Perhaps it was appropriate for the Farm's 4th annual Garden Festival—A Summer Celebration, but to me that Saturday, June 23rd felt a lot like this year's first day of summer. Oh yes, 2012 has been a hot year with warm temperatures that one would associate with summer beginning in March, but almost all of those warm days featured deep blue skies, beautiful breezes and very low humidity which gave them a quality that was fresh and if not totally spring like, definitely a long way from the more oppressive heat of real summer in Northern Illinois. The day of the festival was not that hot, but it was one of the first rather humid days, featuring a hazy sky (that even produced a halo around the sun) and a misty horizon by later in the day. And since then, by and large the humidity has hung on and become part of an uncomfortable tag team along with the soaring temperatures.

Of course the humidity probably had some involvement with our first precipitation in several weeks. And while that falling moisture is welcome (and still much needed) it has been interesting to witness so many days without cumulus buildups or any clouds of any kind in the sky. Growing and maintaining plants in such conditions was interesting too, though not always very profitable or very pretty. It will be a challenge to perform efficiently in both heat and humidity and there is certainly no guarantee that the paltry rain amounts will increase now that it is officially summer.

While we're not exactly ready to 'roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer,' (yea, I'm old enough to remember that Nat King Cole hit from 1963) which can be hot sticky and hardly a fun time to be in the garden, we don't have anything to do with such scheduling, so we are kind of catching up and trying to do some planning. Back in April, fortunately after one of our last Power Point presentations, our hand-me-down lap top computer suddenly gave us that white and blue striped last gasp screen while refusing to function at all. It finally got diagnosed last week (terminal—needs a new mother board) and a new lap top was added to our equipment list. Like all of that equipment from weed whacker (we just got a new one of those, too), to greenhouses, to cargo van, it all costs money but it all has an impact on how much everything costs at the Farm. The right equipment helps control costs and makes us all more productive and makes life or least our Farm life, a lot more fun. I am looking forward to having access to a computer a bit before I fall asleep in the evening rather than after Nancy completes all of her computing chores. I am hoping that access to a computer will rev this blog up a bit and help you share in some of the 'goings on' here at the Farm.

Jeanne Vaver
7/2/2012 04:50:47 am

Larry - so glad to read a new blog!
(Did you mean to write first day of "spring" instead of summer?)

After all these years of gardening, I have just discovered the pleasure of getting up really early, to avoid the heat, and watering all around the house. I realize now that my past endeavors depended on reacting to a plant that looked in trouble before it got the drink it needed. This summer, with regular and thorough watering, plus fertilizing once a week thanks to my new handy dandy easy to carry pump, the pots are exploding with blooms. So while I wilt in the heat and moan about no rain, there still have been blessings.
That's another reason to garden - you just keep on learning!

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