Monday, May 12, 2008

Out of it...

Short gap in blogging...I passed my test and have been planning an impromptu wedding. We'd been planning to elope but various of life's curveballs sent us in this direction. So we're having an informal garden ceremony in my mother's beautiful backyard. Should be lovely - she has quite the green thumb.

The news about oil has not been encouraging. So many weather disasters, food shortages, whispers of methane "burps." It all makes for quite a bit of anxiety. For someone like me who rents and owes Sallie Mae my first born, it's not encouraging. Luckily, I do qualify for loan repayment programs if I go work in an under-served area. This has been on my agenda since I went to graduate school those many years ago. I just hope I have another two years before the SHTF (for a whole lot more on this, see the Hausfrau's blog). If not, we may be in for quite the money crunch at our little household. Might be moving in with Mom and Dad if the SHTF.

In terms of the garden, I haven't been as busy as I'd like. Everything is growing along nicely and I have some pictures to post, just not enough time to make that happen. The beans are about 6 inches tall now. Some of the tomatoes are getting to an adolescent stage. The cabbages are heading. No dice on the broccoli yet. The kohlrabies are starting to bunch up - they're such a pretty purple.

We've been harvesting the spinach, lettuce, onions, radishes, Swiss chard, and turnip greens for a while now. I tried some of the turnips a few days ago and they were nice but hot - not sure why. Ideas? Maybe the warmer weather? It hasn't been exactly hot out yet, though... We've also got basil, chives, rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, and tarragon we've been using. I dried some dandelion leaves for tea last night, too.

The cukes are doing fine. At first I kind of scared myself because they started to turn a yellow color around the edges and a few leaves died back. Remember this is my experiment bed which I threw together under a tree. I basically piled together some nice homemade compost, mushroom compost, and aged manure. Well, I thought the reaction was from salt scald, like perhaps I'd over-fertilized. After a lot of research, though, and the full recovery of my cukes and zucchini, I think it might have just been transplant shock. Or maybe it was mild over-fertilization but they've stabilized, because either way they're okay now. In my research I did find out that there is quite a controversy about using mushroom compost. Does it burn or not? Is it too dirty (chemically)? etc. I need more input before I make a decision.

My Chartenais melons are peeking up and my bush beans and soybeans are now all up from the ground. Had some of the okra die back and not sure why.

Oh and in terrific news, the Sioux is back! It had been clipped to the ground by some animal (I presume) but there is a tiny bit of leaf growing out of the node between the one denuded branch and the original 2" stalk left. Way to go Sioux!

Tonight I plan to dose everything with fish emulsion (been trying to do this every 2-3 weeks). I still need to add more soil to my potato bucket and trench around my garden (damn crabgrass!). I need to try some of the methods I've been reading about on my sustainability list - namely newspaper, cardboard, and hay covers combined. I need to take a weed whacker to the area behind the garden and the compost bin. It's a nightmare. I also need to chop down those tree limbs. Oh, and plan a wedding that will happen in 20 days. Lest I forget.

So yes, still a busy, busy time. Right now - I grade papers! Grades are due tomorrow!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congrats on passing! Congrats on your wedding!

OTOH, sorry about the darn crabgrass. I had a battle with that demon last year, and the demon won. This year I sucked it up and got the newspaper (donated from a neighbor) and straw (bought at Horn Seed) covering the beds early. Meaning, I just finished last week :). Oh, and I still have to do the pathways. That's going to be the industrial strength cardboard, and hopefully I will spot a tree trimmer in the area and get them to dump their "mulch" on my driveway for free. I have gotten donations twice before (really, I'm doing them a favor) with decent results.