Monday, July 28, 2008


I've been away on a trip to the Midwest. Before I left, we had had a brutal hot spell that killed most of my plants. Then we had rain, lots of rain with standing puddles in the back yard. When I got back from the trip my husband had discovered that the fig tree in a neighbor's yard had started to ripen. Meanwhile our own fig tree is not doing well. I planted a Mission fig because that's my favorite for eating but as I wander around the old neighborhoods in Phoenix I am realizing that all the old fig trees that I see are yellow figs. Here's some we picked, next to the flowers from the last CSA share until fall.

These figs are delicious when really really ripe. They are still mostly green but yellow on the bottom and very soft when they are ready to eat. Naturally the local birds do their best to get to them first but there are so many that there are plenty to share. The tree is about 40 feet high and so far we are just picking those we can reach by standing on the ground. Luckily they are not ripening all at once. I think these are the same kind of fig that I knew as a child in Fig Newtons.
Here is a shot of the garden as it looks now, after removing the dead plants. The basil in pots in the shade of our elm tree is doing well. When we had the super-hot weather, all the melons ripened at once, regardless of size, but now another crop of melons is forming. The melon plant in the background has two watermelons forming on it. I was surprised when the zucchini died but I think some shade would have protected it. The eggplants all ripened at once as well and the plants are still alive but not flowering again. The okra seems happy with the weather, especially now that it is more humid. It's time to start thinking of fall planting and maybe starting some seeds inside.
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