Sunday, August 14, 2005

Expectant pause

It's still the down time right now, waiting for things to produce and die. I've picked a few small tomatos at home, but that's about it. Waiting waiting waiting.

Also, I'm getting ready to sew seeds for fall crops, but I've put it off 'cause it's so hot and I'm not looking forward to all of the watering I'll have to do for the seedlings.

At Caruthers, my fence sunflowers are coming into full bloom, and they look very nice. It all worked out more or less as planned, which is quite satisfying. I've cleared some other spots around the yard for a late season planting of larger sunflowers. Hope they do as well as last year!

Otherwise, not a lot to report. Just waiting.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

End of beans

Not actually sure when I did this, but at Reed...

I pulled out all of the rangeybed of miscelaneous beans and cleared the plot. Someone had come along and taken all of my scarlet runner beans. The fuckers! Somebody also decided to dig up my *decorative* elephant garlics to get bulbs, I guess. Since I let them go to flower, there were none of any size and they just threw down to plants where they yanked them out. Fuckers fuckers fuckers! I mean really, digging something up is going way beyond sneaking off with a tomato or two.

In the place where I'd previously had the red potatos and right next to it the compost heap, I cleared away everything and made a large, well composted plot. The compost holder was moved to the rangey bean plot. It gets the least light and casts the least shade over there; so that's a better spot for it anyway.

All told, it was a lot of work, but with rewards. I found four more red potatos that I'd missed before, and I dug out a huge mound of beautiful compost for my new bed of greens.

Mystery squash
My delicata squashes are not what I expected. The plants have gone crazy and are taking over the world, but the fruits they are producing are clearly mixed with something else, maybe small pumpkins from the look of them, which might prove tasty. Nonetheless, it's going to be an interesting dining experiment whenever they're finally ready.

I have only a small, struggling row of everbearing raspberries, but they reliably produce a few berries every time I go to the garden. I've started collecting them in one container in the freezer, and I'm sure I'll end up with enough for a desert eventually.

It's full-on blackberry season. I've already picked about 3/4 of a gallon, and eaten plenty as well. So good! It's prickly, time consuming work though. Still, I'm determined to get enough for jam this year.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Autumn garden prep... Already!

Well, yesterday at Reed I watered a lot, and in the time between moving the hose, I pulled out all of the arugula plot, weeded it & some others, and picked a large bag full of white bean pods in the bed where I'd thrown the seeds earlier and then forgot about them. Later, I sat on the porch in the warm evening air and shelled beans, just like I used to do at my grandparents' house in the Georgia countryside when I was a kid. Shelling beans is a very zen activity, and it makes me wonder why all farmers aren't infinitely wise.

The clearing of the plots was in preparation for puting in my fall crops! Already! Jesus, time flies. I'm mostly planning on greens, such as collards, more turnips, kale, chard, but I might go for some root vegetables as well. Carrots? Potatos? Don't know how well those would work. I might also try brussel sprouts, since I like them, and they like the cold.

Also going on at the garden, I picked the last of the snow peas last week, but I'm leaving some on the vine to fully mature. I want to get some seeds out of them. They did so incredibly well, I want to grow more next year.

The delicata & acorn squashes are off like gangbusters. In just a couple of weeks, they;ve transformed from struggling seedlings to voracious spreading vines. They're also covered with small beginning fruits. Very exciting!

All of the tomatos are full of fruits and nearing ripeness.

My pattypan squash & zucchini are getting large & will hopefully produce soon.

In the same bed where the white beans grew, there are many of what I think are scarlet runner beans, which are, like, purple & red mottled pinto type beans--nice to look at. Lots of pods almost ready to pull.