September 21 – With the return this week of temperatures in the 90s, I was reminded of our heat wave earlier this summer when not only was it HOT but there was little rain. Everything in the garden had been begging for rain to give the plants a second or tenth chance of survival. So many times I remarked to Dale, “WHEN is it going to rain? When will we have enough water so we can stop filling the big barrel from the hoses that run back to the garden from the faucet on the outside of the house?”I can’t remember when we had so little rain at that time of year. We were quite far behind where we should be! Every day the news folks reminder was that “we are at least 10 inches behind in the water situation.”
And the heat didn’t help! So many entire weeks in the nineties, and that kept us inside a good bit of the day. It was bad enough that we finally decided it was time to invite the air conditioning to become a part of our house for awhile! Back in Pennsylvania we practically never heard of that. Guess we just grew up when nobody had anything but a fan to keep us cool.
We tried to water the tomato plants regularly as they do the best they can to stand tall and enjoy the every-other-day watering. We also sprayed the cucumbers, the lima beans, and the various kinds of squash. I was so glad whenever Dale would come in from checking the rain gauge and actually have something to report, as any rain was a blessing.But it wasn’t only the rain and the heat that threatened our tomatoes. I got to the point where I was picking even the “almost-ripe” ones. Why? We found that some animals, probably possums or coons, were searching through the patch until they found something that looked good to them.
But if the tomato wasn’t quite ripe, they would try ANOTHER one! This pattern would go on until many of the tomatoes were eaten just enough that there was little left for me to pick. I didn’t want to admit that the wild animals had more sense than I do, so I decided to pick those that weren’t ripe yet as well. Up in the kitchen, I packed them on big trays until fully ripened, in maybe a day or so. You aren’t the only smart ones in the bunch, Mr. Possum! – CHRIS