Thursday, August 21, 2008

Watch this space

What happened to August? Yesterday it was the beginning of the month, or so it seemed.

I've been busy with symphony work and jobhunting and networking, the usual stuff. Nothing new to report on that front, unfortunately. I've also been doing some thinking about food and when I get my thoughts sorted out I'll post them.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

In praise of tools

I forgot to mention that I have been enjoying my gardening even more than usual this summer thanks to the addition of the scuffle hoe to our tool shed. I took a gardening class in March and the teacher suggested everyone use one. I'd never heard of it before. Here's a picture:

This thing makes weeding almost a pleasure, and certainly more doable. It allows you to weed right next to cultivated plants without disturbing them. Given that you never vanquish weeds, I think it's possible to say I've achieved something like weed detente.

Garden report

This is long overdue, but better late than never. Thanks to pal Barry for helping me figure out how to post pictures within text and how to edit the HTML.

Here's a picture of our vegetable garden; as you can see, it's a pretty small space, about 18' x 8'.

Here are some of our first harvest of potatoes; these are all leftover volunteers from last year's crop. Thanks to the volunteers, we expect to enjoy potatoes over a longer period of time, instead of all at once, like last summer. Unlike our other crops, (carrots excepted), we have no idea what the potatoes look like or how many we've got til we dig them up. Harvesting them is like uncovering buried treasure.

Here's a cuke closeup on the vine:

And here are our latest cukes and zukes:

Just a few of our Sungolds; they're so sweet they're like candy, and I get a double zing out of eating them because they are selling for $4/pint at the farmer's market.

And here are some of our basil seedlings and our second crop of carrots (we ate the first crop before I could get a picture). We planted starts as well, but decided to try seeds too. Not sure how big they'll get before the end of the summer, but it's cool to see them come up. We've been doing a lot more from seed this year: carrots, parsnips, lettuce and basil. I don't know what is considered a normal yield from seeds; some of the crops we've sown have not had good results (50 butter lettuce seeds but only five plants, for example), but others, like the red lettuce, show quite respectable yields. Any thoughts or advice on this? (Aside from the fact that I need to thin them, I mean :-)

And last but not least, our volunteer sunflower, which is growing smack in the middle of our zucchini patch. Not over by the bird feeder, where sunflower seeds have killed off a patch of our lawn, but ten feet away. Go figure.