On the upside to a lot of rain

So:  two weekends ago we got a record rain.  Has this rain done the garden any good?

You know, I think it is rather amazing that most things really just up and grow at all.  Unlike, say, a roomful of persnickety toddlers, most veggies and flowers have a wide range of what is considered acceptable to them.  Nobody really whines much about their conditions.  In fact, the only whiner is the gardener. And this gardener sure is whining, ruing the loss of her Brussels sprouts for the second year in a row.  And the rotten root crops in the ground.  Ah, the splitting cabbages!!

Well, the celery loved it.  I have always grown celery but it was mostly for taste and not so much out-of-hand fresh eating.  Celery is a water hog.  Park it under a drippy faucet and it would be happy (or so it would appear).  Otherwise, and usually for me, I get skinny stalks that are very tasty but you’d need to be a four-stomached bovid to be able to appreciate the fiber.  Cooked, though, they’re fine.  But now, with all this extra water?  I have nice crunchy celery!  One-stomach-friendly celery!

The autumn olive berries love it.  Granted, these are invasive shrubby trees that I shouldn’t encourage, but they got the rain at the right time of ripening that the berries are lovely and plump.  (I will post later about what I do with the things:  my mom is coming up again to do a half-day harvest soon.)  As far as the rest of the fruits, the grapes are kind of sad, and are taking longer to ripen than is usual.  Same with the apples.  I suppose this should fall under the category of “the rest of the things that hate the rain” but now is the time when I am normally buried in grape and apple harvests.  So I am…appreciative.  But that hammer will soon fall.

The Amanita muscaria (toadstool) mushrooms love it.  Too bad we can’t eat them.  We do have cepes (porcini) but those won’t pop up until it gets cooler…about Oct. 15th or later.  The grass looks lovely now, too, and all the birds just love it, especially the geese.

Otherwise, extremes plainly stink.  Luckily, most of the stuff in the gardens was winding down:  the rain was simply the push toward the compost pile. Could’ve been snow, you know…

7 responses to “On the upside to a lot of rain

  1. That’s nature’s way of saying brussel sprouts should not exist. I’ve never heard of olive berries–the things I learn on this blog! Of course, now my early start to painting will be delayed while I research olive berries.
    I so love being self-employed.

  2. Oh man, Pamela. I *hope* this doesn’t mean I can’t grow Brussels sprouts. We eat a lot of cabbage here (cabbage is cheap, plentiful, easy to grow, keeps a long time and IS BLATANTLY UNSEXY FARE) so eating the sprouts is a bit of a treat. Yes we are weird. But homegrown are so much less stinky and bitter than old things at the store, I swear.

    And yes I will post about the autumn olive berries. They start tart but finish sweet. I like them and the kid LOVES them so it’s a win-win, as she can pick her own.

  3. Mmmm celery… I’m glad you got the much-needed rain. Rain is something that is mostly a fond memory this time of year in So Cal. My favorite time of all is waking to the sound of the first rain on the roof, but I have months to go before that will happen here.
    Enjoy your berries, and your Mom’s visit.

  4. I’ll be there about Oct. 15. I’ll bring a sleeping bag; don’t worry.

  5. I love Brussels sprouts, but have pretty much ruined the fresh ones I’ve been able to get. (Cabbage … feh. My mother is Irish and I’ve had enough boiled cabbage already to last a lifetime.)

    Any chance of a favorite non-dairy B sprouts recipe/cooking method making an appearance here?

  6. Man, those Autumn Olives look amazing! I need to coax my mother into harvesting some for jam, looks like I’ll be the one harvesting this time… Hopefully I don’t eat them all in the process. Glad I’ve found your blog, I’ll be checking back regularly.

  7. WS: Wow, that’s one kind of extreme I am not sure I could handle well: a life with no rain! As it is I am complaining wildly about having to deal with too much of the stuff. Yeah, last night I was looking into celery recipes. Seems the French have an affinity for them so I will be doing some nice roasts with them and maybe one of the ducks in the freezer.

    Ah, CC! The first year we were here I got about a bushel, the 2nd about a peck, then last year just a few so I wonder if I will even bother to try to harvest them. Perhaps I took too many in my greed? Ah the fungi family. Unknowable.

    Firefly, my favorite method of cooking them (or rather my favorite recipe to make them disappear) is to quarter them, set them in a skillet with onions, and basically sear them in a bit of oil. Then, when they’ve kind of begun to caramelize, I shake a bit of Chinese five-spice powder (or allspice and whatever you consider to be vaguely Asian) and a few drops of toasted sesame oil and a few hot pepper flakes. Yum. But my family hears you about the cabbage: as it is I am of Irish heritage so I must impose my culinary history upon them.

    Hiya Lazygardener. It’s my mom who loves the jam. I like it but there are other things in the larder that tempt me more. I do intend to can a few different sauces though with them so stay tuned~

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