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Fertile Fridays: A Heavy Look at Farms and Gardening

To my wonderful readers — Sorry I am late with this week’s Fertile Fridays post! I was so busy with deadlines, that I had to set this aside for a day … now, onto the update — plus a look at farms and gardening.

I have probably mentioned before that my cousins are farmers and operate an organic farm. I buy a lot of our veggies from them. But I am so devastated to say that this year, they will not have any tomatoes. At all.

If you haven’t heard, late blight has struck with a vengeance here in Connecticut, canceling an heirloom tomato fest and just about ruining the whole season. And unfortunately, my tomatoes have fallen victim too. It’s with a heavy heart that I have to pull the plants and dispose of them (plants with late blight are not recommended for composting).

I am so sad to see them go. But that said, I learned two valuable lessons this year: first, I am totally capable of successfully growing crops. If it weren’t for my lack of a fence and the weather conditions that allowed the late blight to develop and spread, I would be reaping the benefits of these lovely plants now. So next year, I am sure that my work will pay off. Onward and upward … and don’t worry, I still have plenty to write about here, so Fertile Fridays is far from over.

Moving on … Contrary to my local newspaper’s recent report that people are concerned about seeing fewer butterflies this season, I have never seen so many butterflies, dragonflies and other winged creatures on my lawn. Perhaps the butterflies are just taken with my newly discovered fondness for gardening. I jest. Sort of.

Actually, my reason for bringing up this article is that I was surprised by it’s obvious reaching for some degree of agricultural controversy. It suggests that people are worried. But those people seem to be one person, whose garden isn’t as butterfly abundant as in the past. The experts all seem to say that it’s just a late season this year. Using this one person’s experience as the basis for the article seems as irresponsible as me saying that since I have an abundance of butterflies, it must be a banner year across the board for the winged creatures.

One person doesn’t constitute a farms and gardening trend, does it?

Anyway, the pumpkin patch is continuing to grow and take over the nearby section of lawn (and no, it doesn’t bother me one bit). Frankly, this has little to do with me — Will planted the seeds with just a wee bit of help. Then I dumped some grass clippings around them to keep weeds out, moisture in and hopefully make the soil even better for next year. Really. That’s it.

Meanwhile, my Brussels sprouts are coming along swimmingly. I cannot wait to cook these babies. But in the meantime, I am just fascinated by how they grow. As a child, I just couldn’t imagine it. But now that I see them popping up where the stems of the leaves meet the stalk, it’s just amazing. Who thought to pluck these little wonders and eat them?

What’s happening in your garden this week?

Wordless Wednesday
Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers
Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Cate O'Malley

Monday 10th of August 2009

That sucks about the tomato's blight, but at least everything else is unaffected. The pumpkins and brussels sprouts look great!


Sunday 9th of August 2009

So sorry about your tomatoes! I have only one plant this year and it seems to be doing far. Sorry to hear about your cousins also - I am friends with your cousin Sarah D., who told me about your wonderful blog - so I've heard about the organic farm many times, and it's terrible for the farmers this year. We want to buy CT grown, but this year that might be tough for tomatoes.

Interesting article on the butterflies - just looking at my own garden, you wouldn't know there was a rampant bee hive extinction problem! But as you noted, you can't take one person's observations and generalize...


Sunday 9th of August 2009

My garden is growing by the day - the Fairy Tale eggplant seem so prolific! The basil and herbbs are hanging in despite the heat, I'm amazed. Your Brussels sprouts, yum! What farm do your cousins run? I'm sorry to hear about the tomatoes - the blight is destroying so much for our local farmers.