Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Lake Placid Lupine
Lobster boats in Stonington, Maine

Or is that a vacation FOR the garden? It seems that whenever we go away and I am not hovering over the garden, it does better. Maybe I have a tendency to smother it with love. But after a week on the road driving through New England, we drive down the driveway and I instantly see how much the tomato plants have grown and what seeds are now popping out of the ground. We had a great road trip up through Massachusetts on up to the Maine coast. We went to Stonington, Maine, which is definitely not a tourist mecca like Bar Harbor, but it definitely is lobster country. Lots of lobster boats out in the harbor and the locals are all lobstermen. Everybody seemed like very hard workers who loved what they are doing. And boy did we eat some great lobster!! While traveling west across Maine, I noticed that lots of people had put in their gardens, but looked like nothing more than flat patches of rich soil. Only thing that seemed to be growing so far was the rhubarb. I did see some greenhouses and hoophouses, but not as many as I thought I'd see considering that Maine is the home of Eliot Coleman who literally wrote the book on hoophouse gardening. I thought that everybody would have a hoophouse. The hoophouses and greenhouses that I did see were nice and green and waiting for the warmer weather. It is such a beautiful part of the country and so diverse with its rugged coast line and mountains in the west. A great area for a road trip. Then we headed further west and on to Lake Placid to check out the Olympic Village. It still honors its Olympic roots and thrives on tourism. Oddly the food served here is heavy on meat and very little vegetables. I guess they haven't seen the new food pyramid (or should I say circle?). Maybe they should think about hoophouses too.  New England is a few weeks behind us weather-wise and so their tulips were in bloom and their lupine were in full bloom.  I've tried to grow lupine with very limited success. 

My garden did survive very well without me and the tomato plants are taller than I am and full of flowers and green tomatoes.  The snow peas are producing and the kale is ready to be cut.  The new Swiss Chard is ready for salads, which is a very good thing since the lettuces are starting to bolt.  It is supposed to be in the 90s tomorrow and it will bolt for sure in the heat.  Some critter or insect ate the strawberries and I really have to wonder why I try at all since so many of the farmers nearby have fields of strawberries ready to be picked.  Maybe I shouldn't devote a bed to something that is so easy to get here.  I'll have to rethink that part of the garden.  The peppers are taking their good old time and look puny compared to everything else.  The squashes are doing well and are starting to really take off and grow up the fence.  We haven't had any rain for about a week and a half, so I watered from the rain barrel today and hopefully that will do until we do get rain, possibly this weekend.  So all in all, the garden survived my vacation and the lack of 'mothering'. 

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