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Friday, June 4, 2010

State Of The Homestead Address

There are sinkholes in Guatemala. Tornadoes in Kansas, and an oily ocean to the east of me. Hurricane season started this week for the Gulf coast.

I mention this to remind myself that while this year's garden is a failure in the making, it is but a drop in the (oily) ocean in the big scheme of things.

If you followed along last year, you know I had a phenomenal harvest in 2009 despite my poor soil. This year, even with amendments, harvest sucked lemons. (Excuse my tartness.)

I can't even tell you why it's failing though my suspicion is that it's a series of interrelated events that have joined forces to bring down this year's harvest. Fortunately, I have at least one more season to try again.

What's ironic is that I mentioned to Greg that I happen to have a scene in my current work in progress where the protagonists' crops mysteriously wither and die. (cue Twilight Zone music)

Greg asked me: So what caused the crop failure in the story?

Demons, I told him.

Well, finish the damn book and save their crops. Maybe life is imitating art.

Good idea! And if it works, I think in the next chapter, I'm going to have my protagonists win the Lottery. LOL.

Hey, it's worth a shot, right?

Who has gardens this year? How are they doing so far?

I interviewed Heather Massey from The Galaxy Express for OWW (Online Writing Workshop). I was especially excited to interview her because Heather is such a tireless supporter of SFF romance.

If you read or write science fiction and fantasy romance, you MUST put The Galaxy Express on your reader. Heather says smart things on that blog. I never miss a post.

If you'd like to read the interview on OWW, go here.

And don't forget...

There's a week long contest going on. Go here. Email me the poochie's name to be in the running for a cool prize. I'm buyin'!

This contest is so easy a zombie could do it! Deadline: 12:01 (cst) June 9

Email me at: mariazannini AT gmail DOT com


Kait Nolan said...

I've got a garden this year. Last year was the inaugural building of the raised veggie bed and I had a bumper crop of squash and zucchini that was wiped out in a week due to squash bugs. Nasty little buggers. This year I've again planted squash and zucchini, tomatoes, and two kinds of peppers. The tomatoes (which were started earliest) are doing smashingly. I've got more than a dozen baby ones and hope to see mature ones in a couple of weeks. I've got lots of blooms on the squash and zucchini, but no baby ones yet. And the peppers haven't yet reached a point where they're producing flowers. But I have high hopes.

Joanne said...

I have a small vegetable garden, with 12 Jet Star tomato plants, a few peppers, eggplant, and a variety of lettuces. Last summer was a complete washout with a deluge of rain all July, but I'm hoping for better this year. So far so good, with unseasonably warm, sunny days really helping things along. Nothing beats those fresh veggies, straight from the plant to the plate!

Jennifer Shirk said...

We have so many bunnies that I potted a tomatillo plant and a cucumber plant. We'll see if this works...

Marianne Arkins said...

You have plenty of time to start over ... our growing season is only beginning and it ends before yours. So, if I can have a garden, so can YOU.

Mine wasn't doing all that great until recently. We've been having hot, humid weather with lots of thunderstorms and it seems to be agreeing with all the green growing things (sadly, that includes the weeds).

Hang in there!

RE: I think in the next chapter, I'm going to have my protagonists win the Lottery.


Maria Zannini said...

Kait: Agh, squash bugs!

I wrap my squash and eggplant stems with aluminum foil and that seems to foil them. Get it? Foil them.

I crack myself up. LOL

I love raised gardens. They are so neat and clean to keep up.

Maria Zannini said...

Joanne: I've not tried Jet Star. Is this your first time trying them or have you tasted them before?

I'm always interested in trying new breeds.

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: There's a reason Monty Python had killer bunnies in The Grail movie. LOL.

Knocks on wood. So far bunnies rummage in the front.

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne: It's so many little things that keep knocking me down.

Iko being one of them. :g: He ate six trays of seedlings earlier in the year. (sigh)

But he redeemed himself yesterday. (If only I had listened.) There'll be a post on that tomorrow.

Mike Keyton said...

Beans four inches tall. Plums plentiful but green. Rhubarb all eaten - by me not rabbits

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: You grow rhubarb out by you?

I had my first taste of rhubarb last Thanksgiving. It was good. But it's a little too hot to grow here.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Thanks for the blog recommendation; I added it to my reader.

As for gardening, I'd like to plant something this year, but we haven't done much yet. We have a lot of trouble with weeds, plus the area I originally wanted to use is rockier than I thought at first. But maybe we can still get some tomato plants or flowers at least.

Sherri said...

Epic fail on my garden...I'll try again after the worst of the summer heat is over. The grapes are doing great, the orange tree is in good shape -- though it would have been nice if the kidlets had left the budding oranges alone so they could mature -- but everything else...dust. One huge factor in my epic fail...children digging, pulling up stuff, walking in the garden, etc. The other, the crazy winds we've had so far this year. My beautiful crop of corn was ground to the dirt because of the wind.

Try, try again...

Maria Zannini said...

Sandra: Yours is the perfect reason to go the raised garden way.

Once you build your box and bring in good soil, you'll be set for years.

Or you can do my lazier way of putting a few veggies in containers. ;)

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: kids

And I thought Iko was bad. LOL. At least I can put him in a crate.

Yeah, you and me are in the same boat. It's getting a little too hot right now. We've been triple digits for days.

Let's try again together. I'm sending you good crop karma.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

Your tartness is so sweet. ^_^

Maria Zannini said...


It was kinda funny, huh? :)

Dru said...

I don't know much about gardening, but it does seem weird that you're doing every thing right and your garden is failing.

catie james said...

" easy a zombie could do it."

Don't tempt fate woman. Next thing you know, Geico will start with the ads featuring zombies, then we'll get some crappy TV show on NBC, and who knows where it will go from there!

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: These things happen. I'm glad I don't have to subsist on my produce. No wonder pioneers panicked when their crops failed.

Maria Zannini said...

Catie: I always thought Geiko used the wrong spokespeople. Zombies are far more interesting. :g: