Kitchen Garden

It’s the Heat


For the second day in a row ambient temperatures reached the high 90s with a “feels like” over 100 degrees. Farmers and gardeners were up at sunrise and curtailed outdoor activities by noon — a simple adaptation to unseasonable weather.

It was too damn hot.

While picking up the final spring share at the farm a fruit farmer friend arrived. We talked about the weather, then joined two farmers who were loading the truck for share deliveries in Cedar Rapids. They read my new T-shirt, which is red and says, “The United States of America  Established 1776.”

“Very patriotic,” they opined.

The irony is the tee was made in China. They offered to screen print the farm logo on a new shirt at the next farm get-together. After the farmers left for the city we discussed politics until we gathered our shares and returned home.

I left seedlings outside in the morning, but well before noon, the pepper plants began to wilt. I brought them inside and they perked back up in the moist darkness. When I watered toward sundown the tomatoes, eggplant, cucumber and zucchini seedlings looked healthy — giving them plenty of water appears to be the key to survival. One kale plant looked worse for the heat and unlikely to be revived. Regrettably, I turned all the extra kale seedlings into salad the day before, so there will be a hole in that row.

Concerned about my ability to stand the heat, the afternoon and evening was spent indoors reading, cooking and working on my memoir. There is a lot of that kind of work to do and if the weather won’t cooperate with my gardening wants and needs, a person has to do something.

The good news is the forecast today is for highs in the high 80s. I’ll be out there as soon as the sun comes up.