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Reveling in a rainy garden

We'e been so starved for rain these past five or six years, I was starting to forget what it was like.

The past two months, we've had a series of nice, durable, gentle rains.  Heavy enough to soak but not to wash out. Frequent enough to foster growth, but not so frequent as to drown the seedlings. For us farmers, it's like having a self-gardening plot: we just have to go out every week or so and ooh and ahh over how fast everything is getting big.

Of all the gardens we've ever planted, I think this one has been the most rewarding.  The conditions -- timing, moisture, sun and season -- have come together perfectly.  We have plenty of mulch down so the weeds aren't even raising their heads.

We grew cabbage one summer (probably not the best season for that) and it seemed to take forever to see anything cabbage like. It's too early to see any embryonic cauliflowers, but the transformation from one week to the next is dramatic.

The lettuce is growing so well that we're able to harvest it for the dinner table!

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We worried about when to harvest the butternut squash. There's no greening, yellowing, reddening, deepening or other particular sign of ripeness once the squash grow to a certain size. Google Extension Service suggested harvesting before the first frost.  In California, that would be the day before Never.
In Nature's wisdom, the plants told us. The huge green vines that had sprung up on their own, just turned brown and shrank back on their own, leaving six heavy butternut squashes dangling from their red and yellow net bags. (We'd strung them up to keep them away from the wetness of the earth and the mouths of the snails.) We cut them down and divided the harvest.
My first butternut squash, I simply seeded, roasted and scraped the flesh from the shell. Butternut is bland, a lovely gold color, but -- yawn -- not much flavor.  But it was fresh and home grown. That imparts something wonderful to it, if you have the stillness and focus to be aware.