Sunday, July 12, 2009

Stressed Out

Well . . . my garden is showing stress. The tomatoes and peppers are hanging in there, but looking rather scraggly. My cucumber is still producing, but not as vigorously. My squashes still aren’t squashing and my eggplants have quit blooming. I read on Mother Earth News that once temperatures get above 86, a lot of summer veggies shut down. They recommend creating shade for hot gardens. I guess that is my next step . . .

On the plus side, my okras are still doing well and so are the peanuts. The Swiss chard is still producing in spite of the heat (and this week is predicted to be a bit cooler than normal, so we are getting a break!). I have a baby watermelon in the works and think it may be time to harvest my potatoes.

As for my worm bin, lately I have been adding household waste that is cut in small pieces anyway – vegetable and fruit peelings or trimmings (ie strawberry hulls, peach bruises, eggplant peels). That eliminates putting garbage in the freezer and then thawing it. Always good to eliminate steps. The bigger pieces (ie banana peels) go into the compost bin. I’ve also been adding my cardboard egg cartons to the worm bin. When I’ve finished with an egg carton, I wet it thoroughly, tear it into bits, then throw it on top of the worm food. It seems to be adding more bulk while keeping down unwanted visitors (ie fruit flies, etc).

Now for the weekly roundup:

1. Plant something – more okra and ginger, a confederate rose cutting and red kidney beans (from the pantry)

2. Harvest something – tomatoes, peppers, okra, eggplant, herbs

3. Preserve something – ummm

4. Reduce waste – I bought a sheer curtain at the local big box store and made it into bags to use when I buy produce so that I don’t have to use those plastic bags. And while this news is a couple of weeks out of date, I did make an art quilt from scraps in my scrap bag – and took second place in our guild’s challenge!

My husband recycled the neighbor’s trimmings from their palm trees and made a ‘roof’ over our bar. And lastly, at my mother’s suggestion, we turned the thermostat up another degree. It’s now set at 81 and I’m thinking we could take it to 82 without noticing much difference. If we set it too high, the humidity in the house builds up and we start having problems with our appliances.

5. Preparation and Storage – I pulled out my crochet hooks and yarn and have been practicing a bit. It’s been a long time since I crocheted. However, with the house as warm as it is, the yarn tends to stick to my fingers – which affects the tension. So, I’m putting it on hold until cooler weather. Meanwhile, I’m continuing to look at properties on the internet and to hint that this might not be the best place to hang our hats long term. Not working very well. Hmmm.

6. Build Community Food Systems – I blog (on occasion). I bought multiple copies of What’s the Worst that Could Happen? A Rational Response to the Climate Change Debate to give as gifts (that may not seem like building community food systems, but as climate change is related to food production, I’m including it!)

7. Eat the Food – mostly soups and salads. The peppers went into a chicken and rice dish from a Rachel Ray cookbook.

1 comment:

Eric from Freedom Gardens said...

I also keep worms and had some problems with fruit flies.

I don't worry about cutting the scraps for the worms into small pieces. They eat it all the same.