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ctw1949
Certified organic poultry farmer in SE Mass

Life in general

Well, here we are looking at Labor Day weekend already!!! It has been a fairly good summer, punctuated by very humid, hot days with cool rainy days. This summer, we didn't have such a drought, but the high heat has taken it's toll on gardens. Lawns are now getting brown from too much short mowing which seems to be an epidemic around here.

I have been working at my friend's in Rochester and have done some splendid work with the help of Sam, my assistant. He learns as we work and I don't have to do the heavy lifting. Together, we have edged, removed soil, sifted soil, added soil amendments, replaced soil, mulched and created beautiful areas. The battle continues, but we are gaining.

During our digging out of bad grasses & weeds, we discovered two clumps of "mystery bulbs". I was at a loss to identify these bulbs and sought outside help from some "experts". Some had no idea, others tried to tell me they were daffodils!. I knew better and continued to search. On the Fedco seed website, late in summer, they had some miscellaneous bulbs...and I was able to identify the bulbs as Resurrection Lilies. I was so excited to discover these bulbs bloom in mid-summer! They are related to Amaryllis but hardy in this area. I have the bulbs resting in a covered planter and of all things, some are blooming in the planter, no dirt, no water! What a surprise!

Meanwhile, I was working around the bulkhead area and discovered some bad things going on there. Using my experience as a home inspector and painter for the past 40 years, I showed the homeowner the issues that probably need to be addressed...rusted out bulkhead, no proper shingling of one area around the bulkhead, wet & rotted wood, leaking into the stairs to the basement. I suggested an alternative approach to the basement entrance. A small addition allowing a real door for entry and removing the bulkhead altogether. I figured with all the work that needed to be done to correct the water damage, she would spend more money but in the end, have an easier access to the basement. She called her contractor and they began work on the basement situation almost immediately. When I went to check on the plants I potted up for later re-planting in the beds, I saw that the entire corner of the house had been water-damaged and was replaced. Along side of the new work on the house is the new entry for the basement. It is so sweet! A real steel door with a window, the new entryway is now waiting for shingles. All in about two weeks! Installing the new roof was a challenge but the contractor did a sweet job in a very small area under a second floor deck.

Right now, our yard work is on hold. It has been too humid & hot to work outside, so I have concentrated on my inside work in the apartment and on my projects. I have now completed a chest of drawers and two small trunks. I am thrilled that I have been able to get this far with all the logistics with these projects.

My garden has been doing very well. Yesterday, I pulled out the basil, made & froze pesto for winter. I hope to plant a fall crop of spinach and radishes today. The lettuce I planted two weeks ago is doing well. The parsley has been home to many Black Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars! I had Painted Lady butterfly caterpillars in my Borage! Such a treat for living in the city.

Last week, my neighbor caught someone stealing tomatoes from her (and another's)  garden. A bag of tomatoes, both green and getting red. I am speechless about this! She saw him picking tomatoes, he took the bag and hid it in some weeds. She scouted around and found the bag of tomatoes. There were several pounds of tomatoes in the bag! She will inform management this morning...

Earlier this year, someone took the first two hot peppers out of my garden...maybe the same person?

Downy mildew has come for the squash and cukes, so I sprayed with a Neem spray last week.

A neighbor just stopped in...I will pick this up later.
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