Monday, June 30, 2014

Three Sisters Garden, Summer 2014

I imagine summer in Tucson is like winter in states that get snow. It's oppressive, wearing away at a person until he or she wants to give up fighting and let nature do what it's going to do. In the garden I've had some success with the Three Sisters section. It's really only half a garden since only 5 rows are in use. 3 rows aren't done and one was just build and needs to set a while before it can be planted. The corn has done so well this year in height. In the years past the corn only grew 2 or 3 feet then died. There was poor pollination resulting in less than ten (really deliscious) kernels on each cob. IN the past I was planting hybrid corn. I can't say if that was the problem, or if the soil just wasn't right.

This year I'm hopeful for good corn. I walk the rows and pollinate by hand to give those kernels a kickstart. I planted every week, so that the crop might come in succession rather than all at once. Watering was done with mostly buries soaker hoses. The Three Sisters garden is only about 3 years old. It was originally going to be a pasture, but it never took hold.

This year's corn is all heirloom. It is 7 feet tall in some places and keeps going. I love to stand between the rows when the wind blows and listen to the whispering leaves. It's like a little hideout. No one can see me in there. It's shady and peaceful. It reminds me of my parents' garden in Phoenix when I was child.

Winter crops are still growing in the Three Sisters garden: brocolli, kale, Brussels Sprouts, and Cauliflower. I don't know why! You'd think the heat would have offed them all by now. We like to make kale chips in the over with olive oil and parmesan. Tasty and healthy.

The zucchini is coming in. It's always amazing to me how you can turn your back on the zukes for a day and end up with gigantic monster squash. They too, remind me of the garden in Phoenix. My mom would slice the giant zukes thinly, batter and fry them. Mmmm. I think I'll do that with the one I picked today!

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