Monday, December 19, 2011

The gardening year

This gardening year went on and on and on. I wasn't exhausted like some years in August. I had done some very good work neglecting it so I just wasn't hating my garden. Still the week before Thanksgiving when I still was ripening and processing tomatoes I decided it was time. With the twins birthdays and then Thanksgiving and then Christmas around the corner I just really needed to shift gears mentally. Feeding the last of the tomatoes to the compost bin was just the thing. Every year I vow to document my garden harvest. Next year will be the year!! Here is the pic of the tomato sauce I preserved several times this year. My own garlic, basil, oregano, peppers and a few batches with only my own tomatoes.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

What is wrong with all these garden haters!?

Got a minute? Go and try to support this lady and her garden.

Here is what I wrote.
I am writing regarding a garden at Hamlin MHC in Webberville. I have no idea what your position is on this issue but am aware that representatives will be meeting with the tenant to discuss her garden. All I want to say is this. There are a lot of horrible things going on in the world today. Everything from crime to the economy to serious health issues across our nation. People treating each other horribly for no other reason than that they can or that they are stressed and looking to take it out on one another. Please let's not be petty. Let a person have a little joy by having a garden, feeding themselves wholesome food that nurtures their body and their soul. Is it so much to ask?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Garlic braids

Dan and I used to live in Korea where we could buy garlic braids that looked just like this. Just looking at this picture makes me happy for that reason and to know that I have a year's worth of garlic that I grew! No irradiated garlic from China for me. And it was super easy. It might become my top crop recommendation!

What's growing in the garden

Raising veggies at the neighbor's
Raising kids in our back yard. Lettuce and spinach nearing its end for the season.
The other kids in my backyard!
The wild animals in our backyard! HA!

Growing food in the front yard

Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan is in trouble. For growing veggies in her front yard of all things! I have equated boobs to lawns now thanks to this issue. I know it is a leap for some but it just came to me so hear me out. They are both designed to feed us. Neither are meant to be augmented and boosted by additives and chemicals. They are not meant to be purely decorative. Our soil has a purpose; to grow food. Our bodies and minds have a purpose to nourish each other literally and figuratively. If there is enjoyment and things are pleasing to the eye then that is nice but not the sole purpose of either. Some may say we need to hide veggies in the back yard like hiding breastfeeding in the bathroom but that is not the way the world was meant to be. God didn't know we were going to all go and get all twisted, over-sexualized,and control freakish! OK enough wierd ranting that doesn't make sense to anyone who doesn't get my logic or humor/irony. Before you think I am totally wackadoodle, here is a more coherant piece I wrote.

Kate B. 1 week ago

Oak Park government is not living in our current reality. People need to be able to feed themselves and should be encouraged to do so. Here are a few ways she is helping herself and the world around her.
1. Doing what she can to feed her family rather than depending on government assistance to include subsidies. (You know much of the food we buy is subsidized via ag subsidies and oil company subsidies right?)
2. Not polluting her property and adjacent areas with herbicides or fertilizers needed to maintain a lush green grass.
3. Since she mentioned that it is organic she is also not killing off pollinators such as honey bees by using pesticides.
3. Not wasting water to maintain plant material that has minimal value such as grass.
4. Reducing her carbon footprint by sourcing her food from her front yard rather than the average 1500 miles. (It doesn't get any more local than your front yard!)
5. Reducing waste by not buying the equivalent produce at the store thus not wasting produce bags, cellophane, and styrofoam packaging etc.
7. Providing revenue to local businesses through the purchase of mulch and plant material.
8. Teaching her children to fight for things they believe in. (Government is suppposed to be for the people by the people.)
9. Decreasing her stress and improving her health through garden maintenance related exercise. (That is until the city decided to criminalize feeding oneself!)
10.Possibly most importantly she is providing an educational opportunity for young and old alike to learn about food production. There may come a time when those skills are needed given our country's penchant for war and oil.

Monday, July 11, 2011

52 weeks of Garlic

After years of wanting to start garlic I finally got it accomplished last fall. Planting garlic is like planting peas for me. Getting it done is a sign of success because there is a one-time window to make it happen. If you plant beans a month late you have less beans but still you do have beans. Around here garlic a month late would mean digging in the snow. For peas it is the opposite although the weather has definitely changing so I should plant it even if I think it is too late. Heck we still have beautiful lettuce so peas would have been fine. But I digress.. So after a bit of faith last fall and a bit of uncertainty this spring.... 55 heads of garlic from my one raised bed is my reward. So happy. They were at risk for a bit because the day I harvested ended up in a downpour while I was trapped under babies (read:nursing). But I brought them in on our bread loaf rack and put a box fan under them and they are gorgeous. I will have to take garlic braid pictures another day. Softnecks don't make beautiful, yummy scapes but they do braid. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

June, at least I know where you went, I think

What happened in June? 10 day vacation with family at a rental house in the Outer Banks started the month off. It was fun, fun, fun. Well worth the effort and expense of travelling with 3 kiddos. Wish we could see Dan's family more. And so begins our recruiting efforts to convince them all to move! :)

We came home and played catch up. Had to dispatch a chicken who was laying internally. Easier than I thought it would be. GIANT hard boiled-ish yolk is about all the details some of you likely want.

I also started night weaning Flower to get more milk from Iris. Started harvesting spring crops like lettuce and spinach and rhubarb and radishes. Giant phallic French breakfast radishes that I was tempted to take a pic of to share. We went on two strawberry farm picking trips and picked sugar snap peas as well. 30 some jars of strawberry syrup and some frozen peas were the first things put up for the year.

We started toying with cordials. Brandy infused with cherries from our little neighborhood farmer's market. Elderflower/lemon balm/lemon peel infused vodka. Hoping to try get some green plums to make umeshu.

We also got our first taker on us harvesting fruit trees for free. We took home 20lbs of tart cherries after 3 hrs of picking that took me 3 nights to pit and freeze. We used some to make Vitamix "ice cream" and dehydrated some as well. My niece Sarah came to spend a few days so that was a whirlwind of picnics and local attractions.

At the end of the month Dan brought home a first bit of honey and comb that was being built where it shouldn't have been.

I hope to add a few more pics to this later.

And now it is July.