well it seems that may has moved me swiftly into june. how the time flies when there are living things to be tended. i have been spending a fair amount of my time tending the bees, and teaching others to tend bees as well as keeping my garden in good shape. i have come to the realization that for me art making is seasonal. this time of year my body and soul want to be outside, working and observing. i have made a couple papercuts this summer, both of which i posted and now am working on a drawing of monsters that i will post when it is completed. i also joined a sketchbook project that i will discuss at length another day, but for today i will give a garden update!!
the weather has been quite dramatic as of the last couple weeks. we had a bit of a dry spell, then some blazing unseasonal heat. now we have been having lots of thunderstorms, pounding rain and overcast gloomy skies. the bees have been going nuts with all of the nectar that is flowing right now. after cycles of intense rain and then heat and sun flowers bloom and nectar is dripping. i have one hive at earthworks that gwen and i put the 9th super on before june even started. it is a beautiful site seeing that glistening liquid shining in the cells of a frame, and all the brand new white wax. but wearing a full suit for 6 hours while keeping bees on an 85 degree day can be exhausting. i find that i drink a lot of water on those days and eat mostly fruit during the day, as i feel sick in the heat if my stomach is too full.
even though it has been hot, i have been donning long sleeves and a hat while working outside to keep a little cooler. the garden has been lovely as always. we have peas in, the swiss chard is growing nicely as are the lettuce and tomatoes. the garlic i planted last fall is starting to get scapes and getting closer to harvest time. our broccoli is heading up and the onions are almost ready to harvest. cucumbers are in, along with a lovely hand built trellis. we have been having a few problems with the onions going to seed. they were out first experiment under the quick hoops, so we will need to work out the details on why they went to seed and tweak things for next year. also there seems to have been a seed failure for my sugar snap peas i ordered. they are snow peas, which i don’t like as well, but i would have eaten if they tasted good. alas they don’t, very fiberous and not sweet. so i will be pulling them up shortly and planting something else on that bit of trellis. the only things left to plant for summer crops are the bush beans and winter squash. beds are prepped and now they just need to get in the ground. this year i have been using my own compost, so it takes me longer to prep beds as i have to sift all the compost. but it is nice stuff. dark brown and fluffy. it feels good to be self sufficient on some levels.
that is my home made sifting screen propped up against the bins. it fits over the wheel barrow and i sift directly into there. the remnants get put in the pile we are still building. that is about all for the garden update for the rime being. before you know it i will be starting seeds for the fall planting. this summer is going to fly by. i had trouble falling asleep the other night as i just realized that in a little over a month i will be going out to penland for two weeks. it will be hard indeed to leave the garden and the bees (not to mention patrick) for that length of time in july. i am starting to feel a bit nervous, but i know i will have loads of fun and things will continue to grow and ripen even though i am gone.