I’m about to have garlic.
And I”m about to have salad.
But, the Japanese sweet potatoes are not happening. Beauregard it is.
Sunday, Chuck cleared out the dead remains of the Fall garden. The Arctic Vortex and the following cold have totally decimated our crops. He replanted cabbage, kale and chard and planted new lettuce mix seeds that we got from the Sow True rack at Weaver Street Market. He planted some pumpkin seeds in one of the covered beds as an experiment.
The garlic and carrots appear to be OK. The turnips may be OK. The beets look like they’re done in.
And, speaking of garlic, the German Red seems to be the least successful, here. Only one bulb is showing any green. The other varieties look healthy, though still small.
I was given some sunchokes/Jerusalem artichokes by a friend and got some of those in the ground on January 17. Since they are perennial, can be harvested all winter and get sweeter as they linger in the ground, I figured that there is no wrong time to put them in the dirt.
Lastly, I found a nice resource for seeds. It is a useful list of 230+ companies supplying heirloom / non-GMO / organic seeds. http://www.off-grid.info/food-independence/heirloom-seed-suppliers.html
I found fresh turmeric and ginger at the Company Shops Market, last week. I dropped them both in some water to keep them fresh until I could get them planted. Yesterday, Chuck picked up a pot and some dirt for it. Today, I put the ginger in the new, fancy, terra cotta pot and the turmeric in the old, plain, terra cotta pot. If everything goes according to plan, they should be ready to begin harvesting on or around September 15.
While he was shopping for me, he got some compost to top dress our raised beds and planted lettuce and arugula in the fallow bed. We think the excessive rain is the cause of our salad bed wasting away to nothing. Last year’s lettuce crop was so extravagant, needing to replant is something of a shock.
I was at one of the co-ops I use a couple of months ago and they had fresh turmeric in the produce section. I was astounded. I had never seen it fresh before, only ever dried and ground. I was taken aback, to say the least. It looked like dark orange ginger. But I didn’t have any particular idea what I would do with it so I didn’t buy any. But, now I know what kind of plant it is.
A friend of ours commented that his wife had grown ginger this year and I had seen notices about ginger growing workshops in our area, so I know it can be done in this part of the world.
Then, this link popped up on my FaceBook Timeline. http://www.howtogrowstuff.com/how-to-grow-ginger/
It just so happens that I have a couple of large, ornamental flowerpots that aren’t in use and I’m thinking that turmeric will grow the same way ginger does. So, I believe I will plant ginger in one pot and, if I can still find fresh, turmeric in another one.
I planted garlic today!! I’m very excited. (I’m always excited when I plant stuff.)
Sow True Seeds has been advertising their garlic starts. I had it in my head that when we were in Asheville this week I would pick some up. But, on October 8th, they Tweeted that they were running through their supply and expected to be down to a single variety pretty soon. So, I called and ordered 3 varieties for them to hold for me until I could pick them up at the retail location
I got the Sampler, which was one hardneck and one softneck variety, and a softneck that intrigued me. The varieties are Red Toch (1/2 lb.), California Early and German Red (1/4 lb. each). The German Red is the hardneck.
Because I really didn’t think I needed a pound of garlic cloves, I have divided them into 4 packages, planting one in our winter lettuce bed and planning to give the same amount to 3 gardening friends.
The Red Toch (9 cloves) is across the back and halfway up the left side of the bed. The California Early (5) comes the rest of the way up the side. The German Red (4) goes across the top (house end) of the bed.
These are the instructions that came with the garlic.
Blanched on 9/26 and 10/4
3 minutes in boiling water. Then, into ice water. Bagged and frozen.
Sliced and stuffed into ½ pint jars. Covered with boiling 1:1 cider vinegar and water. Inverted jars to let the heat of the lids seal them. (I made one that is all red, one that is all green and 3 that have some of each. They’re very festive.)
Baked, peeled and packed in freezer bags. All the bitty ones and 3 damaged big ones = 5 cups of ready-to-use sweet potato. There will probably be pie.
Chuck made pesto with a big bunch of the basil we have been growing, garlic, olive oil and walnuts. We will add Parmesan as it is used. He froze it in mini-muffin pans that were sprayed with olive oil to keep the balls from sticking. One ball is about 2 Tablespoons and is usually enough for a cup of quinoa (to suit our tastes).
Our basil grows better in the beds than in a pot. We tried it in pot on the deck and got enough to add to recipes, but not enough to harvest for pesto. The basil plants in the beds become trees and we have all the pesto we want through the winter. After Chuck gave a pesto-making lesson to my best girl friend and gave her about a fourth, we had 19 balls made. And we still have plenty to make more.
Garden status with pictures. This one is going to be kinda long. Showing fruit trees too.
Serious peas. We tend to just graze on them right out of the pod like candy.
Squash and Eggplant were overpowering the Okra, so I have attempted to transplant them to the bed where the cabbage was.
Moved seven of them. Hoping they will bounce back with a little watering. Tomatoes and peppers in there too. Harvested what was left of the cabbage to make room for the Okra.
Arugula and Fava beans are doing great. Been eating arugula for a while now.
Cantaloupe is in a different location, but is coming along. Tomatoes are still behind where I expected them to be based on the warm Spring. They are healthy and when they do come in we are going to have way more than we can eat.
We expected our fruit trees to do better this year, especially with the new bee hives. Most of them bloomed out very early and then the April freezes came. We covered what we could, but I think the cold nipped them at a vulnerable time. We had peaches starting, but they disappeared except for one sick looking one. We have very few cherries and only a couple of damson plums on one of the three plum trees.
The orange tree, however, is looking pretty good.
Herbs in pots on the deck are doing fine.
Also picked chard and brussels sprouts today.
And yes the bees look great today, especially Isabella. Just looked in on them. You would never guess that hive swarmed a week ago based on the number of bees.