Monday, June 6, 2016

Garden - June 2016

Because we had so much rain last year, my garden was horrible.  I worked SO hard on it, and it was beautiful and everything came up gloriously, and then the rain started.  It rained and rained and rained.  When I picked vegetables, I went barefooted and walked in mud up to my ankles.

You can't hoe mud, you know.  The weeds flourished.  They completely took over.  It was the worst I've ever seen and it broke my heart.  "I am too old for this," I kept thinking.  So much effort (and food) was wasted.  Not. Good.

So... I decided to go to a permanent mulch system, like Ruth Stout described in her wonderful books.  I also cut the area I am planting in half and gave half of that half to my Garden Fairy to use, so I am only gardening in 1/4th the area I have had for the last several years.  I've covered it all with lots of hay and will continue to add mulch as I can get it.  I am hoping for some wood chips at some point.

This spring has been very wet and the garden is still soggy...  I don't really expect to have a stellar year this year, but I will fool around out there and try my best to grow some food.  Well, I already have food... we've eaten Nappa cabbage, chives, basil, parsley, asparagus and radishes.  The thornless red raspberries are looking promising.  The tomatoes nearly died, but are coming back.  Some of the peppers died and my GF replanted for me.  The corn is up.  Some of the winter and summer squashes are up.  I have a few carrots up and looking very happy.  There is lots of volunteer garlic!

See this?  It is some volunteer mullein in my small herb patch.  When mullein is well fed and has plenty of sunlight, it can get quite spectacular!  The leaves are good for dyeing wool, and the blossoms have medicinal properties.

A closer look at the  mullein flower stalk.


Comfrey patch

Red raspberries

"Herb Patch"

Pole bean teepees

Potato patch

The corn is emerging!

In the middle, here, you can see my Egyptian onions

And here is a close up of the little bulb-lets they make

I discovered something new today.  If you like the taste of onions (I do if they are not too strong) you can pick these little bulb-lets and...

... bite carefully and the insides will come out and you can eat it!  Right there in the garden.  It was a delightful treat!

A pretty cabbage!

Tomato cages.  The tomato plants are barely hanging on.

View across part of our garden plots.

Volunteer garlic where the trellis fence used to be


Sugar Snap Peas

Baby carrots!

Pepper plants that my GF put in for me.  :)

Some very happy dandelion growing with the comfrey.  I will use this to make noodles.

See that feathery stuff over there?  That is the asparagus.  My GF and I dug that up near a railroad track 2 years ago and transplanted it into our garden.   

So... that is where we are today.  I replanted some things this morning - more carrots, sugar pie pumpkins, winter squash, pole beans, and some green bush beans.  I will report back as time goes on.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Oyster mushroom season!

We have had some good rain, and I was very happy to see a wonderful bloom of Oyster Mushrooms on the Tulip Poplar stumps in our yard yesterday!  I waited until today to harvest them, so they could grow a little more.  We got about 3.5 pounds.  :)

I soaked them in cold water for a while to drive off the hitchhikers, then carefully rinsed them under cool running water and put them through my salad spinner.  Voila!

If you've never had oyster mushrooms (and you enjoy mushrooms) you are missing a real treat.  They are the best I've ever eaten.  PLEASE do not go out and try to gather these on your own if you are not familiar with them.  Get someone knowledgeable to show you first.

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