A little rain must fall

Flooded path with greenhouse in field

So, it rained a bit here recently. A whole lot in fact. So much so, that the rain came all the way through our screened in porch (which is a fair size), right into the house. Oh, and then it hailed. It was definitely exciting, until we looked out the window and saw this:

Greenhouse with cover torn away by the wind

I like to call this one “The metal structure formerly known as a greenhouse”. It’s an open-air greenhouse now. We had already decided after the winter that the cover that came with our hoop house just isn’t up to an Eastern Ontario winter, but the modifications that we were planning to make have definitely been fast tracked up the to-do list. Fortunately the metal structure is solid, so all is not lost.

Father and son creating a bridge over a swollen stream

After a good few weeks of pretty hot weather, it was a nice change to slip on our boots and see the land differently once again. Over at the pond, things were surprisingly calm and serene.

The pond in high summer

It’s been a funny old season here and our tomatoes are more than two weeks behind schedule. The past four or five years I’ve always had the first ripe tomato on July 29th; this year, they only started ripening a few days ago. On the upside, our crab-apple and regular apple trees are bearing fruit this year, having loved all the rain we’ve had at different points. It has definitely been a year to reset or challenge expectations, and we were already feeling very flexible in that regard, or so I thought.

Crabapple tree dripping with rain

One of the nicest successes in the garden this year has been the dwarf sunflowers planted by PetKid; you’ll want to check out his photos, they are awfully good.

18 thoughts on “A little rain must fall

  1. Crazy weather indeed. My tomatoes are behind as well – and the ones that have appeared have ALL been taken by squirrels, wily little rodents. The apples look lovely!

    1. Oh, we’re in the same ‘waiting for tomatoes’ club! Do you have a plan to deal with the squirrels, or do you have to just live and let live? Sheesh!

      1. To be honest, the only things left to try are completely enclosing the patch and shooting the little buggers. The first is cost and pain in the behind prohibitive (although increasingly enticing) and the second would be bad form due to proximate neighbors, and even though they eat my food I don’t think I could do it anyway. I have to give some thought to constructing some sort of cage.

      2. I’m a big fan of the cage approach. We also tend to lose all kinds of garden produce to wildlife unless we protect things particularly when they are young and tender or ready for picking. I’m a big fan of makeshift cages with wire and either plastic or some other cover (one that let’s rain through is ideal, but I’ve made do with just plastic with fine results). Whatever you do, good luck! And aim careful if you decide to shoot 😉

  2. We live in Northern Illinois and our tomatoes started to ripen about 2 weeks ago. Late for us too. They seem to be ripening more gradually which helps with not getting overwhelmed by the numbers. Good luck on the greenhouse!

  3. We live in Northern Illinois and our tomatoes started to ripen about 2 weeks ago. Late for us too. They seem to be ripening more gradually which helps with not getting overwhelmed by the numbers. Good luck on the greenhouse!

    1. Sounds like a continental shift for tomato timing this year. You are absolutely right about the upside of not being overwhelmed with a sudden glut. I tend to get a bit twitchy when that happens! 🙂 Thanks for the kind wishes.

  4. The weather has been weird all over. The heat returned this past week and now I’ve got plenty of tomatoes ripening. I went from none to plenty in a couple of days. Too bad about the now open-air greenhouse. I hope the plants within it weren’t damaged during the storm. Hail is really something to see — until one realizes the damage it’s causing. I hope your car was under cover.

    1. Sounds like this is definitely the year for slow tomatoes! Gotta love the sudden plenty, as long as you have the time to cope with it. I can imagine you’d deal with a glut of tomatoes very well in your kitchen. Thankfully the plants appear to have emerged largely unscathed, which I’m really relieved about. We’re going on holiday for four days, and I think I may return to ripe tomato-ville.

  5. I do love gazing at photos of your land df! Such gorgeous scenery. Your crabapples are lovely and bulbous. We have a crabapple tree too, but alas it’s the ornamental variety only (the possums would’ve decimated a real crabapple tree though, so that’s one consolation). Oh dear – looks like your handyman husband will come in very handy for greenhouse repairs. I’m sure he’d rather spend his time doing anything but that though! Hope the weather calms down for you soon.

    1. Thank you Saskia! I still have to pinch myself sometimes when I realize that we live here. We started our family life in central London in the UK, and where we are now couldn’t be more different, but it suits us so much better! Yes, the greenhouse repairs are not terribly welcome, particularly in a year where a lot of ‘make work’ projects seem to have sprouted, but we’ll figure it out! I’m keen to try to make crabapple jelly for the first time now that we actually have a proper crop…

  6. Loving all that greenness – until last week, we had 6 weeks of straight sunshine – something I remember with my childhood memory, but not in recent years. Bumper crops of tomatoes locally, as a result – sorry. Not mine though – that’s what neglect does for them – slows them down! Too bad about the greenhouse… what will you use to cover it instead?

    1. Six weeks of straight sunshine and abundant ripe tomatoes – I’m so, so envious! I have to say that I love a good storm, just not a big fan of some of the results when you are a gardener or farmer. We’d already decided that the hoop house needs solid walls at either end, with an actual door, but we’re as yet undecided on the cover for the roof/walls. It’s on today’s list to chew through this one and figure out a plan of action!

  7. Sorry about the enforced speed on remodeling the greenhouse. Loved the post. Looks like you have a little patch of heaven. We used to canoe and backpack in Algonquin when I was a child and teenager.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, truly! We do feel very fortunate to be here, I feel like we have a cottage and home in one, just with a lot of other work rolled into the package. Isn’t Algonquin a great place; I haven’t been back myself for a few years, but our oldest just did a week of canoe camping with the Scouts there earlier this summer. Nice memories for you! (It’s funny, my family did a kind of reverse move, each summer going down to Stowe, VT to camp!)

  8. A year to reset expectations. I’ll second that. It rained all summer here, it seems. We put our tomatoes out in May and lost the entire crop to blight after only getting a handful of tomatoes. Fortunately I put out a second planting in mid-June and they’re starting to ripen now.

    1. Thanks for sharing your own trials and tribulations! As you say, a year to reset expectations, without a doubt. Our tomatoes finally starting coming through, but the crop is just nothing like what we’ve had before. And my potatoes are a sorry mess. I have them, but they turn to mush as soon as they are cooked in any way – all that darn rain! Hope you are enjoying your second round of toms!

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