Tomorrow the day of the Mat-Su Farm Bureau Tour. The two tour buses are stopping here for the All Alaska Grown lunch and for a brief tour of our place. I'm not having to do the lunch, that is catered by The Rib Shack, but there was still a lot of work to do to get ready for the tour. This year I am the tour coordinator and so of course I am nervous about how the whole tour will go. Mostly, I am anxious about people coming here. We do have a lovely place and I want everyone on the tour to experience it at it's best. After all, some of my wonderful customers have told me they are coming and I want them to see where their food is grown. We normally spend a great deal of time weeding, but the last two days we have been ruthlessly attacking all weeds everywhere! Fortunately the weather cooperated and we were able to get the lawn mowed too, which is wonderful.
The rain this month has been so disheartening for farmers! I feel blessed that our gardens are doing well and I am grateful that we grow a diverse variety of vegetables. Crops that take a little more heat and any real sunshine just aren't doing well. My neighbors, Bob and Jeannie Havemiester have not gotten any hay up yet. They have some cut in the fields, but it has rained so much that it isn't good for anything now. My good friend, Arthur Keyes at Glacier Valley Farms, has his field of strawberries and zucchini at about 1/3 the production of last year. My corn is in silks, but with all the rain the pollination will probably be horrible and there will be no saleable ears, even if they do mature. My flowers are suffering in the wind and rain, my baskets usually unbelievably lovely are not lovely and even my lilies have yet to bloom.
With those downer thoughts, let me tell you what crops are doing well. Spinach, for one, has loved the sunless days. Spinach doesn't really like all of the daylight we get in the summer, so the overcast days were good for the spinach. It has been wonderful. Kohlrabi has been thriving in the cool, sunless days. Usually if it gets bigger than fist size, it will be woody and tough, but that has not been the case this year. Our cabbage loves this weather as well as the broccoli and cauliflower. And, I just can't leave out the lettuce. Our lettuce has been spectacular. The rain has made the lettuce crisp and sometimes when I am in the garden I feel like burying my face in a head and just taking a bite right out of the middle--no kidding, it is that good! The potatoes are also growing well and although the carrots are slow, trust me, we will have carrots.
Who knows, August could prove to be a sunny month. I am looking forward to a change in the weather pattern, but I am happy gardening even when the weather is uncooperative. I think that is a good thing, or I'd have been unhappy alot this last month.