Monday, August 26, 2013

Welcome Summer!

Wow things got busy there!  Growing season is in full swing, tomatoes are changing color, and any complaints about the mild weather are down the drain.  Many use the swelter as an excuse to stay in their own homes, drinking iced beverages, spread eagle in front of box fans, or locked tightly in cryogenic air conditioned rooms, refraining from all movement but for the weak laconic movement of one's tongue and lips to the oasis of unsweetened iced tea, but we see the real troopers at Ginkgo.  We see those that have conditioned their eyebrows into retention ponds.  Our volunteers apply and reapply sunblock, because really... tomatoes look better red than we do.  Some of them say "to heck with it!" and in rude defiance of the Sun's omnipotence, wear sleeves and long pants.

The fact that pumpkin flavored beers have already emerged on the market is proof that our seasons are out of whack, but we have begun harvesting some delicios apples, including this red fleshed variety.  Any visitors or volunteers to the garden know that this one is among our favorites.  Why?  It's not an apple that we intended to grow.  In short... apples do not grow "true to seed", but instead are propagated by graft.  Growers take the rootstock of an apple that is know to have great roots in one's selected growing site and they choose an apple variety that they favor to attach to the rootstock.  At Ginkgo we did what every other apple grower has done since, well... since a long time.  What happened next was a surprise bit of fortune.  A rabbit girdled the tree, completely chewing away the bark around the base of the tree, essentially strangling the grafted shoot.  At this point, somebody should have pulled the tree out and tried again, but no one did and instead, the rootstock, identified as Budagovsky 9, grew shoots and began bearing fruit.  Delicious, tart, apples with wildly pink and red flesh.  Yum.

Without further ado, this is what we've been up to:

Budagovsky 9

Our best volunteers have been building a new set of compost bins out of our old fence.

That's what we like to see!

Our plums have survived World War Aphid and are less than a couple of weeks away from ripe.

These giants have really become the stars of the garden.  Think about the size of a sunflower seed.  I'm in awe.