Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hi, everyone.

Last Saturday we had a wonderful time harvesting potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, etc. Having the children here made our day. They were actually very helpful and they obviously enjoyed themselves. Jason photographed the whole affair and some of the bounty. And, we planted spinach, radishes, lettuce, mustard spinach (we'll see what that is) and beets. We still have more room in the small garden, so if you want to try something else, go ahead.

Hot weather inhibits bloom formation, which soon thereafter results in fewer fruit. That's why we haven't had lots of cucumbers and bush beans. With the rain and the return of 80 degree weather, the blooms are back.

BTW, we got 4" of rain in less than 24 hours. It's amazing that it did not wash away all the newly planted seeds.

It's clearly tomato season now. Mickey is constantly in one of the steps to make tomato sauce. If you would like to learn to do this, she would be glad to show you. I think "the girls" are planning an event on Wednesday or Thursday.

Here's this week's status:
New! yellow summer squash** try the plant in the small garden
Cucumbers ** I think they will be back
Bush beans **
Tomatoes *****
Beets **** 2nd planting is nice.
Hot banana peppers ***** These are marked with a red string on the cages
Other peppers **** Green, red and purple bell peppers, pablano, relleno, pimento, jalapeƱo, & mild banana.
Chard **** (2nd planting, very good greens.)
Onions * (all harvested and drying)
Radishes just replanted
zucchini ** try the plant in the small garden
scaloppini squash *** harvest when about 3 or 4 inches across
tomatillos **** we've enjoyed some verde salsa! they sweeten as they ripen. I like them raw.
potatoes *** About 2/3 have been harvested. They are really nice.

We are holding some things in the house or garage. So if ask if you would like something that you do not see.

This year Mickey and I have been thinking about our food culture. I know we are way over the top with what we are doing this year, but in a historical sense its not unusual at all. We are odd only by today's standards - by today's US standards. In any other time or place this would not be so unusual. The main difference is that others have gardened out of necessity; we can do it for leisure.

It's also clear that having a garden is of no use unless you know what to do with the produce. And, there seems to be a gulf between those that know and do not know. I'm not so gifted. Thankfully, Mickey is. But I bet that anyone can learn the basics. Then, once you master the first steps, who knows, you may find you have more of the knack that you thought.

I don't eat out much, but I have a couple of times this past week. The salad I got both times was so representative of problems with our food culture. Between green and pure white, the lettuce was far to the wrong end of the spectrum. Too bad, because the nutritional content is associated with deep colors of green - or orange (carrots), blue (blueberries) or red (beets). White is just water. If iceberg lettuce is inexpensive, what we are accustomed to, and can be slathered with dressing, it's what we may settle for if we don't think about our choices.

I've also been watching the prices of vegetables in the supermarkets. They are out of reach of many. Why is this?



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