Today I threw out (to the chickens) several bags of greens that had been in the fridge too long. Feeling guilty I forced myself to try and salvage a couple heads of napa cabbage that some sort of fly larvae got the best of. I grated up several beat up zucchini to make into bread. And I pulled a large jar (think vase covered with a bag) of swiss chard front and center in the fridge so that I will include into tomorrow nights meal. Another batch of greens soup for the freezer is in order so that I may gain in the battle against the overtaking greens. Planting more greens needs to move to the top of the list on my garden chore list. I've recently sowed a late batch of dill, cilantro, radishes, beets and swiss chard. But no greens of late, but I hear the clock ticking. Escarole, endive, mache and arugula, tatsoi, spinach, lettuce and mizuna - your time to thrive in the coolness of fall is coming.
This week I harvested several bundles of mint and oregano to dry. There are still some more garlic whistles to snip. Basil is ready to harvest. Beans are flowering and growing little beans. Radishes are all done, a few of the cauliflower bolted in the heat. Some of the beets are getting to be nice size and some aren't. I planted several varieties all mixed together. The yellow and white beets seem to be less tolerant of the soil. Note to self: next year plant beets in better soil with lots of compost. (I recently have seen the light in regards to roasted and lightly dressed beets)
While I'm at it here are a few more notes to self:
- Don't plant anything in straight soil! Add compost and goodies, turn well, then plant!!!
- Plant more onions (shallots and leeks too) and make sure they are not day sensitive!!
- Plant more cauliflower (there are maybe a dozen plants growing now-not enough) !
- Plant less kale and more variety! (think a dozen and not four dozen!)
- Plant less Swiss Chard (two dozen or so, not five dozen)
- Start more cucumbers (I started six and now have four, only one is growing well)
- Succession plant radishes and cilantro more frequently, June fifteenth maybe for second planting.
- Plant more peas, can never have enough peas!
- Keep beans and squash covered until they are big and bushy
- Cover napa cabbage, radishes and onions with row covers to keep insects off, lettuce too.
For the last week we've been picking wild raspberries that grow along our driveway. They are looking good this year, large and free of bugs and mold - so far. Some years the wild raspberries are hardly worth picking but they sure seem to like the sun and heat we have been having and don't seem to have sufferred due to the drought. On the otherhand, we walked up our hill to the blueberry patch and while there are plenty they are small. Ergh! I had a feeling that it wasn't going to be a very good blueberry year, they do best with more moisture early on in the summer and we've hardly had any. I count two days of rain so far this summer, and a few sprinkles, makes for little blueberries. I'm wondering if we look low down in the valleys where there is more moisture the berries might be bigger than on our hill that seems to avoid the passing showers. The berries are just beginning to ripen and there were a lot of green berries still, so maybe if we get some good rain they will be looking better next week...but then the raspberries will start to mold...hm
I have stayed up too late, and tomorrow I have no farm help. I can do it! I'm leaving the goat kids with their moms tonight so that I don't feel so rushed in the morning. Getting Noah and Avery out of the house and up the hill can be challenging because the more urgent I am with Noah the more he protests. The longer it takes to get out of the house the closer Avery gets to her morning nap. The keys to success are a good breakfast for all and then snacks, smoothie for Noah and blueberries for Avery once we get up the hill. Then I just try to relax and enjoy being in a lovely garden with my kids and some hungry goats, one day I'll look back and think "ah, those were the days."