Wednesday, July 31, 2013

You Shouldn't Be Able to Wear Pants in the Summer

I don't like to bring myself into this... but last week when my roommate and I roamed the apartment closing windows, putting box-fans away, packing up t-shirts and unpacking flannel-lined winter jeans, he said from inside a maroon tuke and scarf, "You shouldn't be able to wear pants in the summer." And he was right!  I mean what is this!?  Furthermore, I'm not a fan of the "interrobang".  I'm just at a loss.  As he spoke, little clouds of water vapor crept past his chattering teeth, confused about the early arrival of winter. 

Two weeks ago the heat and humidity were so oppressive that gardening became arduous, and I'm not begging for that to come back, but the tomatoes are wondering why the lettuce is still around.  Some of them have begun to ripen, and we are grateful, but compared to last year (a drought year) we are far behind in tomatoness.

Kafka put it best, "Coal all spent; the bucket empty; the shovel useless; the stove breathing out cold; the room freezing; the leaves outside the window rigid, covered with rime; the sky a silver shield against anyone who looks for help from it. I must have coal; I cannot freeze to death; behind me is the pitiless stove, before me the pitiless sky, so I must ride out between them and on my journey seek aid from the coal-dealer. But he has already grown deaf to ordinary appeals; I must prove irrefutable to him that I have not a single grain of coal left, and that he means to me the very sun in the firmament. I must approach like a beggar who, with the death-rattle already in his throat, insists on dying on the doorstep, and to whom the grand people's cook accordingly decides to give the dregs of the coffee-pot; just so must the coal-dealer, filled with rage, but acknowledging the command, "Thou shall not kill," fling a shovelful of coal into my bucket."  But of course fish peppers don't care any more about the coal dealer than the coal dealer does about the narrator.

What we need are history majors, anthropology majors, people with family cultures rooted in agriculture, anyone who knows of a dance, ritual, ceremony, OSHA-safe activity that can be used to implore the sun to linger a little longer so that we can finally call this thing a summer.

The sunny faces and plants in these pictures might contradict me and lead you to believe that I am exaggerating, but I assure you... it's not been summer yet and I'm wearing the pants to prove it.

Orange fruited tomatoes ripening.

These guys are labeled as "Orange Banana" but they are red... and globular... so I'm not sure.

A volunteer Sunflower is the first to start opening this season!

Go get'm

Fish peppers.  A beautiful variegated hot pepper.

The arugula is just now beginning to set out flowers and the flavor is becoming harsher.

Alan harvests the first Cabbage of the season.

What a beaut!

Thanks to Chicago cares and our independent volunteers for the hard work.

And a smattering of prairie flowers livens up the hugelkultur mound.