Saturday, November 22, 2008

Here's a pic of Marc starting a spring garden on Feb. 29, 2008. I took these pics from the loft balcony. He had a load of mushroom compost delivered and you can see it's in the middle of the garden. That stuff is like black gold. It seemed like we couldn't kill the plants if we tried - they grew so well. We planted tomatoes, including grape tomatoes for the first time ever, potatoes, peppers (jalapeno and banana), onions, radishes, lettuce (mix of several varieties), spinach, summer squash and cucumbers. We were able to put up some tomato sauce (which is finally all gone), dill pickles (gone), bread & butter pickles, salsa, pickled peppers, and tons of frozen squash. Mary and I made salsa together in her kitchen. We were over run with tomatoes at that time. I was able to can pickles and tomato sauce while living in the camper. We set up the "turkey fryer" in front of the camper and put the water bath canner on that. I figure if we could do as well living in a camper and working on the house at the same time we should be able to produce a whole lot more next year. When we starting doing finish work in the house (around May-July 2008) we abandoned the garden. Marc tilled under everything a week or so ago to get ready for a fall garden. But believe it or not, as of today's date, Nov. 22, the peppers are still going strong. It's crazy. We're going to set out brussels sprouts tomorrow. We have "salad" seeds on order. It will be nice to have "free" salads again. That stuff is $3-4 in the stores. When we had it going in the garden last spring we'd go out with a colander, and pick what we wanted for dinner. It was really nice having a "salad bar" in the garden. One day I went out there and some bug or other had totally decimated the spinach. That's what happens I guess when you ignore it for a week and expect everything to be as you left it when you go back. I've never been able to grow summer squash before, so it was a real treat to have all we could eat fresh. Those squash kept growing until Marc finally took a hoe to them to till this fall. It was like some kind of "Day of the Triffids" thing - they would not quit growing! We were so busy with the house that we just quit picking them but those crazy plants just wouldn't die. Ditto with the tomatoes. We planted a variety called "Celebrity" and they just kept coming. Of course, SOMEONE planted them too close, then never did get around to staking them... so they sort of sprawled all over the place. Despite that, almost all of those tomatoes looked perfect. We didn't have as good luck with the Roma variety. For whatever reason (again, perhaps the spacing issue??) they developed blossom end rot on most of them. The grape tomatoes still have flowers. It's crazy. They were very easy to grow but a lot of work harvesting cause they're so small.

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