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  • Writer's picturekaydee777

Harvest and heat

Birds have begun showing way too much interest in the ripening apricots, in spite of the trashy silver plastic twirlers I hung in the tree. In the cool early morning today I brought in almost all of this year’s crop: just over four lbs of beautiful sweet fruit. With a smaller harvest than last year, none of this will go to market. I need to stock the pantry with apricot chutney. Some will also be dehydrated and the rest enjoyed raw.

Garlic harvest is about half way done, also in the cool dawn hours. Lovely aromatic bulbs will be curing for the next few weeks.

I mention being in the garden in the cool early morning a lot. Not to make anyone jealous or anything, but at 11 this morning it was already around 95F (34 C) with not a cloud in sight. The first triple digit days (above 38 C ) are in this week’s forecast. June is said to be the beginning of monsoon season in this region, but in my limited experience here it is a baking oven month of rising temperatures unrelieved by rain. In the arid semi desert Karoo of another country in the southern hemisphere, October was called suicide month because of escalating heat and drought driving farmers beyond the desperate edge of endurance.


Fingers crossed this year will be different from recently past ones here, and the monsoon will visit, bearing gifts of moisture.


The plan is for cowpeas (southern peas/black eyed peas) and Lima beans to go in where the garlic and potatoes are coming out. These warm season legumes to fill my dried bean pantry shelves, always do better with a monsoon storm or two.

After a few seasons of burying my hands and my hopes deep in the earth of the Chihuahuan desert, it’s easy to understand viewing the monsoon as an elemental deity.


In the Thar desert in India, where I spent a little time in the nineties, the same word is used for blessing and for rain.

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