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Monday, July 16, 2018

At least there is color.

We have gotten about 1/4" of rain (.09 ish cm for my friends north and elsewhere) in the past month or more.  I didn't have the courage to look at my egg journal records.  It is as dry as dust.  We did get enough rain (the above-mentioned 1/4") to penetrate the top layer of soil.  By about 1/4".  The watering continues.  The only things flourishing in this weather are the weeds.  Why can't 'they' harness that ability to thrive in every adverse condition and put it into vegetable seed production?  Why, I ask you?


While my vegetables are struggling, all flowering things are thriving.  Of course, I am watering them, too.  There's got to be SOMETHING to look forward to in the garden.
Front deck
Interestingly, these geraniums have been over-wintered for four years.  They were so pathetic, leggy and spindly this spring, that I swore this was their last year.  I am prepared to eat my words...


I had given up entirely on two of my large beds this year and weeded them completely (five wheelbarrow-loads between the two!) and am letting them go fallow this year.  One is covered in cardboard, while my (what-would-I-do-without-him) 83 y/o neighbor brings his little Honda tiller over and gives the second one a good tilling every two weeks or so.  I covet that tiller.  In the process of weeding the beds, I potted up five good-sized pots of lemon balm.  It grows rampant through the garden.  I put them on Facebook for free and they were gone in two days.
Not the greatest contrast.
As far as colorful vege, it ain't happening here.  I did pull my first 'harvest' of a half-grown cuke because I had a hankering for one and needed something to perk up my lunch salad.  I was pleased to see a quantity of them growing on the vines.  I will try to do a garden post next time.  With photos, no less!  However, when I went up to Marianne's farm for my weekend stint on Saturday, I drove away with a bag full of color:
Carrots!  Beets!
We spent a good hour and a half weeding the entire greenhouse, then moved next door to put down a soil/compost mix and plant kohlrabi, romaine and more beets in the ground garden next to the greenhouse.  I will have to get a photograph of their hugelkultur beds - they are amazing!  Dwarf fruit trees, flowers and vege.  With a view - of course, every inch of their farm offers a view.  I will be taking Friday off to help her weed what needs to be weeded in her flower beds (she's part of a town garden tour on Saturday).  I really enjoy working along side her - she is my source for all things news and has a wealth of knowledge about just about everything.  I also trotted home with three zukes (be still my heart!), microgreens, shiitakes and lettuce.  Booty!!!


Here is some gratuitous color - for Theresa.  The new Cat Room curtain.  This was made from a leftover piece of batik that I bought at a yard sale in a previous life.  I wish I had had enough to make a summer dress out of it - I love the colors!


It is sheer enough to let in some light, but shades the room enough that Slimmie can collapse in relative coolness during hot spells.  Mostly, he goes from place to place on the kitchen floor.  You have to keep a lively eye out, as you negotiate around my place!


Other than the usual drudgery, I did get some cooking done in the wee hours - I made some of Mama Pea's infamous cottage cheese, I made a pan of zucchini roll-ups (thin strips of zukes rolled around a mixture of ricotta- made from the whey from the cream cheese - egg, corn and fresh herbs, sprinkled with a half-jar of leftover mild salsa), teriyaki chicken with pineapple in the Instant Pot (disappointing results), and oatmeal raisin cookies for the barn crew - actually, just my neighbor, as his teenage helper has turned into a wimp, and an inconsiderate wimp at that.  He's left my farmer doing everything alone for three days running.  This has provided the proverbial straw and he has put his farm on the market.  Sigh.  Sometimes I don't like change.


Last Friday morning, I had rummaged around in my big freezer (trying to empty it so I can defrost it and sell it) and found two packages of frozen, shredded zucchini from last year.  In a fit of mad experimentation, I let a package thaw and made my ultra-favorite GF pizza crust Friday night - shredded zucchini, squeezed dry, mixed with eggs, almond flour and cheese.  O.M.G.  It was perfect!  I can now have it all winter long.  My love affair with zucchini has reached a new, deeper level... :)



26 comments:

  1. after forever with no rain, we were deluged yesterday for about 15 minutes meaning most of it ran off. it's been so hot here that i just give up. i might have to pull some of my plants soon. a lot of them are leggy and not producing. they say we will cool off a bit on wednesday. woohoo! it's a good time to be doing as much puppy sitting as i am!

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    1. If it wasn't for the tomato - that glorious red globe of ripe goodness - I would wish for a very early fall.

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  2. Please direct me to the crust recipe. You've posted it before haven't you?
    I hear you about dry, we are in the same boat. Massive thunderstorms this weekend and many fires started over a few counties. We missed the worst of it. Poor Mandy was a little quivering bratwurst during the storm. The rest of the crew unconcerned. LOVE the curtain. If I ever see a batik like it I'll snag a few yards for you. Those are great colors.
    Pets to Slimmie and the gang. How the chickens holding up?

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    1. I will get the crust recipe to you - it's very simple but just heavenly! Poor Mandy sausage. It's no fun when they are terrified. The chickens continue their dust baths - now with an endless supply of dust - and head for the shade. Not much flusters them. The llama has her wading pool and the sheep head for the barn. We are all waiting it out...

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  3. I laughed a little at your finding packages of frozen, shredded zucchini in your freezer. That, and rhubarb, is what makes up most of my freezer. We just got some rain today. Not enough, but some. It sounds like your friend has a wonderful garden - nice little beets and carrots! -Jenn

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    1. We have the same freezer! Going through my ice-encrusted shelves has garnered all kinds of forgotten (and some unknown) packages! In this weather, I will make any excuse to keep my head in the freezer.

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  4. My new favorite vegetable is kohlrabi. My wife made some coleslaw out of some a few weeks ago and I'm still dreaming about how good it tasted.

    I hear your lack of rain desperation. Last year we had a terrible drought and this year has been little better. We've been getting enough to just eke by thus far but we are still falling further and further behind and have absolutely no subsurface moisture to speak of. From now until winter is our "dry" time too so it isn't looking like we are going to get out of the severe drought index anytime soon.

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    1. The drought seems to be pretty widespread, too. I'm thankful that I set up the second rain barrel - not only does it save time, but it is giving my well a break. I LOVE kohlrabi coleslaw! It will be a while before we reap the benefits of our seed-sowing, but it's worth the wait.

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  5. I'm with you Susan. The only thing that seems to be growing well are the weeds. I've given up this year and will just prepare the beds for next year. Its truly been funny weather. Too humid for me to go out and maintain the garden. I have asthma and can't tolerate the humidity. Oh well, there's always next year, god willing!

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    1. I think we have a motto going here, Theresa...

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  6. Dry here too... Not even the flowers are happy. And he does water them. Not enough I guess.

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    1. I don't water mine much - there's a finite amount in the rain barrel and when it's gone, nothing gets water.

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  7. You accomplish so much in a week-end. Where do you get all your energy? I read your Blog and it just leave me thinking how you do it all! I applaud you. Take care!

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    1. Thank you, Lynne! I tend to soar and burn, so to speak. By 5P on the weekends, I'm all in and there are still chores to do. The hoards must be fed...

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  8. I hear you about the weeds! Our grass is brown, plants are dying, but weeds are standing tall and happy - how do they do it?
    The pizza crust sounds really interesting - we start the season loving the first small zucchini/courgettes, but eventually I wish never to see another one. This could be part of the solution.

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    1. It is very simple, Elaine. 2 cups grated zukes, salted and drained and squeezed dry. Mix with two beaten eggs, 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup grated cheese. Mix well, spread to a thin disk on a parchment paper-lined pan. 10 min. in a preheated 450 degree (F) oven, take out, top, back in for 10 minutes. I'm sorry I don't have the gram/Celsius equivalents.

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  9. Replies
    1. It so reminds me of the sixties - I love batik print!

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  10. My well needs a break. I watered all day yesterday (and my son washed my car), and last night when I was filling sheep buckets, the last one was cloudy. Scary, as we have a low-producing well and with all the new development on the hill I fight panic that it will go dry. But my garden IS happy....

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    1. Can you set up a rain barrel for your garden? I have one that is dedicated just for that purpose. I don't envy all that development going on around you. They (developers) usually don't give two hoots about anyone beyond their borders. Let's hope yours are the exception.

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  11. I'd love to see pics of Marianne's set-up -- all of it! -- but I know they may not be for you to share. What a plethora of lovely harvest you bring home from helping her.

    I have five zucchinis about the size of hot dogs, Shouldn't they be throwing out huge ones with all this hot weather?

    Love the looks of Slimmie's room curtain. It even looks cool!

    We had such a heavy dew this morning it was almost (almost) as though it had rained. But steady winds today that are sucking moisture out of every green thing out there.

    Your wintered-over geraniums could hardly look better. I've never had success doing that but Chicken Mama does.

    I'll do a rain dance for you. Just as soon as I cool off from several hours in the garden trying to stake things up from the bad winds. Grrrr.

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    1. I will see if I can sneak some picks of their farm the next time I'm there. I'll see if I can sneak some in of Marianne, too - she's a beauty! That dance must have worked (cha-cha? salsa?) because we got a glorious 1/2" of rain last night!

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  12. Every summer we have a hot dry spell that really makes things miserable. And you're right, the weeds seem to thrive in it! Love the color in your photos. Always a treat for the eyes.

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    1. Thanks, Leigh! I used to think that flowers were frivolous and that a garden didn't 'count' if it were not exclusively vegetables. I've come around.

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  13. it took me an hour just to water the front yard this morning. we've been getting some rain, or were, but not enough. I'm going to need a shovel to weed my flower beds. I'd happily help your friend if I could come home with all that booty and if she lived down here.

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    1. Marianne used to live in Texas - but without the farm. And I'm not letting go of her. I went out this morning and all the weeds that I cleared out of the garlic bed a week ago are back. With a vengeance. I wonder how a blow torch would work...

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