The bare minimum

When the cicadas start buzzing early in the morning we know we’re in for a scorcher. With temps in the 90’s, high humidity and ground level ozone levels that were predicted to “approach or exceed unhealthy standards”, all we can do – without falling over – is the bare minimum. It’s a good thing we’ve finished planting because all we really need to do now is water, maintain, and harvest the bounty. As for watering, Nature helped a bit yesterday with a freakish afternoon downpour that gave us at least half an inch and by the looks of the refreshed gardens, some of it actually soaked in rather than running right off. As for maintaining, I feel inclined to leave a few extra seedheads for the goldfinch and have concentrated on staking slouchers instead. (I have never noticed our pink peony poppy seedheads looking eaten before – peeled like bananas. But today I caught a glimpse of the goldfinch at work on them and also snacking on the Verbena bonariensis.)

And as for harvesting, there were lots of flowers to pick bright and early for house arrangements, and the vegetables are coming in gangbusters. It was wonderful to be joined by a skeleton crew of very local and very willing-to-be-sweaty volunteers who spent an hour picking a cart-full for the East Bay Food Pantry and then hopefully went straight home to recuperate in front of the A/C. The rest of us on staff who aren’t relaxing on vacation (I’ll follow Gail’s excellent example in a couple of weeks) will have to find inside work for the rest of the day. Check out the fruits of some of my indoor labor here – I finally published plant list pdfs! (For future reference, they are located in a clickable page on the right-hand sidebar, underneath BECOME A MEMBER.)

What are you doing to keep cool?