Wednesday, August 25, 2010

rainy days

we haven't had too many of them this year, but rainy, windy days are good for the soil and good for the soul. that's why we're lucky to be havin' a few of them now. but it's a mixed blessing.
for us rainy days are good for reading, lounging, nutritional yeast popcorn (w/ dill!), harvesting, and preserving. we've been doing some minimal harvesting, and some major cooking, blanching, and freezing these past few days.  
so far we've blanched and frozen broccoli, kale, corn, turnips, green beans, and edamame. the process can get a little redundant - rinse, chop, steam, cold bath, dry, repeat - but it's well worth it. these veggies (and more!) will last us through the winter and help us to keep our consumption of store-bought veggies to a minimum. thereby maximizing our carbon-footprint-conscience, yuppie egos.
here's a quick example of how to freeze broccolithe only thing i would add to that tutorial, is be sure to dry the veggies before you go and freeze 'em, or else you'll have some vegicicles.

we've still got lots to learn, of course. like how to freeze melons - we better figure that out soon because our  charentais melons should be ripe anytime now. but we tend to learn best by several rounds of experimentation, trial and error, that sorta thing.

then there's the soil.  rain's good for soil for obvious reasons...same reasons that water's good,  in general, for us.  and our garden appreciates a good drink every now and again. especially in the beginning,  water helps plants develop and can even prevent susceptibility to certain pests (so they say).  of course, too much water can cause blight and mold and rot the vegetables in the ground.  it's generally pretty simple to decipher when your garden is thirsty.  just stick your finger in the ground, and if the soil is dry at the depth of ~1/2 an inch, then it's time for a drink. 

but too little water is a problem of the past for us.  right now our garden, which happens to retain water very well, is nearing too-wet.  luckily, nothing is flowering except maybe a few late-blooming pumpkins (water is good during the flowering stage, too much water is less good). so our current worry is rot.  our squashes and melons are soon to be sinking in a cesspool of  dank muck if this rain keeps up.  so, we have two options: 1) harvest a wee bit early or, 2) put some plywood beneath the produce until harvest time.  we'll keep you posted. but we won't be doing much for now, because it's no good messing with your crops during the rain. it can spread diseases.  and we're proud to say, after some serious heart-to-hearts with our vegetables, they're disease free.

until then, we're hoping for some warm, dry, windy days to dry out this soil.

1 comment:

  1. Know what you mean about the rain. We were in desperate need of it. The soil was cracking!! We're lucky in that our pumpkins are on a rounded dry spot on the lawn, and nestled far into the grass now. So, less stuck-in-the-mud pumpkins. :-)