July = Camp

Summer is traditionally a very busy time for us. Both kids go away for a week to a special camp in Oroville called Okizu; Adam always has a week in Healdsburg for the San Francisco Boys Chorus, plus some sort of tour (this year to Arizona), plus a week of Boy Scout camp; Kate has had theater camp for several weeks which culminates in an early July performance; Kate and I have Girl Scout Camp, which is a huge feat of volunteering for all the adults involved; and then if we have any family trips, they happen around this time. Then there are a couple of day camps thrown in for good measure and some family camping. I've been putting some miles on the car.

So there hasn't been much time to sit down and write, and honestly not much time to get out in the garden.

Last night we heard a strange noise around 10 o'clock, and went out to investigate, thinking someone's car was getting broken into. But it was a branch from our Catalpa tree, tearing off and falling into the basil, peppers, and tomatillos. Argh. Tom and I went out with flashlights and got the thing off the plants. Now I need to get a tree guy out here, and see if the tree is still viable. Luckily no one was standing underneath it when it calved its branch.

All the veg has recovered except for one basil plant which was just ready to pick for pesto. Oh well.

The beans are looking great, I think I chose a kind of heritage bean called "Rattlesnake" from Renee's Garden. The beans are a mixed green and purple, they're really pretty plants.

We ate our first green pepper, and are harvesting tomatoes daily. The greens are starting to bolt in our hot weather, as has the cilantro, which I'm letting flower because it attracts good insects. I'm also letting the dill flower. I need to harvest the rest of the greens tomorrow, and then leave that bed to the corn. The pumpkins are looking good, and starting to take over the yard.

I haven't been in the hive lately, but the bees seem to be doing all right. They are constantly on the Gaillardia, I'm so glad I bought them and wish I had bought 10 more. They are super cheerful plants.

I was hoping the bees could get nectar from them, but it looks like they are collecting bright orange pollen.

Speaking of nectar, I have lots of hummingbirds, but today I saw one feeding from a sunflower. Who knew they would do that? I didn't.

On my forays to camp, dropping kids off, I've gone through beautiful agricultural areas. In Healdsburg, the grape vine was king. Wineries everywhere, and it all just looks so quintessentially  California. Today, I took Kate up to Oroville and went through nut and fruit tree orchards. For lunch, I bought a bag of cherries from one of about a hundred roadside stands.

 It was fun to spit pits out the window while I was driving.