A River Runs Through It

For readers outside Southeastern South Dakota, I’m going to assume you haven’t heard about our early June weather woes.  The farm has been barely navigable for the past week and a half–and I say navigable because that’s pretty much how it feels after all this rain.

Last night I was out in the gardens and this blinding golden orb suddenly appeared in the sky.  I thought maybe it was the end of days, but H calmly reminded me that’s what the sun looks like.

I don’t have all the summer crops in, but I haven’t been able to do much but pull a few weeds by hand and mope about the hot pepper plants that are still sitting out front of my house and the winter squash and melon seed still sitting in the packets.

The salad mix is done for, but I haven’t been able to mow and till it–I’ve got a few beds of incredibly luxurious buckwheat cover crop that really need turning under, too.  And the weeds?

Can we not talk about that?  I had a farm tour scheduled a couple of weekends ago but that didn’t fly due to scheduling conflicts.  The gardens looked really nice then.  I’m guessing it will be another month before I’ll get back to that state.

At least the summer crops that I have gotten in look good.  The spring cabbage does, too.

I harvested these for the CSA today, and I pulled a not-so-nice one for us last night.  We usually eat the ugly produce, the gleanings, and the leftovers from market and over-harvest–which is generally plenty for our small household.

So while this majestic cabbage above is what my members got today, what’s in the tub was for us last night:

Actually, my CSA members got some of the ugly white turnips, too.  They’re ugly because my row cover didn’t come in until about a month and a half after I ordered it, and it was too late for these poor little roots.

At least they’re still really succulent (all that rain) and tasty–best-tasting turnips I’ve grown in a long time.  Too bad they look like hell.

The cabbage above was a casualty of a marauding deer who tore through the top of a row cover and ate the tip of the vegetable.  They don’t usually do that, and the fact that this one did makes me think perhaps I ought to eat her before she tries it again.  But the season for spring cabbages is not the season for venison.

Adding the the mess right now, the mulberries are starting to ripen.  We have both kinds–the regular black ones and the white ones as well.

Ripe mulberries fall off the trees.  And birds eat them, too, and then do what birds do.  The white ones aren’t so bad, I guess.  They just weigh down the row covers and sprout more mulberry trees.  The black ones do the same, plus they stain everything they touch.

Because we have mulberry trees all around the garden area, we have fallen mulberries all over the garden area.  When it’s dry, they’re annoying, but when it’s wet, they make a sloppy mulberry-mud soup.  Yum.

We are slowly removing some of the most annoying trees and branches, but there are quite a lot of them, and some of them are doing double duty as field snack provider and shed stabilizer.

Considering the bloom of mosquitoes we’ll be getting in the next few days after all this moisture, we need at least to keep the trees to hold up the shed to provide the swallows access to their nests, so they’ll stick around and help with insect control.

It’s all feeling a bit ramshackle right now what with the mud and wet and weeds and mulberries, but once July hits we’ll probably be crying for water and cursing that bright golden orb in the sky.  Once we start to remember what it is.

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