|The Green Roof Farms honor-system farm stand. |
Your money goes in the white-painted ammo box at lower right.
|Scott's working 1950s Farmall Cub tractor, perfect for the small operation.|
M. was at the hair salon last week, and her stylist, who lives in Colorado City, was lamenting how her garden had produced poorly this summer. Well, join the club. I have been hearing that a lot.
Let's review the year.
After a cool wet spring. Colorado was declared drought-free. I expected a great spring wildflower show, and while that was true at higher elevations, it was not true here in the ponderosa pine forest. Some regulars, like wild geranium, hardly showed up at all. Subsoil moisture still not replenished?
Then it got hot in July, but that was followed by a decent "monsoon" that gave us an adequate if not great mushroom harvest in early August and the usual flash floods below the recent burns.
|Wild bee on some kind of |
groundsel, at about 9800 feet,
Then more hot and dry weather all through September and into October. Up near Poncha Pass, a lightning-caused forest fire, the Decker Fire, that was burning up beetle-killed timber in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness, has now crossed control lines and is moving towards foothills subdivisions and little communities along the Arkansas River like Swissvale and Howard.
The violent changes have been hard on garden plants and flowers. In some cases, we have just cut back perennials and let them go while focusing on collecting seeds from annuals. No hard freeze yet at this elevation, but the dryness is as good as a freeze. I have rolled up hoses and pronounced the season over.
In Florence, where there is irrigation water, truck gardeners Scott and Robin have been supplying us from their farm stand, which often just operates on the honor system. (M. says that reminds her of her girlhood visits to the Vermont side of her family.) If you are in that area, you can find them under "Green Roof Farms" on Facebook.
Thanks to them, we are drying tomatoes and have plenty of squash, peppers, and onions.
Some migratory birds left on schedule (black-headed grosbeaks, for one) while others are hanging around way past their usual departure dates (band-tailed pigeons, broad-tailed hummingbirds.) But that is another topic.