Thursday, July 14, 2011
The naked trellis
Mid-July in the main garden; the beans are reaching for the sky but the peas (4th try) stopped and made peas at about eighteen inches in height -- same kind as grew six feet in prior years -- so their trellis remains naked. Corn and squash dominate the foreground, with lots of volunteer potatoes, garlic, and nasturtium. Grapes, apples, compost heaps and "chicken moat" glimpsed at upper left.
Risa has been reducing the last of the "craigslist wood" (eleven free truckloads in 2009), the knottiest rounds, by notching with the electric chainsaw before putting in a wedge. Some rounds she has simply sliced through the middle and then assaulted with the maul. This results in some interesting stacking.
The saw is a relic from, apparently, about 1963. A Skilsaw, made in USA. It was given to her as scrap, but it's the gift that keeps on giving. You can't get such a saw made nowadays. You could tape the trigger closed and let it run all day and it will not overheat, apparently.
Finished! The smallwood tucked around the pine is from maples, ashes and willows planted and coppiced on the premises. Nothing, maybe, gives a sense of perspective like firewooding a tree you planted yourself. Sad and joyful all mixed together.
The dehydrators are kept going constantly at this time of year. Foliage that would otherwise go to waste -- side leaves and bolted heads of lettuce, chard, kale, choi, spinach, broccoli, collards, cabbage, and turnip greens -- even radish tops -- along with your choice of herbs -- don't forget the dandelions -- are crisped by the sun and hand crumbled, with the stems picked out and tossed. A bushel of greens will make a quart of veggie crumble, good in breads, soups, green drinks, main dishes, side dishes, and salads. You could live on potatoes and veggie crumble if you had to, using any colcannon recipe -- we prefer fresh kale, but ... y'know ... think survival foods ...