Saturday, July 5, 2008

Days of beets, beans and amaranth

I'm posting this late, the date should be 6-26-08

This week I volunteered at Cure Farm (the CSA we're members of) on Thursday morning as usual. We had a crew of about 12 volunteers who planted melons and weeded chard and tomatoes. It was quite hot.

At home I:

-Transplanted beet and chard seedlings into new bed #3, weeded, put away most row covers, washed plastic for one hoop house, turned over the spring planted cover crop (vetch, field peas, oats), hand watered as needed, tied up tomatoes, added a couple of feet of walkway between new beds #2 and #3, considered where to put Greek amaranth seedlings. I also pulled out Seven-top turnip green plants. I have a couple Siberian kale plants still growing. One has gone to seed (little yellow flowers on tall stalks). Tons of bees on flowering milkweed in the garden and in the meadow beyond. Based on what I'm learning at Cure, I now recognize two more edible "weeds" in my garden- purslane and lamb's quarter. The lamb's quarter is really very tasty actually.

My greatest garden impression this week is of those plants that are growing rapidly to maturity right now, and which need to be planted either now or on an ongoing basis. As the weather is quite warm and the soil with it, I'm putting in beans everywhere I can. They germinate and emerge in about 3 days in most cases. My established amaranth seedlings, although slow to start, are now growing rapidly, so those I had as transplants needed to go into the ground as quickly as possible. Beets are amazing right now. Beets at both Cure and the farmer's market are just beautiful and so tasty. We've started harvesting our own and they're about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. The leaves have a little damage in places by and unidentified and very tiny bug, but they're tasty anyway (as are the stalks). As Cure will be harvesting beets in August, I decided that even though they are a cool season crop, I'll continue to plant them and find out how it goes...


Well, summer has definitely arrived. 99 degrees today by about noon when I got back from the farmer's market on my bike. As my commute to the market is on the Boulder Creek Path, I was impressed with the volume and swiftness of the water coming down the creek. Many people were out with dreams of drifting down the creek but I think many had also not considered the relative safety of the idea....

Last night we attended a party in Nederland and enjoyed their fireworks display. Bedtime was late for us all, and I admit that when I awoke with the plan to go to the farmer's market, it was very hard for me to drag myself out of bed to do so. I also really, really wanted to take the minivan to the farmer's market because I didn't want to ride my bike downtown. As I lay very comfortably in bed, I thought about the cost of the fuel, the potential cost of parking the car and of course the cost to the planet. I got up and rode my bike to the market.

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