Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Days challenge: gardening in the heat

Time again for Sharon's Independence Day's Challenge:

1. Plant something:
Oh, dear. Not only did I not plant anything, I may well have killed several things. I tend to be a very lazy gardener; I put things in and hope they'll survive my neglect. That works fine with my perennial garden, but not so well with all the new edible plants I've been putting in. My 20 new salmonberry and thimbleberry bushes all dried up to a crisp this week with the heat and my neglectful ways. Is there any hope?

However, I'm not a complete gardening idiot. The pots we planted on the driveway are doing well, and nothing there got fried. I've been really happy with the "Mel's Mix" we've been using in the pots, described in Square Foot Gardening (1/3 compost, 1/3 soil, 1/3 vermiculite). The pots don't dry up too quickly, even though they're set on hot cement. And I have some tomato plants I bought as seedlings--I planted 4 in a pot, and running out of room, put the other 2 in the ground beside the pot. The ones in the pot are much larger and have green tomatoes all over them; the ones in the ground have a few flowers. I set the kids to work this week with sticks and string to make trellises for the vining plants. They did a great job, don't you think?

2. Harvest something:
Eggs. All 5 of our currants. (Will we ever have a real berry harvest?). Peas, basil, parsley from our CSA. Lavender, comfrey, black caps. Tried to harvest mulberries, but had missed them, they ripened so early this year! (Shoot!) However, I discovered something new--cherry plums--and foraged a few. Just waiting for the rest to ripen.

3. Preserve something:
Froze 4 pints peas. Dried comfrey for chickens' winter feed. Dried lavender.

5. Preparation and storage:
I spent this weekend cleaning, organizing, and weeding out. Took a load of stuff to the thrift store, and am feeling a lot more sane for it.

7. Eat the food:
We're going easy, easy, easy with meal prep. Examples: Local bread with butter, salt, and lettuce. Coleslaw of Chinese cabbage, scallions, and mayo. Whatever we can think of that will use greens and not require much of us. Sauteed zucchini. Carrots. Pesto.


Luisa said...

Yeah I'm a garden killer myself. I'm just trying to save the grass this year. Thank goodness for csa and farmer's markets. Your food meals sound yummy Chinese cabbage coleslaw sounds yummy. I think I'll try next time.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Cherry plums? Sounds delish!