Independence Days Week X

Posting early; I work tomorrow and have a very full day planned for Tuesday.

Plant something:  Cocopah sweet corn amongst my hybrid sweet corn to fill out the spaces where it didn’t sprout.  It’s too hot and humid to do it at the moment, but I plan to prep the bed I just pulled the carrots out of and plant the corn for a Three Sisters bed in its place.  Mr Tin Foil wants to plant sweet pie pumpkins for the squash part of it; I need to decide whether I’m planting dent corn for meal or the rest of the Cocopah sweet corn.  The beans will be plain ole pole beans; I have scarlet runners planted in various locations around the deck and the fence and in our heat I’m not holding out a lot of hope for beans this year.  We DO however eat mounds and mounds of green beans and in fact I didn’t even attempt to preserve any last year — we ate them as fast as they came ripe.  I have both pole and bush planted in the front yard but like I said, we eat a LOT of green beans if we can get them fresh off the vine so these will definitely get eaten.

Harvest something:  all the carrots.  I planted nantes half long and they are pretty fabulous — I’ll have to blanche the last of them and freeze them before they get soft.  They were only about 3 to 4 inches long, but most were an inch or more in diameter, and sweet as can be with no fibrous texture like you can sometimes get in hot weather. I harvested my onion flowers and have been shaking out the seeds as they get dry.  I don’t think I’m going to need onion starts for like the next two years!!!  Three plants allowed to go to seed made like 500 seeds.  The first eggplant of the year; the japanese eggplants were the first to flower and fruit, but they just aren’t very big so far this year.  Not sure why.  I’m frying them up for dinner with a yogurt dill sauce, and a cucumber/tomato salad.

Eat the food:  carrots, onions,  garlic, the first Armenian cucumber of the year, cherry tomatoes, the first Celebrity tomato.  Eggs, and quite a lot of the above mentioned harvests went into a nearly completely local potato salad.  Organic Yukon Gold potatoes, local eggs, home made mayonnaise, local garlic, cuke, carrot, onion.  I told Mr. Tin Foil I’m out, I’m not making the potato salad any more.  His puts mine to shame.

I am SO impressed with these Armenian cukes!  The flavor is really great, and they are not all watery like regular cukes.  I think they are probably the ideal pickling cucumber and next year I probably will only sow them rather than a mix of them and pickling cukes (which are still not producing although they were planted on the same day).

Preserve something:  nectarine butter from nectarines that were rather over ripe.  I did it outside on the campstove.  I LOVE that thing!  I only got 6 jars from 5 pounds of nectarines, but it also didn’t take all day which was very nice.

I ground a lamb roast I bought on sale into one pound packages and froze them.

Manage stores:  Somehow even with cleaning the freezer out we still had meat from 2004 in there.  That went bye bye.  I just don’t want to take a chance on something like that.

Community:  nah.  Just eating with friends, sharing produce with neighbors and my children.  I feel like a pusher — “really, take some more peaches!  and jelly! It’s good, I swear!”  Well, I did talk to my future DIL about maybe getting two pigs to pasture on her mom’s property and I’ll foot the feed and slaughter bills in exchange for the land, and they can have one of the pigs at slaughter time.  She’ll let me know.

My Johnny jump ups never sprouted; I think it may be too hot for them.  Well, there’s always next year.

The nasturtiums are taking over the front beds, and I think it’s time to feed the chickens some of the nice plump leaves.  I can also put some in my salad, I just don’t seem to remember them when it’s time for a salad.  But, since my lettuce is bolting and turning bitter due to the heat, it may be time for some nasturtium salads.

And now, for a gratuitous picture from Sarah Kucera:

from Sarah's excellent photo montage of the inside of Detroit's defunct train station

"The age of the car was cute...but can we grow some food now?" - photo credit Sarah Kucera

I think that’s a sentiment we can all get behind.

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