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.
After a very dry spell in our area with temperatures in the mid to upper nineties, we were blessed with some rain. When I left an appointment and looked out the window to see the rain pouring down, all I could think was, “Thank you Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you Lord!” Earlier that same day I had completely emptied the rain barrel and had a sense of doom about having done so. God provides, though!
The spinach had all bolted last week and I pulled what we could use and added the rest to the compost pile. I could have collected seeds but I had interplanted some cucumbers and peppers and wanted them to have some room to grow. I noticed on Saturday when I picked the Romaine that it and the butterhead lettuce had started to also bolt. I’ll need to use the rest of it in the next day or so or let it go to seed.
The dry hot weather didn’t make the peas happy. Last week we picked all of the peas on the vines and then let them go to seed. We’ll wait for the peas to dry and pull them to make room for more beans. We didn’t get as heavy of a pea harvest this year, but at least I have a few cups in the freezer that I managed to blanch and freeze a few weeks back.
Plant—Nothing planted during the last two weeks.
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—the first of the squash—This year I planted Caveli Zucchini and they are beautiful! Such a pure shade of light green with a more delicate flavor. They were early to sprout and early to produce as compared to the other zucchinis that I put in the garden this year, and I’ll most definitely be adding them to my yearly plantings. Also harvested: carrots, jalapenos, lettuces, dill, flowers for arranging, peas, spinach, Chinese cabbage, green onions, broccoli, kale, beet greens, and the last of the radishes.
Preserve—chopped green onions and froze them
Waste Not/Reduce Waste— Worked in the kitchen at VBS. We used real plates, cups, bowls and silverware to reduce waste.
Want Not/Prep/Storage—Added mulch to the garden beds to help hold in moisture and reduce need for weeding.
Building Community Food Systems—Prepared meals for VBS all week. This year our numbers were down a bit and we served approximately 60-65 children per night and another 20 or so helpers. I have asked the youth pastor to consider hosting VBS later in the summer so that we might be able to use fresh produce from congregation members’ gardens (cucumber and tomato slices, etc).
Eat the Food—After a week of VBS food, I was so happy to prepare a meal at home. We had sirloin (from the steer we bought from friends early in the year) that was cubed and skewered and Caveli squash that was also skewered, marinated and grilled. I boiled some red potatoes from the farmers market and added some organic butter and dill from the garden after draining them. I steamed some broccoli from the farmers market and added a bit of salt and a little organic butter to it. I made a salad with lettuces, carrots, and green onions from the garden, some pickled beets I made last year, and some eggs that a friend gave me. All but the salad dressing, a bit of celery, butter and the marinade was local. YUM!