Saturday, July 7, 2007

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Does any one know what happened to the first 6 months of this year? One thing I know - Mickey and I reached the lofty age of 54. And another thing I know. People are still capable of change at that age, thank goodness. We've gravitated toward purchasing more locally grown foods, which fits in nicely with growing some of what we need right in our own backyard - with friends.

Mickey's taught me to appreciate food. She's known for her culinary creativity and good taste. I've learned to see in food and the culinary arts many of the most beautiful things: sharing, creativity, competency and accomplishment, seemingly endless variety, enjoyment, provision, experimentation and learning, culture and history, and the beauty of our and our plants' biology. Did our grandparents, who had to tend gardens out of necessity, think in these terms?

But back to weeds and the present state of our garden. Sidney's taken Stan and Terra to Missouri to see her grandparents. Mickey is out of town until Saturday to get a badly needed rest. And the garden's decided some things need harvesting. We'll start composting vegetables if they are not picked. Asterisks indicate relative availability.

Cucumbers **
Bush beans ***
Tomatoes - not yet, Penny
Turnips ***
Beets ***
Dill **
Peas - they're done
Lettuce - forget it
Hot banana peppers *
Other peppers - give it another week
Chard ****
Onions ***
Carrots ** - mainly for kids to dig
Eggplant (Japanese) **
Radishes - they're done for awhile
zucchini ***
scaloppini squash ***
acorn squash - maybe
tomatillos - not yet, but they look cool
potatoes - not yet, but we should plan a party for the kids

Other news: We just replanted some zucchini and more cucumbers (these are in case disease or bugs take out the existing plants). We tried more radishes, but they didn't like the warm weather. I planted more chard to have a larger source of summer greens. Edamame soybeans and fennel recently went in for fall harvest.

We've still not needed to use and chemicals. If (well, when) we do, we will indicate that with an orange or red flag in that row.

Continued weeding. I keep the garden pretty weed free to the point that visitors don't see many. Don't be too fooled. They're out there, you just have to be as fastidious as me to get juiced about killing them. The problem with allowing them to get big is that eventually they'll have to be pulled anyway and uprooting large weeds often disturbs the plants you are tending. Penny's mulch is in place and has greatly reduced the weeding and watering chores.
Securing the straw mulch. This is a simple job. Distribute boards/stakes/whatever on top of the mulch so the wind does not blow it to Anderson.
Watering. If we don't get rain on the 4th, we are back to hand watering. The tomatoes and peppers need water about every 4th day. Seedlings and cucumbers need it daily. Use the (warm) water in the trash can for the cucumbers. They dislike 55 degree well water.
Label the peppers for easy identification.
Plant pumpkins.
Tie up some of the tomatoes that are not in cages.

I will be home all day July 4th. But I don't need to be here for you to take part.

Warm regards,


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