Sunday, June 17, 2012

Independence Days Challenge, The Glory Days

We are having a wonderful stretch of fine weather. Swallow tail butterflies are drinking from the comfrey. The resident toad of the garden resides under the broccoli and hops out to say hello every time I walk down that row. There are all sorts of snakes in the grass. I made them a few stone homes around my gardens hoping that they would munch on a few slugs.

I heard someone say that the garden of their dreams is the one that imagine in January. I can agree. I have lost some zukes to cucumber beetles. The tomatoes are fighting off an onslaught of flea beetle. I can say that the soil has improved over last year. Everything is a little bigger and lush this year. But I still notice that some areas have some slow growth and other areas where the growth is uneven.  Building soil is a long term project that shows its improvements over a long time period. But I feel assured that I am on the right path.

Plant: more zukes, more cukes, more carrots, more chard, more kale, more beets.

Harvest: The last of spring spinach is picked. Green onions, swiss chard, cat nip, comfrey, daisy, plantain, chickweed, kale, lettuce, strawberries, rose petals.

Preserve: strawberry jam, strawberry/rhubarb wine, frozen strawberries, salve, rhubarb salsa, dried herbs, frozen spinach.

Local foods: Local Pork, eggs, strawberries. I also volunteer for a local community garden which grows food for low income seniors. I spent some time putting in some donated seedlings this week.

Eat the food: Garden green frittata, strawberry/rhubarb pie, sun teas from our own herbs.

Waste Not:  I am mulching with old leaves this year. My garden rows are mulched with hay but I mulch around the plants with leaves I rake up from the forest floor. These add some goodness to the soil as they break down. Tree's roots run deep and bring up lots of good minerals and such.  My sandy soil could use some extra hummus too. The leaves help with this as well.

Want not: Mark found a good stash of used cooking grease he can process for our car.  The diesel is working out ok. He is still trying to perfect the filtering system for cleaning the grease. He gets great mileage and only has to fill the car once a month. He drives many miles so we think we are doing pretty well with it.  I found a pair of winter boots for Evan at a yard sale. They'll fit him a a couple of years so I'll stash them away for later. They have liners and only cost a dollar. There was a 12 pack of kale at the community garden that looked like some deer had decimated. I was able to take them home and see if I could coax some life back into them.

Learn something new: I am taking some of my new herbal knowledge and putting it to use.  I found a substitute job at a local thrift store. I start tomorrow. I will just fill in for folks on vacation or who call in sick. I start tomorrow. But think I am going to stash some of the money I earn this summer for some classes at Blessed Maine Herbs.

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