Sunday, July 8, 2007

It rained and it poured

It's been pretty dry, and dad had to hook up irrigation and run water on most fields. Thursday it rained enough to make up for what was lacking, but came down so fast that a lot of it just ran off. We got about 6 inches in just a few hours. Downtown Aliquippa was flooded, but we are fortunate to be on top of a hill. Some places got muddy, but nothing catastrophic happened and the plants were not damaged by the heavy rain.
Mom is still going to market three days a week in Coraopolis, Ambridge, and Beaver. She's getting busier, so this Saturday took our neighbor Anthony along to help. There are more than just a few zucchini now. Mom has to pick them every day. It's over 90 degrees today, and with this heat will start them growing like crazy and she'll pick twice a day so that they don't grow to baseball-bat size. Some people like them that big, but the small, tender ones taste better.Things are growing in the barn, too! Several families of barn swallows have already left their nests. Here's one little guy just getting ready to launch himself off the edge, and a mama (or papa) bird incubating a batch of eggs. Besides being adorable and having such friendly chatter, barn swallows are beneficial birds. They skim across the fields catching insects. The things that are almost ready to go are almost too numerous to list. Last week dad pulled out a garlic bulb, but it wasn't quite ready. He picked an ear of corn, but the kernels weren't filled out yet and it was tasteless. There are little green tomatoes on the vine, but they haven't ripened yet. The basil is growing, but the plants are still pretty small. Mom has started picking peppers. On Saturday she had hot peppers, a few white sweet peppers, and some white eggplant along with the lettuce, cukes, and zucchini.