I was over at the Garden this evening. Lovely end to a lovely day. I harvested what was ripe and did some weeding, but not too much. I didn’t want to disappoint Jennifer Tucker, whose Indian name, if she had one, would surely be Eater-of-Weeds.
The basil is really going to flower. Anyone wanting to make some pesto, please help yourself while there are still leaves left to pick. It’s interplanted with the tomatoes, in the row closest to the shed. Or come by this Saturday during Market, and I’ll be happy to pick you a nice bunch.
I managed to harvest a squash. The fast-growing and prolific costata romanesca, one plant of which took up 2 whole rows and the aisle last year, has managed to keep ahead of squash bugs, but just barely. I squished a few and put down a board. I read that if you do that and then flip it over, you can squish whole bunches. I’ve never been much of a bug killer. First of all, I was never confident that I wasn’t taking out a beneficial. But as long as I have gloves on, and I can see the damage they’re doing, I get over my squeamishness and go to town on them. I really want to get them before they find the black zucchini that’s planted on the other side of the Garden and just now starting to flower.
This Saturday I think we’ll have some more corn to pick. For those of you who haven’t been by in awhile, we planted a row and a half of flour, parching and dent corn. In other words, corn for eating other than on the cob. The varieties are even beautiful in print: lavender parching, bloody butcher, painted mountain, Hopi blue, to name a few. I’m thinking we should definitely have some to show at our Crickfest booth. Does anyone have a hand-cranked mill? Maybe we can show the way different varieties grind differently and hence are better for various foods: tortillas, polenta, corn bread, etc.
Oops. Got ahead of myself there: The Learning Garden will have a booth at Crickfest (Coburn Park from 11 to 6) this Sunday. If you’ve never been…go! It’s fun and educational, and this year they have some new things going on, plus our very own, recently published in the CDT, Brian Burger will be doing a talk on season extension and, I’ve heard, offering low hoops for sale. They’re about 3.5 feet tall and can be purchased for $2 each. Add your own plastic sheeting, and you’ll extend your harvest of all kinds of things a month or more, depending on the weather!
I had hoped to be doing a demo on solar cooking, including using our very own corn to make corn bread, but it sounds like it may be a bit cloudy on Sunday. Still, there’s a solar cooker (complete with pots and reflector) in the bag auction, which means you buy a ticket or two and take a chance in a drawing for this great oven, worth over $150. And if you already have a solar oven, there are many other great things in both the bag and the silent auctions.
Now, back to our Garden! The herbs are really coming into their own this week. If you need cilantro, sage, parsley, or of course the basil, come by on Saturday.
While weeding in the sweet potatoes, I saw a tuber peaking through the soil. Exciting! A few more weeks, and we’ll be digging them out and planning warm and wonderful side dishes.
The scarlet runner bean tower was toppled by the winds from hurricane Irene. It doesn’t bother the beans, but it definitely is now in the way of the Legion’s lawn mower. And the other casualty was our Jerusalem artichokes. Both plants that live behind the shed were toppled, but one, at least, was still attached to the soil.
Our 2nd planting of cucumbers and pole beans (yikes! After picking a bucket-full of beans tonight, do we really need more?!) are doing well, and now that it’s cooler, we can sow the fall spinach and lettuce to go with the swiss chard that is coming in nicely.
We should have a cantaloupe ripe by Saturday, and many more in the weeks ahead. With a little luck, and some help from those of you interested, we will get the hoop house covered this fall to see how long we can keep our melons, tomatoes, and peppers going.
Root crops are going strong. Carrots, beets, or turnips anyone?
All that to say from a little over an hour of time in the Garden. Think how inspired you’ll be if you join us to…
Buy it Locally Grown
Or Raise Your Own!