hanging on in a heat wave

It rained heavily two nights ago, but you wouldn’t think so to look at everything today. I use the weeds as a barometer as I walk along the trail towards the vegetable garden. If they look fluffed up and perky, then there’s been enough water. I really expected to see that this morning after the storms on Friday night, but they are drooping slightly, the way they were all last week after several days of 100 degree heat and no rain for weeks. And leaves are falling from the trees already – a crisp dry brown carpet lining the homestead site.

leaves are falling and it’s only July

Today was just meant to be a quick trip up there to check on things, and harvest any ripe tomatoes. But everything looked like it needed water, and I had to mourn the edamame plants that some critter has obviously enjoyed for dinner. Four or so are hanging in there – the healthiest looking one is in my veggie bed, and it’s growing quickly. But damn. I suppose I ought to sink chicken wire around the bottom of the deer fence. Or at least rig up a webcam and see who the culprits are.

The tomatoes look happy though.

tomatoes on the vine

A harvest of one tomato today, but I culled a bit of basil too, and voilà…

mini caprese with the first cherry tomato

A pre-lunch amuse bouche. (Feeling very French today, for some reason).

But here’s a success story: my holy/sacred basil (aka Kha Prao or Tulsi). I companion-planted it with “normal” basil around my tomato plants, and while the ordinary basil is getting all kinds of hassle from bugs and such, the sacred stuff is flourishing quite well. Just checked Jekka McVicar’s The Complete Herb Book, and I should either be offering bunches of it to local Buddhist temples, or cooking up a Thai stir-fry with it. “It was also used throughout the Indian subcontinent as a disinfectant against malaria.” (p. 169) Hm. Our mosquitoes aren’t malarial here, but, now I think about it, I haven’t encountered any mozzies on the land so far this summer. Sacred basil fumes wafting through the trees…?

ocimum sanctum: sacred basil (spot the little grasshopper)

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