Monday, May 23, 2011

A Cool, Damp Summer to Come?

Our island postmistress Linda has predicted that we will have a summer like the one two years ago--"no summer at all," as she put it. That was a no-summer that rained from about mid-May through late June, making it impossible to get much of a garden in. What did get in, mostly rotted--although I'd never had bigger potatoes. The rest of the no-summer was mostly cool and damp, with some sunny days in July and August. The tomatoes did fairly well, too, until they got a bad case of late blight that year. First and only year that I've had it. Beans are usually very easy to grow but not in those conditions. There is an empty space in the pantry where the jars of dry beans stand--for the year 2009. I wonder how subsistence farmers here (or anywhere for that matter) were able to survive after a growing season like that back in the day. I suppose they stored up supplies for more than a year, if they were careful. 

Linda, by the way, is a resourceful and serious gardener herself. She has a greenhouse, and grows her vegetables in raised beds. Whether she has a crystal ball as well remains to be seen. The last two days were cloudy and the grass dried off enough for me to mow the lawn (which had gotten to be nearly a foot high in only two weeks) yesterday afternoon. The rain held off today although it was damp and cloudy, and I managed to get some cabbage transplants into the ground. At any rate, until the jet stream changes we're on track for exactly what Linda has predicted. Ironically, central Europe and the southwestern US are quite dry. The public radio program which highlights environmentalism in Europe pointed out, in today's broadcast, that central Europe has gotten only about 40% of it's normal rainfall this year. We'd be glad to send some of our rain over there if only we knew how to do it.


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