Hello again. I’m going to start with apologies to all my avid readers (however few there are) for not posting my blog for a few weeks now. I’ve been leaving Tree and Twig on Thursdays now and I tend to forget to write the blog when I get home, which is followed by further procrastination and so on. So sorry, but I do still work, reside, learn, and type here at Tree and Twig.
Well, pretty much everything is planted with a few exceptions such as replacing some of the guys that didn’t quite make it for one reason or another (mostly the lack of water). Now we’re weeding like crazy and mulching for a break. I can easily say I’ve torn out more weeds with my hands than I have lived days on this planet. Still, it’s a small price to pay instead of using herbicides on the food we intend to eat, and you what; you get quite a feeling of accomplishment when you look back on a whole row of veggies that’s clean and tidy thanks to some good ole fashioned elbow grease.
Despite the ridiculously dry summer, a lot of the crops are still pulling through. Beans are ready, peppers are doing great, and the tomatoes are on their way. I had my first taste of in-season, farm-fresh tomato from both Tree and Twig and A New Leaf Farm. Oh man were they good. The moment you bite into that tomato reminds you why you wait for produce all year, and it really makes you wonder how the heck year-round grocery tomatoes (if you can even call them that) have become acceptable let alone the norm. The raspberries at Linda’s have also been ripe for a while now and we’ve been including them a few times with the CSA baskets. This brings me to my next anecdote.
I was given raspberry duty a few weeks ago which means picking ripe raspberries from the big ole raspberry patch and filling up a whole bunch of containers (it takes quite a while to fill up even one quart by the way, hence the reason they usually cost so much). I thought the thorns on the canes would be the most hazardous part of job, but Linda forgot to mention the flock of murderous birds. Only twenty yards away from the raspberry patch is a tall birdhouse with a dozen or so purple martin swallows. These guys are quite the acrobats as they literally catch flying insects in their mouths as they fly about with astonishing agility. It turns out they’re also very nimble when it comes to dive-bombing (as Linda calls it) on cats and dogs that are in the open or too close to their home. Well, it also turns out that they aren’t afraid to dive-bomb me. They were swooping in from every direction and coming right by my head! They’d let out this little shriek every time they were an inch away from my hair and then soar back up in the air to plot their next attack. They were getting closer and closer, and I swear they were going to take out bits of hair any second so I actually started swinging my fist at them as they swooped in. They’d give up for a while when I was swinging frantically and looking like a psych ward patient (not to mention to any passing cars that must have seen me) and then regroup to plan their next offensive. They relaxed a little more every time I went back out to the patch, but I don’t know if I have. The only tips I have for purple martin swallow dive-bombs are: start swingin’ or they’ll never leave you alone, don’t wear a red t-shirt (it turns out that the avian eye has a heightened red-orange spectrum), and keep watching the skies.