteful, like a drip system.

But that is something to figure out later. For now, we make do with what we have, and right now, that means watering twice a day with roughly 300 feet of garden hose and watering cans! 😀

The Re-Farmer