Tuesday, May 24, 2016
In The Garden: May 2016
Not my garden in the picture but the fence is similar. I have been out there watering my seeds. Not much has sprouted as yet. I see germinated seeds and G sees weeds.
As to the "not my picture", I am trying to get myself back into the picture taking mode. It's been a long time. I think the new operating system made me stop. The old one was easy. The new one--it looks so different and so many steps. I just gave up. As I told G--what was easy and fun is now torture. I will try again. but not today.
I have planted arugula (G and I like it on bruschetta), Little Gem lettuce, dill, parsley, carrots and beets. I have another 6 to 8 strawberry plants to set into the part of the bed that will now be "The Strawberry Bed". A few of last year's plants have white strawberry flowers on them. Not enough for anything but a berry for the gardener. If I had a grandchild gardening with me--well, I would save them all for her or him to pick and eat.
Last year's failed fennel crop was left in the garden. And it has returned. Every plant is now 6 to 8 separate clumps of stems with huge heads of frothy greens. Perhaps this is the secret for growing fennel into bulbs??? A two year process. I hope to achieve some fennel seed as well, later in the year.
I have started seeds on the back deck (and they are enjoying a cloudy wet day) for my summer crops of squash, zucchini, cucumbers. The deck also holds a large crate filled with tomato and pepper seedlings. Early Girl and Sweet 100 along with a new to me heirloom tomato called Hillbilly. The pepper is New Ace. I like to let the peppers go until they start to turn red. Then I cut them and let them fully ripen in the safety of the sun porch --away from squirrels. I will buy eggplant as needed. I have no luck growing them.
I have been eating my way thru the many frozen containers of eggplant squash and tomato that I grew last year. The variety of vegetables that I added to this "stew" is amazing. I found white beans in one and carrots in another. The tomato was always the canned marinara from Trader Joe's as my tomato crop was very sad last season.
G and I have been having kabobs from the grocery meat department along with 5 for $1.00 corn at least once a week. Last week we had teriyaki sticks. Delish. I don't know where the corn is coming from but it is absolutely wonderful. I usually have vegetable kabobs. Not that I don't eat meat--I do--but it's very infrequent and I am selective. I am thinking I could make the teriyaki sticks myself. The teenager who sold me the sticks said they were made "here from a hunk of meat and some sauce". He also told me the marinated kabobs were made "somewhere else". Interesting, huh?
Work is half doable/enjoyable and half more than I can handle. It is a struggle. Perhaps this is the way things will be for me as I grow older? It makes me sad. But I will have to adjust.
Already I am making choices in the garden as to what is "worth" my time and trouble and what is not. I enjoy the berries and fruits. I love the carrots and beets. The lettuces get lost in the shuffle. The cabbages, while delicious, end up slimy with cabbage worms. The onions and garlic do very well--on their own. Cucumbers--while once so easy--are now a trial. I don't know where I failed them. The zucchini takes a long time to get going--and I am always afraid they won't--but then I have a enough for several batches of pickles. There is never enough yellow crookneck squash for the big pans of fried squash that we all LOVE to eat. The tomatoes are always too slow and not enough for the caprese salads of July and August. Which is why, this year I switched to early and small tomatoes.
The basil had blight last summer and will have it again this summer but hopefully there will be "just enough" for our tomatoes and cheese.
As you can read--I grow only what we love to eat. Now if the blackberries will co-operate and deliver enough for my daily yogurt lunches (last year they produced ONE berry--which was delicious). We are eating the rhubarb from my friend Patty's garden as I let my own rhubarb grow a bit more mature--another season. I need patience.