Monday, July 12, 2010

Adventures in Veggie Growing


I had a very productive weekend. I got very, very dirty...and sweaty. Saturday, Hubby and I went to breakfast and finished the crossword. Woohoo! Then I got home and got to work. 

I cleaned up the garden beds, harvested and replanted. I harvested and pulled up the rest of the lettuces, pulled up the spinach and harvested the rest of the pak choi. I was going to pull it up, but it hasn't bolted yet and it looks like it's still growing some, so I left it in. I replanted pac choi, lettuce and spinach for a second harvest.

The amaranth, long beans and spaghetti squash I got from Baker Creek this winter was FINALLY found. (Where? Oh yeah, in with the rest of the seeds...) I planted the amaranth and squash, hoping it will still have time to grow. They're both about 90 days, so I hope to just squeak by. If I don't get grain from the amaranth, I can at least eat the leaves for a very colorful salad!

The finding of these seeds can be attributed to my need for organization. Kroger had plastic shoe boxes 10 for $10, and I needed more clothespins (more on that later), so I hopped on my bike and went a got a few to organize my overflowing seeds. During the organization, I found these awesome seeds that I had been searching for the last couple months. Awesome!!

The tomatoes and peppers are actually doing well this year. I already have some fruit! Despite my best efforts, the seedlings got all mixed up though, so I have no idea what varieties are what yet.

baby peppers!

baby tomatoes! I'm guessing these are the amish paste.

I also have some seedlings from the random squash plantings that happened last weekend.

squash seedlings!

The first green beans have now been harvested as well. I got about a pound and they're just in the fridge, waiting to be eaten. I'm finding that I like a lot more vegetables when they come out of my own garden!

green beans!

The peas have been producing like crazy. Every morning while I let Tex out I pick a good handful. They're keeping AMAZINGLY well in the fridge. I keep all my produce in Debbie Meyer Green Bags. (You can usually find them for a few dollars. I get them at Big Lots or Menards for about $1.99. They're reusable and awesome. I also love her bread bags.) I've been picking peas for about a month now and we just ate our first ones last week. They were delicious. I was thinking about freezing some of them though. We have a few pounds and with all the other stuff, I don't think we'll get to them. And how awesome will the be in January!?

snow peas. These are the ones 
I'm letting go to save for next years' seed.

Swiss chard was also up on the chopping block. I pick some HUGE leaves. Literally bigger than my head! This I decided to just blanch for 2 minutes and freeze in smaller quantities for soup. I'm sure I'll have an opportunity to each some fresh. There's plenty more out there. I'm still just a little scared!

swiss chard, pre-harvest

Our farmer's market in our little home town finally had some veggies this week! They've been having it every morning since the beginning of June. And from the beginning there's been the same 4-5 vendors (it's a tiny town, we're still trying folks!). There's a local meat market with pork rinds and landjaggers, baked goods from the kitchen at the senior housing place in town, a jewelry lady and a few other crafters intermittently. Veggies are exciting! I got a zucchini, and yellow summer squash and a couple patty-pans.

This weekends beautiful weather paired with my own eco-guilt and my mothers prompted me to try and figure out how to line dry clothes. I managed to rig a couple of short lines on our upstairs landing outside. That, paired with the drying rack outside and our already-existing inside lines let me dry 4 loads of laundry outside. I did dry Hubbies thermals for work in the dryer. Mostly because I know they'd take a while and my husband is under the impression that anything dried outside is dirty and germ-laden. But he didn't seem to notice with the bath towels or his boxers! Yes, I'm sneaky. But it's only because he doesn't notice.

new clothes line. I later added a second line behind this one.

The adding of more lines meant I needed more clothespins. I was very excited to find, at our local grocery, bamboo clothespins in plastic-free packaging. The poor box was dusty, so I'm sure they've haven't been moving much, but I did buy one of two boxes. It made me smile!

Ooh, and on another shopping note, the meat guy from the farmer's market keeps promising us that they're opening a fresh market in town! The old Super-Value that has been vacant since, from what I can gather, a few years before we moved to town, will now house a fresh market. They will be selling they're meat, custom cuts from their own cattle and swine. He also says they're grass-fred. But around here, that usually still means grain-finished. We'll see. They're also going to have fresh, local produce when available. And not-so-local during the winter months. The opening date keeps getting pushed out, but for the last few weeks he's saying August 1. I'm very excited and will report back soon. :)

Since this is already WAY too long, I'll update on Sunday a little later. Oh, and I have a yummy recipe! For more garden pics, become my friend on facebook!

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