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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cool ... clear ... water ...

Function junction!

We're having a run of days in the 90s, (F) with triple digits coming up. The pump has been working overtime!

When it gets too hot to be in the sun, I sit in the patio shade with whatever project I've saved for the purpose. Today it was shelling fava beans; tomorrow, too. It looks like there will be about two gallons.

This afternoon I checked the temperature in the patio -- 91. In the potting shed -- 100. In the house -- 69. Quite a difference! the awnings and the white paint appear to be doing their job.

:::

For Independence Days,

1. Plant something - with any luck, by the time you read this, there will be a fall/winter bed planted inside the hoophouse (which has no polyethylene on yet). (Do we like polyethylene? No. Can we afford enough glass to do this, or the time to go find enough via salvage? No.) I'll make hills amid the mulch, six to eight inches across, of outdoor planting mix, shake some seeds from an herb shaker onto the hills, cover lightly, press lightly, and move on to the next spot. What's in the shaker? Three or four kinds of lettuce, beets, 2 kinds of carrots, red chard, spinach, turnips, kale, collards, bok choi. This spring all of these came up but the carrots; most were kind of hit or miss, but the turnips came on strong! Many are now softball size, with greens up to three feet long. It will be interesting to compare the fall planting.

2. Harvest something - tomatoes, yellow zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers (small and green yet, we jumped the starting line), green zucchini, turnips, turnip greens, peas, chard, lettuce, potatoes, dandelions, strawberries, trout, pikeminnows (one of these weighed two pounds -- don't let that "minnow" fool ya). They make great compost starters. Chicken eggs, duck eggs.

3. Preserve something - froze peas, dried and bagged zucchini chips, chard, spinach, dandelion, plantain, and turnip greens. Shelled fava beans and peas for seed.

4. Reduce waste - Emptied the compost barrel onto the heaps to start a new batch in it with the pikeminnows. Put the fava stems and pods in the compost barrel. Also gave the sunchokes a haircut as they were shading the corn, and put that in as well. Turned all the heaps. They are all steaming!

5. Preparation and Storage - not so much. Unless we get to count the composting and collecting of -- ahem! -- liquid fertilizers.

6. Build Community Food Systems - selling duck eggs. Two film cans full of kale seeds are off to the community pantry's two-acre garden.

7. Eat the Food - from frozen: blueberries, applesauce. From the land: duck and chicken eggs, bok choi, turnips, turnip greens, potatoes, zucchini, elephant garlic, onions, peas, green beans, runner beans, spinach, strawberries, mint, basil, chives. From storage: wheat, cheese, oats, rye, dried cranberries, raisins, buckwheat. From the reservoir: one trout. A lot of refrigerator pickles this year, such as bok choi stems, snap peas, walking-onion bulbils, and even green beans and runner beans. We seem to be craving vinegar ...

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