May 16, 2011

Independence Day Update, 5/16

 DSC_5984 We participate in Sharon Astyk’s Independence Days Challenge.  Even though she isn’t posting these updates in a while, I really like the format for a weekly review. 

The weather was hot and dry most of the week with a little rain and cooling off towards the end of the week.  I was glad to see some rain, as I was nearing the end of the rain barrel. 

Parts of the garden are growing nicely, while other crops are struggling a bit this year.  The beets aren’t coming in like I would like, which is unfortunate.  I’m hoping I have enough to pickle, and I need to plant a succession crop of them.  Luckily, I do have access to some that are in my dad’s garden, and I’m hoping those do better than ours did.  The blueberry bushes are weighed down with berries.  The earlier varieties are turning a dusky lavender, and I can’t wait for that deep blue purple tint.  The bok choy is already starting to bolt, and I’m afraid I won’t be able to enjoy much of it this year.  I knew I should have planted it much earlier than I did, but there are some years that you can only do as much as you can do.  Oh well!  The Chinese cabbages are gorgeous and, knock on wood, the regular green cabbages do not seem to have been too eaten up by worms thus far.  I haven’t noticed any loopers around that bed, and I’m hoping that is a good sign.  The jalapenos are already producing while the bell peppers seem almost stunted in their growth.  The peas are FINALLY starting to produce, and the green garlic scapes are winding in coils out of their stalks like swirls of calligraphy.  I feel almost like a garden fairy as I flutter between different plants and parts of the garden seeing what each has to show me from day to day. 

Plant—I planted a little more basil and another tomato, a few more daylilies and some more surprise lilies

Planted to date--

Super Sugar Snap Peas, 7 tomatoes (brandywine, grape, Early Girl, Better Boy), Choko Baby bok choy, One Kilo Chinese cabbage, 4 eggplant, Blue Lake Pole Beans, Christmas Lima Beans, Kestral Baby Beets, Touchstone Gold Beets, Chioggia Beets, Bull’s Blood Beets, Waltham 29 Broccoli, Rouge d’Hiver Romaine Lettuce, Matina Sweet Butterhead Lettuce, Galia Melon, Gooligan White Baby Pumpkin, Gourmet Rainbow Radish Mix, Gigante Inverno Spinach, Cavili Zucchini Squash, Milano Black Zucchini Squash, Supersett Yellow Crookneck squash, Sweet Beauty Watermelon, Marketmore cucumber, Genovese Basil, dill, flat leaf parsley, Jenny Lind melons, Butternut Squash, Garlic (planted in the fall), yellow and red onions, 8 bell peppers, 6 jalapeno peppers, 4 cabbage plants, 4 broccoli plants, daylilies, surprise lilies, sedum, 4 o’clocks, hollyhocks, red cockscomb, moonflower, zinnias, sunflower mix, marigold, butterfly flower garden seed mix, thyme, chives, carrots, coriander, horseradish, garlic chives, Peace Vine tomato, another type of basil (friend gave it to me).

Harvest—We continue to harvest salad greens in full force, eating and sharing as much as we can before they start to bolt.  The radishes continue to be a delight and it is so fun to bring some of them to my dad for him to enjoy.  He said with a grin, “I was hoping I might get some more of those!”  The garlic scapes will be ready to harvest in a few days if not today, and I’ll be sharing those with a friend who doesn’t have any.  Spring onions, edible flowers, and flower arrangements continue to be harvested. 

Preserve—I didn’t make it to the strawberry patch this week.  I’m disappointed and hoping that I will be able to catch another harvest before they are gone. 

Waste Not/Reduce Waste— Hmmm, I can’t think of much this week that is new for us.  We compost, recycle, and try to reduce our consumption as much as we can.  If you’ve read for a while, you know that we keep track of our utility bill from month to month and year to year.  This last month was our lowest for that period in usage since we’ve been recording (both in dollars and electricity, water, and gas used). 

Want Not/Prep/Storage—Can’t think of much new in this category this week.  It was a busy one for us, and we kind of did the “same old, same old.” 

Building Community Food Systems—Shared salad greens with a friend.  Shared from our stockpile for East TN Disaster Relief.  Also gave some toiletries to someoe I know who needed them.  Continue to support local farmers at the farmers markets.  Continue to prepare the meals for the children on Wednesday nights at church, and I’m using coupons to start stockpiling supplies for VBS and the Youth Mission Trip this summer.  Other than that, not too much new.

Eat the Food—Salad, lots of salad.  We had a gorgeous one on Monday with orange slices, beautiful thinly sliced steak, feta from the farmers market, pickled beets, pecans, and organic salad dressing.  MMMMMMM, good!

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