Monday, June 8, 2009

Our Garden, Farmer's Market, CSA and Everything Else

It has been a busy couple of weeks of work, life, kids, family, gardening, reading and everything else. To sum it up:

Our seedling our finally planted in the ground in our vegetable garden in the back. We finished this yesterday. My husband finished digging up a foot deep of dirt. Then he rented a tiller and tilled up the earth with all of our compost, some composting leaves from two doors down, and Organic Soil from Miracle Grow. Then we built up little hills and transplanted the seeds. I will need to take pictures and post them on here.

This is what we have in the ground: pumpkin, watermelon, cantelope, cucumber and one garlic. We made hills for the watermelon, cantelope and the pumpkin. I suggested a 4 sided t-p trellis like the one in the Organic Gardening book for the cucumbers. My husband grabbed a few long branches my neighbor cut from the crape Myrtle when it fell in our back yard during Hurricane Ike. He cut several branches in order to help me raise the Crape Myrtle back up. It looks ugly now, but its thriving strong with leaves and even flourished with flowers a few months back. When my husband came home he cut the cut branch's into smaller straighter branches. He grabbed four of these yesterday. Collected them at the top with wire and spread the bottom. Once the trellis was made he placed in the garden. He can make trellis so easily. You should see the simple but affective one he made for the jasmine in the front yard.

The okra seedlings are still in a pot waiting for a bigger pot. We are having trouble finding free large containers for our container garden vegetables. There just has to be a place were we can just go pick up free large containers someone else doesn't want. I will have to try freecycle again. We would also like to find large containers to make our own rain barrels. These would be very helpful because where we live sometimes we can go weeks without rain. Using our fresh water gets expensive.

Our Topsy Turvey has 3 small green tomatoes quickly growing on the vine. I can't wait to taste them. My neighbor's Topsy Turvey has six. He tease us constantly about our little tomatoes.

Our herbs.....not doing so well. They look weak and small in their beautiful homemade wooden container. We think it either a drainage issue or a too much sun issue. We are planning this week to visit the botanical gardens near by to ask in hopes for the correct answer. A friend of mine from work also suggested Randy Lemmon. He's a radio gardener.

Our CSA meat came on May the 30. This is what we got:

Beef Liver (I still have the last one)
Whole Chicken
Beef Sirloin Steak (2)
Hot-Piggity- Dogs
Top Round Roast Beef
Pork Shoulder Roast
Smoked Jowls
Ground Brisket Beef (2)
Ground Beef (2)
Ground Pork
Beef Cutlets

As always the meat is delicious and I am so happy to be eating meats that are healthier for my family, kinder to the animals (compared to other places), healthier for the environment, and helps support a local farm. I absolutely love the customer service from here and I always look forward to Honi's newsletters. She is so cheerful and gives great cooking tips and recipes. The only downfall is the price and the amount. I'm trying to use the amount of meat we eat for our health for our pocketbook and for the animals, but one day I made a meal that obviously didn't have enough meat for my husband or even my kids. He loved the taste of the meal but was upset that there wasn't more meat. We ate less meat at this meal than recommended per meal per person. Usually this isn't a problem because I have nuts or mushrooms or a starch, but on that day we were running low on everything, but vegetables and the other CSA meat varieties. I really do wish I was a better cook.

Our CSA veggie pickups have had a lot of squash. A lot! So, we've eaten a lot of squash lately. We are pretty much all squashed out, but I made a squash dish everyone liked yesterday. I cut the squash into small pieces. Sauteed them in butter and garlic. Added salt, black pepper, and a bit of lemon pepper.

This past Saturday we shopped at a farmer's market as well as visited a farm and bought some of their fresh picked veggies at the little shop they had on their farm. The farm was huge. I'm still shy about asking farmers how they grow their food in fear they'll become defensive like one woman farmer did months ago, but I did ask if they gave tours. I am interested in showing my girls what a farm is and does. The women apologized and said only in groups, like a school group. Oh well, maybe next year I can convince my daughter's school to take a field trip to the farm.

The rest of this week will be busy too. School is out, but work isn't.

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