Thursday, July 10, 2008

A slight change

Since the happenings in my own garden are becoming less humorous as I start to take myself a little more seriously and (I hope) make fewer hilarious, glaring errors, I have decided to open up the purview of my blog a little bit. I realize I have already done this in some posts, but expect it more and more.

In light of that decision, here are some wise words that Hannah forwarded to me from our farmer, Allan (who grows our CSA shares).

"POTATOES: We had a thunder storm during harvest. Your spuds may have
been bagged WET. This means you need to IMMEDIATELY get them out of
the plastic bag and wash them and then let them dry in the air (or
then cook them!) If you don't, they will ROT really fast!

LETTUCE: We have had almost continually rain and little sunshine for
two weeks. This week's lettuce is showing the results of this. You'll
have to preen it for good leaves. All of our lettuce is for one week
of shares, this is what we have this week.


Salad Mix
Kohlrabi (that 'green vegetable' no one can identify!)
basil (pesto freezes very well, but you have to leave out the oil...or
is it the garlic? You better check!)"

For those of you readers in the mid-Atlantic region, I'd be remiss not to link you to his site:

I include this because I always find his missives interesting both because of the description of the delicious food we can expect and because I like knowing about the challenges they face from the weather, etc. to get this food grown. He also often includes recipes, which is pretty helpful.

I will point out that I was not one of the suckers who paid for purslane. I pull that tricky weed out of my garden in abundance for free. And when I do, I try to eat it instead of discarding it because I have read many places that its healthful goodness is epic. And it tastes pretty nice, too.

Mystery Cucumber

I got my first cucumber!

Unfortunately, it was one of the standard old green kinds; my weirdo, heirloom lemon-shaped-and-colored cucumbers are still all in the flower stage. I titled this post "mystery cucumber" because the circumstances of this cucumber were a little mystifying to me. I was just tromping around my garden, trying to suppress the weeds growing up through my mulch by frowning at them, when I noticed a fully ripe, 8 inch long cucumber on one of my plants. That on its own wouldn't be weird, but then I looked around to see if there were any others, and there was nothing. A few flowers on this bush, no baby cucumbers yet...

Perhaps this particular bush was channeling all of its energy into this one cucumber. Maybe this is normal, I don't know. But I am now keeping a closer eye on all of my cucumber and squash plants, because who knows what other fruits have has escaped my notice during their entire childhood.

The other plants I think I am keeping better tabs on, though. My runner beans look quite nice climbing up their makeshift trellis-y thing and my tomato plants are staked, relatively happy looking, and flowering copiously. I also have a teeny tiny eggplant. I am worried, since it looks pretty ripe, that it is going to stay teeny tiny -- a product of a stunted plant, rather than just a fruit in its early stages. I started this plant indoors, and perhaps I did a poor job meeting its needs as I transplanted it. I hesitate to say that it's just an issue of soil fertility (although I readily admit that my soil is a serious work in progress) because the other plants in that area are doing much better. My pepper transplant is having the same tiny-ness issues in a different part of the garden, also surrounded by healthy looking plants. So for the time being I blame my poor skill at transplanting.