September is almost over and you can finally feel it. It’s “cooled off” to only the high nineties most days, no more the 100 degree plus days of July and August, and we’ve finally had some rain.
The plants all look in better shape, with less wilting and more new growth pretty much all around. A couple of rain storms and a couple more “accidentally leaving the sprinkler on all night incidents” will do that for you. Please don’t think I’m blithe about wasting water- though maybe I am a little. I resent the emphasis on residential water restrictions, when commercial, agricultural, and frac operations suffer under no such regulations even during droughts. Two wrongs don’t make a right, I know, but since residential use is only about 8% of the water drawn from the aquifer I don’t feel like the solution lies in restricting residential use either, you know? Besides. it’s not like I’m TRYING to leave the sprinkler on all night. To solve this suddenly recurring issue, the two forty-somethings in the house have discussed and resolved to set alarms when they set the sprinklers out. Now to just remember to set the timers…
In other news the county fair is in town, so we’ve all been indulging in pork chops on a stick, expensive carnival games and rides, and baby chick petting tables the past couple of days.
It is one of my very favorite events of the year. It’s either hot or raining-those are the only two options. So the conditions are always either pretty intense heat and dust or cool and muddy with pouring rain and leaking roofs in the livestock barns- I’ll take it either way, honestly.
I love the homestead barns with arts and crafts and baking and horticulure entries. The livestock barns with animals and all the different kinds of chickens (a personal livestock favorite). And the carnival, with the youngest on the carousel- that brings to the forefront times with all three of my children at the same age, in the same place, and overlaps the memories into a blur of color, lights, and toddler smiles.
Every submission earlier in the week into the Homestead divisions gets you a free entry pass to the fair, so the older girls baked cookie bars, we all painted some paintings, and we entered the ONLY thing blooming around here these days, the ‘Fireworks’ gomphrenea, into the cut flower category.
Back to the cut flower and horticulture division though- I loooove to enter and loooove to bitch about the judging. They awarded a tricolor ribbon to a bird of paradise plant with a FAKE flower stuck in it one time! They seem to have no awareness of the difficulty of growing one plant vs another. Or what is rarer, or… you get the idea. Oh it is up there as one of my favorite things, that righteous indignation at the way ribbons are awarded.
This year I was sputtering- the cut flower tricolor ribbon went to a mixed flower arrangement. And yes, that’s cool and all, but your own rules CLEARLY state no mixed flowers! One type of flower per entry! GAH, what the hell, horticulture judges!
Every year I say I should join the fair and volunteer in that area… but if I do that, I then wouldn’t get to bitch about the judging so I’m conflicted. Maybe next decade.
The master gardeners’ nicely had a booth out with free plants- the toddler picked out a purple fall aster and we got 2 fans of bearded iris- mystery color and unknown name. They’ll go around the shed once we get those beds designed and in. My money is on the irises being purple, though white would be fine too. I’m just really hoping they aren’t that weirdly translucent pink or the “you just grew a brown flower on purpose” bronze. But even if they are… the County Fair irises are here to stay because I truly do love a passalong plant.
In other, not really blog worthy, news I just got a new phone so my pictures for the blog should be improving because the camera on this thing… wow. You got me, Apple. You got me.
The calamondin, my-orange-skinned-lime-from-the-Philippines-that’s-desperately-in-need-of-a-better-common-name-but-what-are-you-going-to-do, is setting fruit at a fevered clip. It is probably the easiest and least demanding of all three of the citrus I grow. (The others being the key lime and the Meyer’s lemon.) The giant swallowtail caterpillars seem to prefer it as well- it is favored host plant, followed by the key lime.
I’ve already been looking up what to do with all of them, because for the first time the toddler hasn’t been picking the plant bare and eating the fruit whole. Turns out the peel is edible, but she surely found that out for herself before google ever told me. The seeds though… Well just count it as fiber maybe? Definitely roughage… Anyway.
There is a marmalade that looks good that I’ve bookmarked, but the one that has me really excited is the calamondin bundt cake. (HELLO adulthood with that sentence, amiright?) Recipe I plan to use. I also bought the bundt cake pan for it today- something I’ve weirdly been looking into extensively the past week but have months before I’ll actually need- classic. I have some VERY strong feelings on these things, turns out.
So, in spite of the fact that I kinda hate everything about baking, look at me and a bundt cake pan I have serious preferences about sitting on my counter- just waiting for the calamondin to ripen.