Friday, July 11, 2008

Hot garden, Fall garden

Oh so hot today! 100+. So hot the dogs want to stay in and so do we.
Last week, while volunteering at Cure I found myself thinning seedlings for their fall crops. I hadn't been planning on planting for a couple weeks at least, but decided that it was time. Ann Cure's comment was "It's not too late!" So this week I:
-Purchased more fluorescent fixtures and seedling trays and moved my seedling starting area down into the basement to improve odds that my cool season seeds will germinate and grow well (much cooler downstairs as we run the air conditioner rarely and it gets quite warm in other parts of the house).
-Planted in 72-cell seedling flats under lights down in the basement:
kohlrabi (more to start next week), Swiss chard (4 kinds), kale (6 kinds- 2 ornamental), broccoli (3 kinds), corn salad, spinach (2 kinds), claytonia (miner's lettuce), collard greens, fennel, wild arugula, lovage (it may be late, but I want to establish this as a perennial in my yard for the celery flavored stalks and potential medicianal uses), onions, cabbage (small, savoy), pak choi, endive, garlic chives (another plant to establish in the yard and in this case to provide a garlic flavored green early in the spring before the garlic scapes are up), beets (a mixture of types), orach and turnip greens.
-Harvested: beets, sweet onions (with tops), broccoli, cauliflower, chard, amaranth, orach. Next year I really should plant more broccoli and cauliflower as both are wonderful. The broccoli plants produce big side shoots if left in the ground after the first stalk is harvested.

-Prepped: Continued to read The Omnivore's Dilemma.

-Worked on local food systems: Volunteered twice at Cure Farm with youngest son. This week we harvested cherry tomatoes briefly and then spent hours weeding the tomatoes. This required less hoeing and more close work around plants and drip tape. I identified thistles, mallow, bind weed, purslane, lamb's quarters and grasses. Volunteer vetch at the farm is blooming.

-Tried and cooked something new: Tasted lamb's quarters and purslane in my garden. Hunted down and ate all the lamb's quarters in my yard as they are very tasty. Tried braising some amaranth as it's too bitter tasting for me raw. Once cooked a little the amaranth is very tasty so I hope my seedlings in the garden grow well. Re-learned the art of corn-tortilla making using a tortilla press and cast-iron griddle. Found a recipe for chapati on the Internet, using just whole wheat flour (that I can get from Weld county- Wheatland Farms), a little salt and oil. Very easy using the bread machine to do the kneading and simple to roll out with a rolling pin. Also very tasty!

-Built: trellis for raised bed #3. Used damaged wool to spin a compostable garden twine for the beans to grow on and used stakes cut from the stalks holding plumes of an ornamental tall grass plant in our garden last fall. We continue to prep. the soil and remove rocks from raised bed #4, although Russell is doing most of this work on his own, propelled by the fact that he earns video time by doing this. We have generally slowed down because of the heat...

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