The dark brown spots on the side of my mushroom patch are little shiitakes starting to grow.

The dark brown spots on the side of my mushroom patch are little shiitakes starting to grow.

The mushrooms are starting to grow. The patch lives beneath a plastic tent in a big white dish on my kitchen counter, where the light and temperature are just right. They need to be misted three times a day, making them nearly as much work as any of the pets, but unlike the pets, we will soon be able to start eating them.

Outside the garden is a mess. My kale leaves are all lacy, so something has been eating at them. The three peaches left on the tree had bacterial rot, and were not suitable to even nibble a wee taste. The cucumbers are coming in all deformed. The tomatoes are gone. If I hadn’t heard my favorite farmer telling another shopper at the market this weekend that this year is one of the worst he’d ever had for just about everything he’s growing, I’d be feeling really discouraged. But there’s nothing we can do about the wet, cold weather we’ve had this summer bey0nd making the most of what we can harvest.

The Swiss chard is looking good, though, and so is the basil, so at least we’ll have that to enjoy. Some of the new seedlings are coming in strong, so I will set my sights on a fall harvest.

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