Archive for July 22nd, 2010

Independence Days: Finding Space

Sharon July 22nd, 2010

The problem is that all the new garden beds are not yet built.   This makes it very hard to fit in my fall crops, as planned.  Why are they not yet built?  Well, because I was building a buck pen, so that Frodo and Cadfael, our slightly smelly gentlemen could have their own spot.  Why didn’t I build the buck pen earlier, so I could have the garden beds ready?  Well, because I was building a second kidding pen to accomodate the very close due dates of our goats.  Why didn’t I build the kidding pen earlier?  Well, because I was building the herb production beds.  Why didn’t I do those earlier?  Well, I was away visiting my family.  So there’s definitely a way to blame it on my Mom ;-) .

The late cukes are where the peas were.  The mesclun mix, instead of bolting, has actually gone on producing beautifully, so I can’t take that out.  The herb beds are already crammed tight – half of what’s in them is going to come out again and be moved into other beds, also not yet built.  I had another herb bed, but it turned out the dogs really liked to lie on it, and dogs are not good mulch, just in case you didn’t know.  Everything there had to come out  – I may still be able to make it work, but now I have to raise the beds up.

The green beans I hoped would be ready to come out aren’t yet, so I don’t have their space, and I have already cut down on zucchini plants – one needs extras in July, but by August, they aren’t worth it.  The sweet corn will be out soonish, but not yet.  So what’s a girl to do, but dig, dig, dig.

I’ve also got to set up another rabbit cage – the little doe that came out of Rosemary’s last kindling needs to be moved out before Rosemary has her second batch of babies.  I’m planning to buy another doe and buck this year – maybe from she of the bunnies if she’s got stock (hi Michelle), but I want to check out the fair first in a couple of weeks.

We’re harvesting all the good stuff  – the one advantage of a hot, dry summer is all the stuff I usually struggle with is doing really well.  My first eggplant is ready.  I’m getting enough tomatoes for salads, if not yet for canning.  The basil is exploding, and it is time for pesto making.  The hot peppers are booming – yay – speaking as a serious pepper-head, this is a real novelty and a joy. Hot sauce and salsa, here I come!

The rain hasn’t been ample, but it has mostly been enough to get along, and we’ve got more coming.  I hear an inch tomorrow – woohoo!  I’m trying to keep up with the herbs, and while they don’t dry quite as fast as I’d like in the drying room (previously known as the mudroom) the quality is great – green, fragrant, perfect.   

The boys are excited about naming all the baby goats.  We’ve decided that this year’s theme will be herbs and flowers.  We’re keeping the best of Frodo’s boys as a buckling, since Frodo is getting on in goat years and we’re a bit paranoid about losing his brilliant genetics.  The boys quite innocently suggested that we could name a buck “Goldenrod” or “Mandrake” and I admit, Eric and I had a good laugh on that. 

It is time to order my garlic and fall bulbs – I always get ornamental bulbs as part of my birthday present (in a couple of weeks) and this year we’re planning on radically expanding our garlic production.  The rest of the garlic is just about ready to harvest, and that’s tomorrow’s job.  The major challenge here is keeping the garlic out of Eli’s hands – he loves the long stems to play with.

I’m going to set up a segment of this blog to show farm products for sale and goat genetics and things, if I can pull it off, and ideally lots of pictures!  All of this is coming just as soon as I actually get time for it – but that will have to be soon, because there’s a nagging feeling in the back of my brain that I have a book contract to deal with at some point ;-) .  Best get things done soon.

Plant something: Echinacea, eclipta, mesclun, turnips, beets, kale, broccoli, peas, scallions, lettuce, arugula, daikon, kohlrabi.

Harvest something: Tomatoes, eggplant, basil, mesclun, zucchini, summers quash, green beans, carrots, daikon, new potatoes, bok choy, lettuce, meadowsweet, yarrow, mongolian yarrow, holy basil, mint, curry plant, sage, plums, raspberries, blueberries, eggs.

Preserve something: Dried many herbs, made blueberry-honey, blueberry jam and blueberry crisp filling.  Dried blueberries.  Made rhubarb sauce.  Dried peaches.  Made red currant jelly.  Saved pea seed.  Froze eggs.

Waste Not: Cleaned out the old stable for its transition to buck and winter poultry housing, and put the remaining old bedding in the garden.  Otherwise, the usual composting, mending, etc…

Want Not: Nothing new

Build Community Food Systems: Spoke at a hearing on a local community garden proposal – I think they’re going to get one.  Began pestering folk at my shul about setting up a community garden onsite.

Eat the Food: Making a lot of potato salads – I don ‘t like mayo, so they tend to be with a mustardy vinagrette instead – I really like the one with capers, garlic and last year’s dried tomatoes.

How about you?

Sharon