Thursday, June 21, 2012


It is so bloody hot in my house right now, I feel like I can't think straight. That's never a good thing. I am most definitely not a warm-weather creature.

But it is summer, finally, and the gardens are growing up nicely.

The day lilies alongside the house are just starting to bloom. Ever since we had a big patch of them at the farmhouse we rented when we first moved to Jay, I've been in love with this flower. We have a tiny patch of them alongside the house now, and I'm always tempted to steal more when I see them growing on the side of the road and plant them at our house.

The herb garden: totally out of control. We've got lavender, hyssop, oregano, garlic chives, parsley, sage, and thyme growing out there. I love running out and nipping off the herbs I need as I'm cooking dinner, and Colden and I have spent many hours out here as I teach him how each leaf looks, smells, and tastes.

We've been getting lovely, fat, red radishes for quite a few weeks now, and the beets, onions, and shallots that Tom planted are growing well, too. As the beets and radishes have been growing, we've been nipping off the leaves for use in stir-fries and salads. Yummy!

Tom did some new layouts for the other vegetable gardens this year. This is the cucumber-pea-kale-spinach garden. The outside poles are where we have planted three varieties of cucumbers and two varieties of peas. The inside rows are planted with kale and spinach. We already have baby spinach leaves coming up!

This is the pole bean and squash garden, with pots of cauliflower and cabbage at each corner. The beans and squash are already coming up nicely, and I can hardly wait until we have bushels of fresh string beads!

We put half a dozen tomato plants in upside-down pots, and once Tom stopped fertilizing them, they actually started to grow like crazy! We even have little baby tomatoes! The remaining two we put in large pots with cages, and then we planted some eggplants and peppers in pots, as these have never done terribly well when we plant them in the ground. No idea why. But they always do better in pots, so into pots they go!

With all of this green garden goodness coming up, we've decided to temporarily suspend our whole-diet CSA experiment. We were getting way too much meat and dairy and not enough vegetables to really make it worth our while.

The other problem we had was that Colden flat-out refused to drink any of the milk, even after we pasteurized it ourselves. He would pitch a fit and not drink it, and most of it ended up going to waste.

But we're not done with our quest to give up going to the grocery store. We're looking into other local CSAs to join, and I'm researching where I can get some locally grown and milled organic flours. Our local natural foods store has also told me that she can get me some non-GMO soybeans so I can make my own tempeh (fermented bean cake - it's actually much tastier than it sounds).

What's next? To be continued...


Melanie said...

Jen I am in LOVE with your garden. I really wanted to build raised beds this year, but with my new summer job there just would not be any time. Maybe next year! For now I will shop at the Maplewood Farmer's Market every Monday afternoon. Happy growing!

Loris Glassworks said...

Thanks for sharing your garden. I love day lilies, we have some bright yellow ones coming up right now. I know what you mean about 'rescuing' them from the roadside, I'm often tempted too.
Lori D.

VanBeads said...

I'm so glad you like our gardens! The amazing thing is that in just a few square feet of space, we grow enough veggies to last us almost an entire year. Joining the CSA made us realize how self-sufficient we really are!