The rainy season in the year I moved to South Innai (2012) was disastrous. The downpours were torrential and though this area escaped mostly unscathed, neighboring towns experienced deadly floods. The next year brought a cold spring, a rainy season that barely started before it was over, then a long dry summer during which the garden seemed to go into hibernation. The plants didn’t die (I carried too many buckets of water for that to happen) but they stopped producing. Then when the weather finally cooled, they perked up again and we harvested eggplants, peppers and bitter melon well into autumn, it seemed.
This year the weather has been all-through a treat. Spring was mild, the rainy season brought bountiful downpours that didn’t overwhelm, and summer’s heat has not been punishing. Today was especially pleasant: yesterday’s rain refreshed the whole area, leaving it cool and brightening the green of the rice paddies and hills.
It is maybe a subjective thing to say, but the climate of this area seems nearly ideal. Spring and autumn are glorious, winter is mild but strong enough so you feel it, and summer, well, summer is too hot for me, to be honest, but I guess you can’t have everything. One of the best parts, for me, is that vegetables grow nearly year round. Spring planting actually starts in winter, since you can start potatoes, spinach and other such plants in early March. And veggies that start in the fall often are available through the winter. This year when we left for a trip in early February, the broccoli I planted in September hadn’t grown by very much. By the time we got back, the heads were big and we ate broccoli into April.