I was away from the 31st of July to the 20th of August; the changes over the course of those three weeks are enormous.
I was told that there was some rain while I was gone, but the impression I get is that it didn't make much of a dent in August's consistent hot, dry weather: the marigolds are shrivelled to a fraction of their former glory, the wheat is done, the flax is ready, and the only things that are flourishing are the tomatoes, the amaranth, and the quinoa (all native to South America).
This past week was the 'Solar Dye' night; I put together a solar dye jar for myself using marigold petals (the greens were brown so I discarded them). I got the chance to go back and check on it a couple days later and I was surprised at how different the colour of this dye bath seems to be: much more orange, with none of the traces of yellow-green that I got from my first lot. I look forward to seeing how it turns out.
I'll have a collection of all my dye colours from this season at the Harvest Home Celebration on September 5th.
|The feathery plumes of the amaranth are glorious and conspicuously vibrant and healthy despite the dog days of August.|
|The marigolds have suffered more from the heat and dry conditions, but the bees are still happy.|
|Marigold colour from the solar dye jar --|
this colour seems significantly different from my first marigold solar dye batch.
Why? perhaps it has to do with the greens: in the first jar (in June) I included whole, fresh flower tops;
this time, I used mostly petals.
|Our 'volunteer' tomato plant is almost comically vigorous in the hot weather -- it stretches about 7 feet from tip to tip|
and gives some of the most sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes I've ever had.
|The flax is now golden and withered at the base --|
this signifies it's ready to harvest
|The 5-chambered seed heads are as big as peas; about half of them are ripe and brown.|
We'll have to harvest the flax before all the seed heads are ready.
|The Black Einkorn has done the best overall under our conditions this year,|
and has also been least affected by mouse damage. It has smaller heads than it's neighbours, the Chinook and the Utrecht Blue; the black streaks are not as prominent as I was expecting.
|Overall, the grains look a little worse for wear!|
Brian has harvested quite a bit of usable straw over the past few weeks,
and there's still plenty more to come.
|The insect life in the garden has been strong --|
I've noted many spiders and ladybugs, but no damage to the crops this season
(except by mice!)