July and August have been really difficult months for me ever since we moved to Cincinnati. Between the high temperatures, oppressive humidity, and droves of people out at nearly all hours, everything is just so… overwhelming.
This time of year, I’m usually looking forward to venturing back to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to escape the heat and people. With the current pandemic, however, we’re reluctant to make the trip up. Having no prospect of escape is making my usual “summer blues” even worse this year.
Perhaps it sounds silly, but the one thing I’m grasping onto to maintain my sanity right now is my garden.
Specifically, my tomatoes. Why tomatoes? I have no idea, truthfully. While I’ve had herbs and flowers before, this is my first year experimenting with growing food and it’s been especially fun watching my tomato plants grow from tiny sprouts to being as tall as I am. We have a few heirloom-type varieties (pictured above on the left) and a cherry tomato plant (above on the right) and all of them have tons of fruit and blooms in various stages of growth. I think we’re going to be freezing a lot and sharing more with our neighbors!
Also exciting: we finally have jalapenos starting! I’ve been admiring the blossoms for almost a month and was starting to wonder if they’d ever grow into peppers. Judging from the number of baby peppers and additional blossoms that keep popping up, I don’t think we’ll need to buy any for a while.
Being stuck inside for nearly four months straight because of the heat is, for me, the most difficult part of living in Cincinnati. Lately I’ve been spending most of my mornings sitting out on our newly built deck under the shade of our honeysuckle bush and admiring our edible plants, which are growing next to it (in a sunny area) in large, raised planters. Even if I can only stand being out for a few hours each day, I find it very soothing to watch green stuff grow while sipping on some coffee.
Now, if only I had a lake. And a bit more isolation.