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  • Writer's pictureEmily Taylor

Blueberries, Baby Birds, and other Summer Shenanigans

Welcome to August! It seems hard to believe how long it's been since I posted a blog entry, but here I am, getting back to the grind, putting fingers to keys and writing stories and blogs. Summer has been pretty grand though, despite a lot of things. We haven't been to the beach this season, but it looks like that may be a good thing. Beaches have been closed multiple times this year due to bacteria and strong rip currents. You know what doesn't have bacteria or strong rip currents? Our back yard pool. And, when the heat hit especially hard, that pool became a lifesaver.

We had a week of extremely high temperatures, and it was even hard for our air conditioner to keep up. I ended up turning the sprinkler on to keep the AC watered down and help it not overheat. Before I discovered that little trick, it was overheating and tripping the breaker. We also had a baby bird in a nest in our lilac bush. Much to Mama Bird's unhappiness, I tried to document it as much as I could. Finally, one day, I went out and the nest was empty. It happened a lot faster than I thought. A matter of days, really. The garden is doing... OK. The wet weather at the beginning of the season prompted an invasion of powdery mildew on my squash plants. I've tried Neem Oil, copper fungicides, and now am spraying them down with milk because that's also supposed to work. I feel like leaves are dying left and right, though, and I've even found the mildew on my lilac bushes. It doesn't kill those leaves the way it does my poor squash plants though. I've been able to collect some veggies, but everything is struggling this year. My beans even pulled over their poles and required a quick and dirty fix. Nothing has produced the way it should. I pulled out my radishes and carrots because the heavy rain at the beginning of the season had compacted the dirt, so when harvest time came, I had big, bushy, well fed tops... And nothing for the root veggies.

I am not alone though. Michigan lost their peach crop thanks to the polar vortex, so any peaches we got came from Georgia, and at the 4th of July, the corn was still struggling to grow. Anything I get this year is a gift. I was able to harvest some zucchini and squash. I cut them up and have them in the freezer for future soups and stews. My potatoes have kept growing, so those will hopefully produce something. And, I was able to get a five lb box of blueberries. My first batch of jam was made with blueberries and the mulberries I harvested and froze this spring. It's turned out fantastic. I still have more blueberries in the freezer as well, so I can make jam at my leisure. And, even better, I have some blueberries infusing a dose of rum. Let that sit, shake it up when I think about it, and we can have a taste of summer warming us this winter.


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