Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Slug Fest & Super Sugar Snap Peas

The birds are seriously slacking. Usually I have a pretty decent sized mob that combs through the yard and gardens but they are otherwise distracted at the moment. We had some rains, enough to green the place up a bit and out came many more bugs. While I have squished a few cucumber beetles.. I am at war with the explosion of slugs. Usually the birds keep the numbers down, but not this year... and there are tons of them.

So I am out in the garden every evening and every morning just as the sun just starts to peek over the horizon.. chopsticks in one hand, jar of salty water in another. I don't care to handle the slugs, but the chopsticks let me reach just a little further in the tangle of peas to get at them. I have a bag of diatomaceous earth, but can't locate it. No doubt as soon as I get the next bag, the first one will reappear.

So the Burpee Super Sugar Snap Peas are in full swing. They are sooooo good. Even when they are very filled out.. voluptuous pods.. they are tender, juicy and sweet. They produce pretty well, but are so delicious that one pack of seeds was definitely not enough for our family of 3. I keep trying to add them to dinner and salads, but without an armed guard they get devoured seconds after I rinse them. My husband and daughter prefer them plain to boot!

Definitely will have to triple how many of those I plant next year. They are eating and picking them so heavily that I will have to buy the seed as no pod gets left behind.

The snow peas I have picked the last pound for a friend, let's just call him Tom. Although good.. and Tom loves them.. I am letting all of them go to seed now. Next year they will be planted again and I should have more than enough to also harvest the shoots.

So I sent off the extras to Tom.. several bunches of radish, about a pound of snow peas, 1 1/2 pounds of shelling peas, a 1/2 pound of dill, a 1/2 pound of chives, a massive massive bunch of catnip, a pound of kale, a 1/2 pound of arugula, 2 heads of romain lettuce, and a 1/2 pound of sugar snap peas. I know my dill is pretty powerfully flavored and Tom is so hooked on it that there is no such thing as too much... and his cat comes flying out of nowhere to pounce the catnip the moment my husband walks in the house (this rather large cat will try to climb up you to get at it).. but Tom tried the snap peas while talking to a mutual friend (will call him Jimmy.. who used to live down the block and used to get the extras).. and raved about them. lol Jimmy called us and said he is more than happy to drive across town should we need to unload extras.

I get as far as saving the seeds to perpetuate the crops, but I don't put up as much as I should. It gives me a lot of joy to share. Jimmy and Tom as well return the favor.

Anyways... the sun is almost coming up. I need to go get my chopsticks and get to slug hunting.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I decided today that I am not weeding... I am collecting fresh compost material.

So the potatoes are setting flower buds. Not all potatoes do this though... many of the current cultivars for commercial production are hybrids and are propagated by means of the tubers. So if you decide to take a chance on a bag of sprouted potatoes in your fridge, don't be surprised if they don't flower. Also.. you would really want to think twice about the store spuds as many of them come with baggage. By that I mean viruses and other pathogens which may either be difficult to detect.. or the main way they can express there are issues are by reduced crop yields.

There is a way around that.. but it does involve sprouting the eyes from the potatoes and then cutting the sprouts of a few inches up to then root in clean potting medium. It is banking off of the sprouts growing faster than the viruses can infect them.
So they set out flowers.. and then after pollination they create fruit. If you leave the fruit to ripen, you can harvest the seed and ferment them much like collecting tomato seeds. To grow a crop from seed though will take roughly 2 years. 1st year the plants will produce usually just tiny taters which then can be used as seed potatoes the following year. The results.. well they will vary. Don't expect them to breed true.. very few strains do that. This is however one of the ways new strains are created. Then keeping the strain true is just a matter of clonal propagation by replanting of the tubers.
The matter of hilling them to get a greater crop is kind of up for debate. Reason being that it depends on how large the stolon is.. and as that forms the first week after the potato sprout emerges.. if you don't catch it soon enough, hilling it is a wasted effort.

Tomatillo have already begun to flower.. well this one anyways. It's buddies still need more time to catch up. If this sets fruit.. the seed from it will not be viable as tomatillo are self-incompatible.

The heat + the days of rain.. and now the heat again is causing my snow peas to wind down. No doubt the family will be glad at least some of the peas are no longer on the menu. I managed to add snow peas to pretty much every meal and shared some extras with a friend. I don't bother with freezing snow peas.. they are one of those things that never quite revive, so we just eat them seasonally.
The Alaska shelling peas have been producing for awhile. I am now stopping collecting from them so the rest may have enough time to finish for seed next year. I have another patch of shelling peas that will be ready to start picking soon. I still can't find what strain they are. I did find a quick map I drew and only because of that I know they are a shelling sort. The sugar snap peas are still being devoured by our daughter. I got to try just a few and they are very sweet. I have to fend her off soon so I can get enough to plant next year.
Off I go to collect more fresh composting materials (sigh) and plant more dill. My husband's friend can't seem to get enough of it. I told him to buy some lumber and we'll help him make a raised bed so he can grow his own. It will reseed itself easily and all he has to do is keep it weeded.
Back to work.. always so much to do and just when you think you are close to being done.. there is more.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Unintended Germination

Vermicompost bins have a tendency to encourage seeds of all sorts to sprout.. whether you wanted them to or not. Above are birdhouse gourds that had been exposed to the elements all winter long, in fact they hadn't dried very much at all so I chucked them in the bin. They keep sprouting and I keep ripping them out.

And these would all be tomato volunteers from my evil experiments on tomato transplanting last year. I may plant them in the garden... that is if the rototiller fairies make another garden bed. I can dream...
In vermicompost you have the usual suspects.. nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, trace minerals and the like. What is also in there is various fungus, nitrogen fixing bacteria and their other bacteria buddies, humic acids, enzymes.. and plant hormones. Roughly this is the general cliff note explanation of the hormones.. courtesy of Wikipedia cause my head is killing me to think right now.
Gibberellins- "
are plant hormones that regulate growth and influence various developmental processes, including stem elongation, germination, dormancy, flowering, sex expression, enzyme induction, and leaf and fruit senescence"
Auxins- "are a class of plant growth substance and morphogens (often called phytohormone or plant hormone). Auxins have an essential role in coordination of many growth and behavioural processes in the plant life cycle."
Cytokinins- "are a class of plant growth substances (plant hormones) that promote cell division, or cytokinesis, in plant roots and shoots. They are primarily involved in cell growth and differentiation, but also affect apical dominance, axillary bud growth, and leaf senescence."

But wait Anne... they sound like they overlap or do the same thing.. well the answer is sort of and not really. Gibberellins are like a messenger service while Auxins and Cytokinins are like Yin and Yang in that they balance each other out to a degree. Auxins are the reason why roots always grow downwards no matter how the seed is planted... and why plants lean toward the light.
Ugh... let's just say light and darkness effect the photoreceptors in plants which in turn triggers the amounts of the hormones in the plants.
I promise I will explain it but I swear my head is about to explode and forming cohesive sentences trying to explain it is beyond my capabilities right now.. plus no doubt I will end up offering the long version.

More birdhouse gourds.. I am leaving them alone for a little while. They have flower buds forming and in short.. I will let them flower long enough to attract the pollinators and keep them busy until the zucchini catch up. These suckers were nailed by snow as seedlings and it didn't kill them.

Why yes... yes it did rain here for a few days and we did have a wicked chilly cold snap.

I really would love to kidnap the old Russian guy at my husband's work. He knows where to find all of the good mushrooms. I know where to find the morels and puffballs on my Mom's farm.. but out here I am not sure where to go. Chanterelle, Puffballs, morels and porchini are about all I can identify. Granted I do have someone else double check the porchini just in case.
Whenever there is precipitation + a big fluctuation in temperature it seems to trigger many fungus to set out fruit. Mushrooms are the fruiting body of fungus. There is a Mycological Society not far from here.. but their days to go always seem to clash with when I have time open. One day... one day.. it is on my list of things I want to do.
I am off to bed.. tomorrow I will trade some peas, radish, spinach and herbs for a few cans of cheap beer so I can make some slug traps. There was a recent hatch out and I rounded up over 60 of them early this evening.. some were small enough to fit 2 inside this o.

Varroa mite?

Maybe it is the headache making me see things... but is that red dot on the corbicula something to worry about?

If it is a varroa mite there isn't anything I can do about it.. just an odd thought and something I noticed in the picture. Here's to hoping it isn't.

Bumblebees + migraine + bindweed = SNARKY

Pretty... when it isn't in your yard.

Especially when your yard has this many.

While I don't mind the dandelions.. have at it little bumblebees..

They also like bindweed pollen.

This little stinker hit up so many blooms it was astounding. The honeybees are not out today.. they haven't been for the last 3 days. Despite the cold and rain.. the bumblebees are hard at work. Can't have too much bindweed!
Migraines make me a bit crabby. This one in particular is working up to be a whopper. Hammering nails into oak with my forehead would probably be less painful.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I have an odd fascination with some of them. While I get what they are doing, why they are doing it and applaud several of them for their efforts at thinking ahead.. there are a few that make me shake my head or flat out are a bit scary.
I suppose that because seeds have always been a fascination for me that it pointed out what I see as a rather big hole in many of their plans. Many of them think far enough to pack seeds.. and even point out that one should pack non-hybrid seeds in their reserves... but .. but... always there is a but..


Worse yet.. many buy into to that gimmicky pvc "seed bank" of delusional security. That whole thing makes me cringe as so many are feeling this false sense of security to such a degree that they post videos on youtube about their pride of that purchase. Reality is that most all of them couldn't tell you how to even get a plot of dirt prepped for a garden.

So there are a ton of people all looking glassy eyed at this piece of plastic and thinking... "whew! I got that covered.. I am good to go!" Yeah... only if by some freak chance all plant disease and pests as well get eradicated.

There are strains not found in seed catalogs... not sold by seed distribution companies.. they are raised by a few hundred people... or even just one. Most people think there are maybe a hundred or so cultivars of tomatoes.. all they see are the ones in the seed racks or the transplants at the nursery. There are literally thousands.

Now while some crops are easy to sae seeds from.. like beans and peas and often peppers.. others are a challenge. Squash... because C. Pepo is a species with so many different summer squash and a few winter squash with heavy pollen and nectar producing flowers that bees go berserk (read.. cross pollination galore unless you deliberately take steps to prevent it).. or corn which can send out millions of pollen grains for a week which is carried on the wind (again.. something you need to time the bloom of, know isolation distances, or know how to bag them.)

How about those that need to be over wintered to get seeds? Root crops that have good storage ability, often the crops eaten in the winter.. kinda important ones you want to keep going.

Herbs, flowers and especially cover crops get overlooked. Yes... flowers. Here's my point.. pollinators are important. You want them to set up shop so that your garden is productive. Although they do have a range to wander in their foraging pursuits... it isn't nearly as far as the typical person thinks it is. While not every survivalist is going to keep bees... anyone gardening food crops knows the importance of pollinators. Many crops have multiple purposes aside from putting food on the table... learn to save those seeds too. Alfalfa for example... nitrogen fixing plant that also is a feedstock for livestock, blooms attract some bees and other pollinators, helps prevent soil erosion. Clover is another multi tasker.. bee forage, livestock forage, green manure source, nitrogen fixer.. and some of them are edible (tea can be made from it as well the greens can be cooked).

I suppose my gripe is that you can just pick up a bunch of seeds and think you have all of your bases covered. If one is so worried about crops being stolen... hedge your bets and plant an orchard. Variety outside of the box store offerings. Actually grow the plants and save the seeds. Grow the seeds you saved and see how well you have done maintaining the strain. Know how to store the seeds properly. I mean how many survivalists have desiccant on their "must have" list?

A plastic storage bin with seeds in paper bags that someone has written the date they purchased them all over means nothing when it gets invaded by bugs... or worse... moisture.

Another thing.. some seed packets.. the seeds are already several years old. When they put a "sell by" date.. as they legally have to.. all it means is this.. a germination test was conducted, and the seed passed the testing requirements.. the date means nothing more than a window of time (13 months) in which the seed can be sold.

Knowing how to perpetuate a crop might just be a factor they would want to practice. Knowing how to select for traits, avoid genetic bottlenecking, be able to identify and handle disease/pests etc. is something over the last few generations that has fallen on the back burners. It used to be common practice in many households as it was key to survival. (As was diversity of plantings and foraging.)

That's my thoughts on that for the moment.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

what a tool- Leatherman

Now this is something similar to what I got my husband over 10 years ago. He has it on him all the time and it gets used almost daily. It is made in the U.S.A. and it is of good, durable construction. It folds up into a handy size and the sheath has belt loops, but it lays well so it isn't obtrusive. It is like the Swiss army knife of tools.. but in my opinion it is better.
You have to realize that was a tad hard for me to admit.. as I had an odd fascination with Swiss army knives. They are just so handy. I had a small one as a kid which I used all of the time at the stables and when we would go mucking about in the woods all day on our horses. I also was prone to losing them and more than a few went through the wash!
The first time I went to Venezuela.. many many years ago, I had 3 with me. My sister lived there for a few years and anyhow she had an older gentleman that tended the yard and a housekeeper who had a teenage son. 1 was for me and the other 2 were for them. They loved 'em.
The second time I went down to visit my sister, she had gotten a message from her friend Iglee who was down in the southern area of Venezuela. Iglee had gotten a grant to document how indigenous peoples used various medicinal plants, and to document plants there in general. The place is now an Eco-camp.. but when I was there it was little more than a native village. No pools.. everyone slept in hammocks (and at night rats that ran down the hammock strings.. I got very little sleep whenever I was in that country) .. no actual running water except a bit of creativity that harnessed a bit of the river.. meals were what you caught in the river or collected in the jungle. It was AWESOME! I'm quite devastated they warped it into what it is now.
Back to the point... the message she sent was that they were low on medical supplies and some of the babies were sick with chicken pox. So the weeks before heading down there I rounded up medical supplies, kids clothes, fabric, threads, buttons, clasps, fishing hooks and lures, nylon threads of various thicknesses, mosquito netting, etc .. and several dozen Swiss Army knives. I had 10 suitcases stuffed like mad.
Getting there was quite the adventure.. but in short I gave the knives to several people in several villages. If you ever go to a 3rd world country in an area that is off the grid... these are very appreciated tools I discovered. During my stay there, while we helped fish, helped bring medications for the little ones, basically chipped in wherever we could... the people were very very kind and often would bring us extra fish or fruits they collected. The avacado there were the size of footballs... ok not quite that big, but 1 avacado was massive compared to the puny things at the store.
They asked me to stay, (even offered to make me my own hut!) and I had planned on returning to spend a few months there.. but my youngest sister had several health crises followed by Venezuela becoming unstable. It wasn't to be... but that is ok because I will remember the place forever as a terrifying, beautiful, unspoiled, magical place on the planet.

Utilitarian tools are a wonderful thing... doesn't matter if you are in the jungle or in the city. If you don't have a Leatherman... I seriously suggest you consider one. They are something built so well that even after a decade plus of almost daily use (aside from having to sharpen the knife a few times) it is still as good as new.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pollen Trollops

Pollinators rock... agreed? Agreed. So while many have specialized niches they occupy.. like squash bees.. there are also the flower floozies that will do any bloom. One example would be the metallic green sweat bee.

Pretty bugs actually... and I can honestly say I had a pair of shoes in the early 90's that same shade of metallic green. Yes, those were troubling times. I blame the nuns and serious 80's backlash.

The metallic green sweat bee.. let's just call them MGSB are such nectar mongers that it actually makes them wonderfully special. I know my pictures are horribly not in focus, but these bees move FAST. As far as pollinators go.. some have developed specialized hairs on bellies or legs to help them collect pollen to bring back and feed the kids. Often some will have a specialized diet to boot.
A bug's brain is a very tiny brain indeed, but they have their tricks to make the most out of their minds. When you garden.. you can use that to your advantage. People like straight neat rows of plants.. bees like a big patch of the same plant. If you are planting to attract pollinators.. remember that.
Because there is always rebels of the bunch... you get the few that also are a jack of all trades... MGSB fall in that category. They are the primary visitors to the Pak Choi blooms in the picture. They also hit up the spinach, cives, radish, dandelions, morning glories, roses... you get the idea. No color coding needed here.. they will go from a yellow flower to a pink one to a white one in a matter of seconds.
That's great when you are needing flowers to be pollinated for fruit set to be good.. but what a pain in the butt when you save seeds!! So if you have these zealous little beings in your yard, you may want to try to control when some crops bloom to help minimize out crossings of some strains should isolation caging not be an option. Another way to help slow down the chaos is making sure you have taller flowering plants between the crops and space them out as best as you can. There still will be some out crossing, but it will help minimize the percentage.

Here is a lovely bug site.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Random Nonsense & Tomatillo

I am trying to enjoy the iris while they are still here.

I should hand pollinate some of these as you can never have too many experiments.

So I snapped a picture of a field bindweed with the stronger pink coloring... right before I ripped it out and left it in the sun to roast. No worries.. it has sent out dozens of similar colored siblings. I literally spend hours everyday section by section ripping these plants out and continue to do so until winter nails them. Then I start again every spring.

Onion that will be left to go to seed. It was 1 bulb that has since divided into 3 separate ones.

The tomatillo that survived multiple frosts and several inches of snow is really making a comeback. Surviving the extremes that it did.. as a tropical plant.. oh yes it made it to the top of the seed saving list. Other attributes that are a definite positive quick maturity to set blooms and heavy bloom set as well as very impressive root system.The final hoop it must hop through is flavor.
Tomatillos are not self compatible.. so in order to save seeds you need to have several plants. Like with tomatoes and peppers, properly stored seed can hold up for 10+ years with very good germination rates.
Aunt Molly's ground cherries were on my list for this year but situations *cough likeobsessiveplantingofafewhundredtoomanytomatoesandpeppers cough* prohibited their addition this summer.
Tomatillos and Ground Cherry (aka cape gooseberry) will not cross pollinate. They are 2 different species. Now there is some variation in the tomatillos that you have to ferret out when you get a new strain. Some are good at the ripe stage, but most are better when they are NOT fully ripe. The tomatillo is used in a lot of green sauces in Mexican fare and what they bring is the tangy- sour-tart aspect.
Now while there seems to be a variety of tomatillos, most that are offered are either pineapple, purple or green (verde). The truth of the matter is that there are only a few actual stabilized strains. It is still a work in progress as the wild cultivars are just as appreciated in it's native region as the cultivated crop is. Because it is self- incompatible and wild for is appreciated plus in many warm regions it can be "weedy".. as well it sometimes can have iffy germination... it is worthwhile in my own opinion to save it's seeds.
When you save seeds and replant.. keeping in mind as well you are selecting for specific qualities.. what happens over the generations is that you also are creating a strain that adapts better to your climate. The key is you have to be selective. If you are maintaining a strain that has specific qualities... example a dwarf variety.. and you haphazardly save seeds over time you could lose that trait.
Anyways.. tomatillos are one of those plants you can chuck into odd places and get away with it.. like tucked into artichoke patch or in a row of corn.
Either you like them or you don't. Regardless the sticky coating needs to be washed off before use which can be annoying. Like Cape gooseberry, tomatillos can be kept on your counter still in the husk for a couple weeks. Good thing too because they can be really productive... and when it rains... it pours.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Field Bindweed aka Convolvulus arvensis

Kinda looks cute, right? I mean to a newbie who just moved in... to find your yard suddenly awash with morning glory like blooms in various shades of baby pink to snow white.

I remember thinking... wow... this is pretty! How darling and sweet these flowers are. And I let them grow.. the bees visited them often.. they climbed anything they were near, and I thought... how lucky I am!

They were through out my entire lawn. When a breeze came by it was awash with nodding petal heads. They survived mowing with ease and laughed at the drought.

My daughter picked some and we discovered she was allergic to them 2 seconds after she broke out in a massive angry rash. Ut oh. So I went along and sadly started pulling plants out around the playground... and they grew right back almost instantly.

When the end of summer came... I also discovered bindweed has a severe weakness to powdery mildew. It is the first plant to get it, and as it wraps around other plants it infects them too. My yard was now a war zone.
I have been ruthlessly ripping these plants out since 2002 and I am proud to say... I have gotten absolutely nowhere. So far the only advice I have gotten is simply "move". I won't use herbicides in my yard. Poisons are not an option when you have kids and critters romping around... and that includes wildlife.
It is an invasive non native plant. Some other names it goes by are: creeping charlie, cornbind, creeping jenny, wild morning glory, greenvine and lovevine.
It is a perennial that spreads by root rhizomes and by seed. It can send a taproot down as far as 20 feet deep. It can spread underground also by lateral root system from which it sprouts runners. In a study they found 1 bindweed plant had spread through a huge area and by the end of the season it had established over 140 other bindweed runners. The root system is a network that contains energy reserves allowing it to handle repeated aggressive pulling easily. Even the nasty chemicals take a couple years to kill it. I have seen 1 inch root cuttings send up new shoots. Icing on the cake is that the seed can remain dormant for DECADES.
For now all I can do is keep ripping it out and waiting. The hope lies in a 1mm big mite that goes by the name of Aceria malherbae. The mite attacks plants in the morning glory family. Produces galls, stunts plant growth which in turn inhibits flowering. It feeds on the roots in winter in essence depleting bindweed's energy reserves which curbs it's spread. Even still it takes years to kill of the plant.
Here's to hoping you never find it in your yard.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Today's Harvest

So while many areas are full blown past the spring time crops... mine are still going. Even with the days popping into the 90's on occasion, the peas are still going strong. The radish are really good this year and I have been devouring them. I like 'em raw, and tried sauteing them which my family- the former radish haters- love. Chef Deb's blog The Tasty Bits completely has changed that veggie for us.
I have several varieties of radish and will need to save a TON of seeds to have enough for next year's plantings. The greens are also eaten. I toss them into stir fry, soups, cooked with other assorted greens.

Yeah, a whopping 5 sugar snap peas made it into the picture. Someone has a sugar snap addiction. I picked a big bowl full and she kindly offered to take them inside for me as I went on to attacking the weeds. She wanted some for a snack... I told her no problem I just wanted to use some in our salad tonight. 5 ... she left 5. She was dipping them in ranch dressing and devoured them.
The 2 non-bulbing garlic.. when you plant the very small cloves usually found in the middle of the head of garlic they sometimes do not make the head of garlic you expect like at the grocery. Sometimes they are just 1 biggish round, like an onion vs creating the many cloves. I still plant the tiny bulbs and have a little area just for them. The bonus garlic.. when you really just want to pick something, but it is too early yet. It takes 2 seconds to slip the outer skin off them when they are fresh. The whole thing I just chop up and add it to what I am cooking.
Well, I need to head out and pick more peas.... right after a quick nap. I've been awake since 4am.

Zombie Seeds

So if you haven't heard... those that wish to dominate the seed industry are at it again with a little twist. As Europe quickly banned GM crops, and the morally corrupt companies who seek to not only do well in the seed/ chemical market but rather seek a choke hold and all out own it, are working on a new plan of attack. ZOMBIE SEEDS!

Let me give you a rundown on what they are currently working on... Seeds that are totally dormant and in order to activate them so the germinate, they must be treated with a chemical. Although you can try to save those seeds... you are then still needing to go back to the company to get the chemicals to activate your saved seeds.

Not long ago agriculture was essentially an open door. Variety and diversity used to be much more commonplace than current times. It was essential for many as often the kitchen garden was heavily relied upon to help feed the family. The diversity was so very important as each year the weather could be kind to some crops and cruel to others. No matter the weather, everyone needs to eat.

With the industrialization of agriculture faster, cheaper, quicker were the goals. One farmer now able to accomplish on their own what used to take many. Often shortcuts may make life easier in the now... but often the actual staggering cost will be paid later. A lesson we seem to need to always learn the hard way.

Anyways, agriculture WAS an open door.. seeds traded, saved, cultivated, given.. used to be commonplace. Many cultivars are from a sport that occurred in someone's garden. The door was closed when they made it possible to patent a lifeform. That started with a microbe and has managed to work it's way now up to livestock. These companies are now trying to add a lock to the door by means of modifications in order to create a dependency on their products.

Learn how to save your own seeds. It doesn't take much time to do for many, it is very cost effective. Here's a particular bonus... when you save the seeds and replant from your garden, in time and with the right selections, you often are creating a strain that in particular is adapting to your surroundings.

How cost effective? You can save the seeds from even just a few tomatoes and wind up with enough seeds to plant for many years to come. Like this year I will be saving seeds from Black Beauty zucchini. I will hand pollinate and bag the blooms to control seed purity. Just 1 zucchini that is well pollinated will offer enough seeds for me to not have to do it again for 10 years... and that is having more than enough plants for my family and many friends. To minimize genetic bottlenecking.. I will be saving from 5 fruit from different plants.

Well, that is the heads up on where commercial seeds are headed. Even if seed saving does not interest you, it is something to be aware of as it too may effect what you and your family eat.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Digging yet another bed

So I have planted and planted.. gave away tons of extra transplants... I still have a ton left and need another raised bed. It will have to wait for awhile though... my husband had an incident yesterday while prepping a roof. He lost his footing but didn't fall... he was tied off. The incident happened after he regained his balance... turned his head and pine needles stabbed him in the eye.

Now he looks like I have socked him. He finally just got to sleep a few minutes ago. We will be headed off to the optometrist when they open. Keep your fingers crossed.. he's not one to complain and right now it is so painful he is miserable (and exhausted). Those pine needles are wicked sharp, like little daggers.

... Ok got back... got him situated... fed, eye drops, hydrocodone, drink, in bed as comfy as currently possible. 4 mm puncture of the cornea (it is kinda comma shaped) at the 6 to 7 o'clock position. Thankfully it went in sideways as opposite to straight in.

I've been outside weeding and watering... trying to keep the house as quiet as possible so he can sleep.

I picked spinach, dill, chives, basil, summer savory, snow peas, sugar snap peas, radish, arugula, some onion greens, some garlic greens, kale, lettuce... all of which will be going into tonight's dinner. Sliced grilled chicken in mixed greens salad with creamy homemade herb dressing... and a simple garlic, sesame & ginger seasoned stir fry (also with chicken) and rice. I will probably end up making brownies once it cools off too.

Back to the garden I go.. I have 2 hours yet to get some things accomplished before I have to scrub up and administer his eye drops & pain medication again.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Why I was vegetarian

This is incredibly disturbing... and way more common than most realize. I kind of laugh because my friend (from previous post) used to tease me for being vegetarian and then later vegan has now finally (20 years later) bothered to see what goes on. Not that it will make her reconsider her purchasing options (ironically... she is minutes away from farms with CSA opportunities. Farms she can get to know the people who raise the animals... but alas... it is not as convenient as the grocery store).

She posted it on FB... and I pretty much made a comment. Had to... lol.. tad bit of revenge for the ruthless mockery for so many years... the PETA geek comments... hippy dork. It has nothing to do with fad/ trend w/e... it is about not living in a bubble and not supporting that industry because one is to lazy to acknowledge it.

Here is the video. Very graphic... very very disturbing and sadly not uncommon.