Rain again. This has been the weather word, the takeaway from this growing season. A few years from now we'll be saying to each other, "Remember that awful summer of 2009?" Hopefully, we won't be saying, "Remember when it all started to go downhill?"
The awful effects of the rainy, cold summer, which seems to have transitioned to a rainy fall, have been numerous. Below-average harvests. Late blight, botrytis, powdery mildew, and other infestations. Plants failing to thrive. A breeding climate for mosquitoes. Lingering seasonal affective disorder. Ruined plans, and the list goes on. As a heavy downpour kept me indoors on Tuesday morning, I decided I had enough doom and gloom, so I considered the positive and started this list, easier now that most of my problems have been cleared away. And today I took some pretty photos of rain on some of my plants outside. I know many of you out there may find this a cruel joke, but there are reasons to like the rain:
1. The rain extended my lettuce harvest. What has been in past seasons a 2-week spell of round-the-clock salads and giveaways lasted about twice as long. I was able to keep some of it in the ground and harvest it as needed, and when it was all over, only a few heads had bolted.
2. Fewer weeds. No invasions of pigweed to slave away over. Not that the gardens were invasive-free--they just didn't take over as much.
3. I wasn't inundated with too many tomatoes that I had to foist upon my friends and family, who would in turn foist theirs upon me.
4. Less sun meant that a slowdown of my skin's aging process. Also money saved on sunscreen and beach parking.
5. With few weeds to pull and vegetables to haul, I had fewer back problems, thus spending less on ibuprofen and reducing my risk of needing physical therapy.
6. How could I almost forget this one? Lower water bills! Not to mention fewer times driving over to the Minton Stable Garden to water, so I reduced my carbon footprint.
7. A chance to see if the waterproof camping equipment lived up to its promise. For the most part, it did.Feel free to add to this list or throw a few blighted tomatoes at me for even suggesting it.