June, 2015

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Monsoons have arrived

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

The eagerly anticipated monsoons have arrived here this week. (Did you know there was a monsoon season anywhere in America? I didn’t before I moved here.) This is big fun for us. Billowy clouds build up over the mountains during the hot, sunny days, gradually darkening and getting more ominous, and then bursting into violent thunderstorms in the evenings. Sometimes drenching us with torrential rains; other times surrounding us with downpours that seems to be everywhere but on our little piece of land. It’s an adventure every day to see what happens. One of my favorite times of year here.


Variety, volume, and resilience

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

One thing about growing as many different things as we do here is that for all the crushing disappointments (which I mostly don’t write about here), there are just as many stunning victories. Sometimes both wrapped up together.

Last year, we bought a small fig tree. It’s one of the few things we’ve bought, since we get most of our starts from friends or grow from seeds, and it cost a fair amount. Last year, it seemed to adapt well and even produced a few figs. Then this spring, it looked dead. In fact, you could see where birds had pecked holes in it, and the branches were dry and  brittle. Big disappointment. After several months, I emailed someone I knew, and they said, “Just wait. They often die back and come back up from the ground.”

Indeed, a couple weeks ago, fig leaves could be seen at the base. It’s looking pretty healthy now. (I’m not sure whether to cut back the dead tree or just leave it. When in doubt, I generally opt to leave things as is.)


Nature is resilient, though sometimes things are successful and sometimes not. Trying lots of things seems to increase the odds that something will go right. Not just in gardening, but in life in general.