The lack of rain is making all of us grumpy and the days are hot. This is the 3rd week or more without rain. My flower garden is thirsty and we are still trying to find ways to water our vegetable garden without bringing up our water bill. This is proving to be hard because these plants need a lot of water.
We also still have not found free or inexpensive wooden barrels for container gardening nor have we found free large plastic or tin barrels to contain the rain when it comes....if it ever comes.
On a very positive note....during our shopping trip to HEB right before our CSA pickup we stopped by the corn on sale and my husband noticed a large box of empty corn husks right next to the corn stand. He said, pointed at the box and looked at me, "I want this!" A light bulb went off in my head and I remembered a tip from one of the many gardening books we have checked out and I said, "go ask the manager". He smiled swung his pointed finger in the direction he would walk to to find the manger and said, "I will!" Off he went. When he came back he said they gave him the rotting melon too. I had mixed feeling about that. I didn't want rotting melon in the car in the heat. Imagine the smell, but he seemed happy so I went a long with it.
When we got inside the car I could smell it. It was nasty and we still had to pick up the CSA veggies then drive all the way home. At the CSA pick up we finally had a bag of tomatoes to pick up with the rest of the veggies. I was excited because we love tomatoes. We still have only one bag full of vegetables, but at least we no longer have that nasty lettuce. Unfortunately, we are now growing tired of the squash too.
When we arrived home. He took the large boxes of rotten fruit and husks out of the SUV and to the back yard to place in the compost. Naturally he spilled some of the melon juice in the back of the SUV. I was upset, but he cleaned it and aired it out. The smell is gone now. Next time we will bring flattened cardboard boxes with us. When he spoke to the manager there she was fine with allowing us to pick up more rotten fruits and veggies later. She says a lot of gardeners have asked them. My husband says one of the other managers there was a little nervous about letting us take the rotten food. My husband reassured him we wouldn't eat it. I guess the other manager was worried about a lawsuit or something. I can understand that. There are some bad dishonest people out there. They ruin it for everyone. I told my husband, if they are still nervous. to tell them he is more than willing to sign a paper letting HEB know we wont sue. I'll post it here. HEB we wont sue you over this rotten food. We are only using it for our compost pile and I appreciate you willing to take the chance. You are helping us out and helping the planet at the same. Thanks to you, our compost bin is full and in six months to a year we will have rich dark black soil to put in our vegetable garden.
I wish all grocery stores would do this. I hate the idea of all that compost material going to waste and to the landfill. It's a shame that so much of it does when it can be turned into compost. If grocery stores were smart they would turn there waste into compost and then sale it to their costumers for a dollar. A dollar more for organic compost.
By the way our pumpkins, cantelopes, and cucumber are thriving, but our watermelon is struggling. My husband says they do better in sandy soil. We have clay soil. He plans to mix it with a bit of sandy soil next year. This year we will just see what happens. By the way did I ever mention we once lived in Alabama for a year many years ago and we tried gardening there. We planted a few things: corn, carrots, watermelon, and tomatoes, is all I can remember. Our corn died. Only one carrot grew, but we picked it too soon, cute tiny little thing. We had some yummy tomatoes for a few weeks. They were absolutely delicious. I think I made the best spaghetti I have ever made with those tomatoes, but then before we knew it the watermelon grew over everything and choked everything out. Still, we were happy. We picked a few watermelon at first, but discovered it was too early to harvest. We finally researched how to harvest watermelon and a few weeks later we had so many we were giving them away. I would love to reach that point in our vegetable garden, the point when we have so much food to harvest we can give it away to our family and friends.
Back then we didn't know how to garden at all. It was pure luck and wishful thinking. This year we decided to learn about gardening first and then plant. Well...honestly it was a little of both. We are still reading gardening books. We are still asking gardeners questions. We still have a lot and I mean a lot to learn, but I think we will be okay. If we succeed then we save money on food and we feed our family fresh organic healthy food. If we fail, it isn't really a failure because we learned new things and we enjoyed doing it, my husband most of all. After coming back from Iraq and still searching for a job I believe this calms him. This calms me.
My children enjoy it too. They get so excited about these things. This is what I love about kids, simplicity and nature still excites them. Materialistic things and vanity are way back on the back burner. I say let us as adults help them keep it there. We all need to take a break and give simplicity and nature another try. Maybe we would all be happy for it.