How is it possible for weeds to grow waist high with no pest damage when the favored crop is bug-eaten and pathetic? It is becoming difficult to maintain a positive outlook. The striped-cucumber beetle has arrived despite my best efforts. I swear they see me coming and fly away as I approach. I am not at all squeamish. I can crush them and Colorado potato beetles in my bare hands.
Speaking of hands, my friend Phyllis shared this tip for cleaning up after a long, gloveless day in the dirt. The solution used for removing skunk odor from the family dog works great. Detergent, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda will remove ground-in dirt even under the fingernails. When I worked nights in the restaurant business I cleaned the day’s soil from my hands and nails with lemon. Phyllis’s method works even better.
I am a fanatic about wide-brimmed hats. I hate the sun on my face or in my eyes. The perfect hat is sold online at Asian Ideas. It resembles a lampshade and is not particularly attractive but it folds into a back pocket and costs under $5.00. All my crew wears them. We ordered a dozen.
Since I seem to have missed my calling in the advertising world I have one more suggestion. Campmor, a catalog company, has 100 per cent U-V protection shirts for $20.00. They are nylon and can be worn gardening or by fair-skinned children in the water.
The multiflora roses, which were spectacular this year, are being upstaged by Cape Cod ramblers. I prefer the dark pink ones. Are they Dorothy Perkins? Many years in this column I have mentioned the ones at the State Road side of the bottom of the Edgartown Road. They have both dark and light pink spilling over the mailbox. The purple one has threaded its way up into a tree. Lovely.
I am wondering about the excessive number of chipmunks. I rarely drive down a dirt road without one or two crossing my path. They are pretty cute but I don’t know why there are so many. Are hawks and owls off their game? They haven’t kept up in my garden with the voles!
My advancing age is taking its toll. I have that annoying habit of remarking about the rapid passage of time. How is it possible that we are at the Fourth of July weekend?
My peas have seen better days. It’s odd because in the past, July 4 is prime pea-picking time. I think I’ll leave some of the fatter ones to mature and dry on the vine. I’ll be happy with pea soup this winter.
With all this talk of raising the debt limit, naturally I feel the need to weigh in! I might mention that under George Bush the Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling seven times to the tune of $4 (count ’em) trillion dollars. Now, under President Obama, they cannot even stay in the room where tax revenues are discussed, especially cutting our tax dollars going to big oil and gas subsidies.
As a gardener and “foodie” I am most offended by the $11 billion dollars a year of government subsidies to the corn complex. Four out of ten ears of corn are sent into the production of ethanol, which barely makes a dent in our energy problem. Another 40 per cent goes to feed animals.
Part of the problem is the makeup of the United States Senate. It tilts toward rural areas where corn is grown. For years we have subsidized farmers to grow or not grow corn. Supposedly it helps keep the price stable in order to prevent a glut in the market. Why can’t I make money not to work?
Enjoy your holiday weekend. I’ll be eating corn-on-the-cob!