As anyone living in a Western, Industrialized culture, there are so many questions about what will or will not produce optimal health and wellness. Our goal should be not just to survive, but to thrive. To live vibrantly. The purpose of this blog is to document my family's attempts at improving our quality of life and encourage us all to begin making the little changes that will protect our health and the health of future generations.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I think it's time for a brief garden update! Back in February I posted about getting my garden started early since it had been such a warm winter. Here is the list I had hoped to get planted in early spring:
Potatoes Lettuce Radishes Garlic Leeks Onions Salsify Broccoli Kale
I managed to get all of those things planted, except the leeks and garlic. Despite what the packaging from the garlic I bought last year said, I really do think it's best to plant garlic in the fall. It might grow if you plant it in the springtime, but Autumn is better. I didn't even bother to buy any garlic seed when it was out this year (WHY do they only sell it in the spring if it's best planted in the fall?!), and that worked out to be an excellent decision, as a friend of ours dug up part of his massive garlic patch to give to us. We have been using the bulbs for cooking and I saved all the seed for sowing in the fall. I am excited! I plan on planting a garlic barrier all around my garden. He gave me enough seed to probably get two sides well covered, and I'll do the other two sides the following year. Exciting! I'm a garlic freak. :)
I harvested tons of radishes this spring, but most of them were too tough to eat. We spent some time visiting my family in Texas around the time they should have been harvested and extended our trip once we were there, and it was just a little too long for my poor radishes to go. We ate what we could and tossed the rest, and I let a few continue to grow so I could harvest my own radish seeds!
My potatoes are doing very poorly. I think this is my fault because I thought for a while that the sprinkler was reaching them, but it wasn't. For anyone who lives under a rock and doesn't know, we've been having a severe drought and haven't seen more than a few drops of rain in 2-3 months now I think. Combined with temperatures that are slightly above average and you have some seriously struggling gardens (and yards and forests, and lawn mower repairmen). My one potted tomato is constantly curled up and shriveling despite the fact that I do water it often.
So yes, I have tomatoes too. They're not doing nearly as well as my tomatoes did last year, despite the fact that bugs have been a nearly non-existent problem (praise the Lord for that blessing!) I also planted cucumbers, yellow summer squash, swiss chard, and Piel De Sapo or "Toad Skin Melon".
Toad Skin Melon in Progress
My kale is still going strong and we've been eating kale for months now. Love me some kale! I even got to sell a little bit of my kale to some ladies at church and that was a huge blessing because I really needed a little extra money that week for groceries! So it was perfect timing, as usual. God always brings us what we need just when we need it!
This week I am hoping to plant some more lettuce for the fall garden, and then a couple weeks after I'll plant more kale, radishes, chard, and hopefully some carrots! Hopefully someday I'll get a cold frame, too so we can have lettuce even further into the cold months!
As soon as my cucumbers are big enough to harvest, I'll be trying out this method of harvest and let you know what happens: "When a cucumber is taken from the vine let it be cut with a knife, leaving about an eighth of an inch of the cucumber on the stem, then slit the stem with the knife from its end to the vine leaving a small portion of the cucumber on each division and on each separate slip there will be a new cucumber as large as the first."
So there is my gardeny update. How are your gardens doing this summer?