We had almost 12 inches of rain last night in a 7-hour span and it was a mess. We lost a lot of crops.
The worst damage was to the corn stalks. At this point in the summer our corn was at best 3/4 of the way ready, most were only half-grown. We had to pick what had fallen because the raccoon’s would have definitely stopped by to eat.
We also had some broken cucumber vines and squash. There has been a lot of veggie eating in the past week.
Picking some ripe beans
Lots of green tomatoes…
Lots and lots of beets. BEFORE you go any further, put on kitchen gloves or you will have brightly dyed, red hands.
We saved the leaves that were in good shape and sautéed them with a tiny bit of coconut oil, garlic, salt and pepper. They cook just like spinach and will shrink down significantly. A little tart but so good.
I scrubbed the uncooked beets with a veggie brush to remove the remaining dirt and then dropped them in a pot of boiling water. Cook until tender or until a fork goes into them easily. Once they cool, simply rub the outsides and the skins will fall right off.
Cabbage like this calls for corned beef in July.
Things are moving right along in the garden.
The bean vines are starting to grow along the bamboo tee-pees Greg installed. Kale and lettuce are constant at this point and are providing a daily supply. In the bottom right corner of the photo above you can see the remnants of the broccoli plants. All of our broccoli was ready during a two week span and we ate it all. Here it is being cooked below.
The lilies all popped at the same time and they are beautiful!
There are ladybugs everywhere! We introduced about 1,000 to the garden last year and they definitely decided to stay around.
It’s been almost 1 full month since everything was transplanted outside and we are finally getting some consistent sun. Everything that is growing is mostly green. Green veggies (kale, lettuce and spinach) are full enough to eat daily, the broccoli is almost ready, and everything else is just green leaves/branches with no veggies growing yet.
It seems like the corn grows a few inches everyday.
Today I brought home a garden surprise…a 6.5′ stainless Rooster.
So our sweet little angel pup, Henley, decided he didn’t like our tomato plants and ran through them until they looked like weeds.
Sadly our tomato’s won’t be from seed this year, we had to go out and buy some organic plants.
Over the past week we have been moving our seeds started indoors, to the garden outside. Up until late April/early May, we were still getting frost overnight so we are hoping these fragile plants do ok.
The soil we initially put in the boxes had settled well and turned a nice, rich black color.
Greg uses small strips of wood to make a temporary layout. This ensures that each plant will have enough room to grow without taking over the one next to it.
The process takes a while because each plant is still so young and delicate. Since they are still so tiny, using a shovel can damage the adjacent plants. In the picture above, Greg uses an alternative by digging the small holes with a teaspoon.
You can buy compost bins from your local home improvement store. They range in cost from $50-$300. Or you can build them and they’re completely free…woohoo! This is the first of many things Greg made from used palettes. Most commercial businesses will have a pile of these every week after receiving deliveries. They may keep a few, but the majority get thrown away. All we do is ask and most times they are happy that we are helping them get rid of their garbage.
To make this bin he took three standard palettes and assembled them in a “U” shape using standard screws. The slots that are already built in to the palettes are perfect for holding the rake you’ll need to turn your compost.
The pic above shows two bins side by side. We started with one and now we have four across. Greg will keep one bin empty to make it easier to rotate the compost from one bin to another. If you don’t have the space for that many bins, you can simply use one and rotate the soil within the bin.
We initially set these up in the far corner of the yard thinking that when the temperature rose we would smell anything that may be “composting”. It turns out the slots in the palette provide good enough air flow to allow the compost to properly decompose.