Real Food Mama

Musings about cooking, eating and everything in between.

Drought July 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — realfoodmama @ 8:59 am

Drought!

This year has been particularly difficult from a gardening standpoint here in fair Santa Fe, NM. While we do technically live in the desert and are used to dryness and all the things associated with it (dust, giant poisonous insects, bad skin…) we are also used to a monsoon season. Sadly this year it just hasn’t kicked in. In the past, our monsoons typically start up in early July, sometimes earlier, and give us a break from the heat in a form of nice, regular afternoon thunderstorms. Not so much this year. We have had three rains so far, and while the clouds start and try to build up every afternoon, they tend to disperse without dropping any of the wet stuff on us.

As a result our food plants are very stressed. The orchard is a mess. Our trees, which suffered some severe cold this winter (think 20 below) are now suffering from severe drought combined with extreme sun. While we can water them, we really can’t give them shade. Suffice it to say we only have one bearing fruit at the moment (a nice little plum that is hidden and shaded by the location of our RV) and the others look sickly. Our cherry tree doesn’t even really have leaves anymore.

We lost both of our red raspberries and while the black one is doing okay it isn’t happy. Our tomatoes, which I started from seed, suffered from a late frost and only about four survived so we bought replacements for them. And while our salad garden did great, our corn is pathetic, our squash still has borers and our carrots and beets never came up.

This has been a very hard year for gardening here in the high desert and it makes me realize how much work needs to be done in this climate to feed oneselves. Our chickens are doing well, although they started molting with the heat, and our goats are dusty but content so at least our milk and egg production is stable.

Suffice it to say one of the reasons I haven’t written here in some time is simply because I haven’t had anything from our garden to write about! It has been a hard year and I am hoping that the monsoons will come finally (the forecast has been for a higher chance of rain this week) and that our plants will start producing some delicious foods. We do have tiny zucchini’s, and some green tomatoes so I am hopeful we will be able to have a few harvests before too long.

In the mean time, I will continue to hope for rain and look toward the skies.

Happy Eating!

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