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Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category

The Great Big Lemon-Off

Once upon a time there lived a girl (named Sis) who moved to sunny LA and bought a lemon tree. This lemon tree flourished on her apt deck and eventually after a year began to produce little baby lemons.

One sunny morning Sis excitedly went out to check on her beloved lemon tree only to find it missing. In the dark of the night a dastardly bandit had reached over her deck walls and pilfered the lemon tree!

After a long trek through her apt complex in search of a discarded lemon tree, Sis sadly returned home and vowed to never buy a lemon tree again.

2 years later I decided to issue a challenge. A Lemon-Off. First one to fruit wins*. Lemon trees were bought and the race was on.

Sis has the advantage of living in the climate where lemons actually grow but I have the advantage of living on the second floor where no one can steal my tree   🙂


*FYI I have no illusions on actually being able to win this Lemon-Off. I live in Seattle. Lemons don’t grow here for a reason.

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See how my garden doesn’t grow

In the past 8 years of gardening at my neighborhood P-Patch I’ve never once had a growing season like this one. Nothing seemed to go right. I blame the weather because it sure as hell can’t be me!

Seattle had a summer of cold, cold, more cold, hellishly hot, cold, cold, hot, cold…you get the picture. I don’t think we got over 80F until mid July. The old adage of “In Seattle summer begins on July 5th” didn’t even hold true this year. July 5th was as cold and dreary as the 4th. Needless to say this means our limited days of warm sunny weather that we all depend on for our gardens were even fewer and far between than usual.

Sept 9th.. These are my tomatoes.

Small, hard, shiny green tomatoes. 9 plants of them. All the tomatoes I grow each year to make tomato sauce to can and store for the following year. All of them don’t stand a chance in hell of turning red before fall sets in.

Sigh. I do love making sauce from my homegrown tomatoes, each year I try out new varieties trying to find the perfect meaty sauce tomato. I had hoped this year I’d have my winner but I’ll never know now. I even grew fewer plants this year because previous year amounts produced too much for me to handle (one year we had 14 plants).

My pickling cucumber harvest was a measly 2 cukes, even my zucchini struggled, the carrots were laughable and I think we harvested maybe 10 snow peas. I think my kale walked off on it’s own since I can’t find it and I know I didn’t eat it. The bumper crop of blackcurrants was a bust when I found out they were infested with currant fruit flies.

Things that did do well were the lettuce, green beans, kohlrabi and raspberries.

For the first time in years I’m going to have to buy tomatoes to make my sauce. Next year I may need to learn how to make a row cover/cloche. How much do you want to bet next year will turn out to be perfect tomato weather?

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