We had another cold spell just after my last Independence Days Update, and I was glad that I had delayed planting. It was nice to have a few colder days to cool off the house. Other than a short test after moving some duct work and one half of a day of AC when we were working and it was super hot, we haven’t needed to use it this season. When things were so hot so early in the year we were afraid that we might be running it more often, but that just proves that you never know what will happen until it happens with East TN weather.
I realized when buying plants this weekend that gardening is an easy way to use some energy to get our home in order. With the bathroom remodel fully underway, the inside of the house is a little bit of
organized semi-organized chaos. By focusing some of my attention outdoors it makes me feel like I’m doing something to bring order to our home. If the inside doesn’t feel as comfortable and relaxing, then at least I can get the outside closer to being that way.
Above you can see a photo of the vegetable garden. The peas are starting to flower, and we look forward to enjoying them straight from the vines. The bok choy and Chinese cabbages are starting to fill out and they just might make it to eating size before the heat zaps them. I planted them a lot later than I normally would have, and I’ll be pleased with whatever they yield. I’ll pick the first of the spinach and lettuce later today, as it is starting to become bigger. When looking at the garlic, I realize that I should have planted a lot more (I had it, just didn’t get it in the ground). The asparagus bed (rear left in the photo) has yielded quite well this year and is just now starting to thin some. The radishes (in the rear right bed on the photo) have been so abundant that I’ve been able to share some with neighbors. Some of our broccoli overwintered, and I’ve been tickled to pick a little here and there to add to various dishes. Unfortunately not a single carrot decided to pop out of the ground. Maybe it is just as well, Hubby found rabbit burrows near one of our purple plums and anyone who has read the story of Peter Rabbit knows how that would have turned out.
Lately I’ve been reflecting on the saying, “You reap what you sow” a lot. I’m rereading the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People with Hubby, and in the chapter about proactive people this message rings true. Then when reading a magazine talking about health, diet, and organic gardening, the phrase is again emphasized. Looking at our own little garden plot and how I could have very easily planted more garlic and never did makes me think about how true the saying is in so many areas of life. So (pun intended) I am trying to sow more—more love and friendship to those whom I care about, more seeds in the garden in looking towards the future, more healthy meals for our family, more exercise and sunshine for a healthy body and mind… Sowing—tis the season!
Now for the Independence Days Update:
Plant something: I planted the first round of beans (Blue Lake Pole Beans and Christmas Lima Beans). I’ll add more in the next couple of weeks to fill in spots in the teepee areas. A couple of tomatoes, 4 bell peppers, 2 jalapenos, some of the leftover cucumber seeds from last year (Marketmore from FedCo), and 3 hills of zucchini. I’m not even half way finished with the planting, but the beauty of the Independence Days Update is that if you plant a little here and a little there it seems less like a chore.
Harvest something: Asparagus, radishes, green onions, flowers for arrangements, chives, parsley, and broccoli
Preserve something: I made the first trip to pick strawberries and have canned a couple of batches of jam, along with freezing and dehydrating some.
Waste not: A friend at church passed some hand-me-downs to our daughter, and when we opened the bag to see the cutest cowgirl boots ever it was so exciting. We shopped the church rummage sale, added to our children’s book library, and bought a few books for another friend. Used bamboo for teepees in the garden instead of purchasing new cages. Spurred by Money Saving Mom’s recent organization posts I’ve been cleaning out at least 7 things a day from our home. Some go into the garage sale pile and some go to friends or relatives who could use them.
Want Not: Nothing new in this category.
Eat the Food: STRAWBERRIES! Lots and lots of strawberries. Strawberry popsicles, strawberry and spinach salad, strawberries plain, strawberries in yogurt… Our daughter said yesterday as I was putting some on the table for lunch, “Strawberries again??” I remember somewhere in the Animal, Vegetable, Miracle book the author wrote about a similar experience with fruit—the luxury of eating as much as you want and almost reaching the point of tiring of them. Then the season ends and as soon as they are gone you start to miss them.
Build community food systems: I passed some radishes to our neighbor. A church friend brought us about 30 or so small banty eggs. They are so cute when served sunny side up.
Skill up: Not much in this category.