Squash Time!

After much anticipation, our winter squash is (more than) ready to be harvested! Some of them are huge, as above, but size is not, in fact, the most telling sign of a winter squash ready for the pickin’.

You want to look for a hard brown stem. Green stems mean their still growing, but a dried up stem means “pick me! pick me!”

You learn something new every day.

-SC and Bryant

(photo credit: Barbara)

Real Gardeners…

Real gardeners trade Sunday morning lie-ins for hard work and sunshine

(They also stop to smell the flowers)

Real gardeners are proud of even the tiniest harvests.

(And proud enough to go shirtless, too)

Real gardeners are not quite sure what to do with so many tomatoes…

(But they’ll figure something out)

Real gardeners stock up for the week, with plans of grilled eggplant and basil salads, homemade pasta sauce atop roasted spaghetti squash, and steamed vegetables for days.

They spend Sunday nights in the kitchen, pots and pans clanging, making a week’s worth of from-the-garden meals.

They marvel at friends who go out to eat all the time.

(Though they used to do that, too)

Real gardeners could never go back to life without a garden, without fresh produce, hand-picked, and time spent laughing, gossiping and toiling away with friends.

On Our Shelves: Breaking Through Concrete

Breaking Through Concrete: Building an Urban Farm Revival by David Hanson and  Edwin Marty; photography by Michael Hanson; foreward by Mark Winne

“Breaking through concrete journeys through 12 urban farms describing their unique approach to filling the niche offered in each area of the country. The struggles, challenges and solutions of the land, employment, finances,training, profitability, soil quality, community development etc… Read each of the urban farm stories and begin to develop a sense of possibilities. Breaking through concrete peels back some of the mystery as to how we can create food security in our own neighborhoods.”

-Chlarson

In Our Shed: Rodales Garden Answers

Rodale’s Garden Answers : Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs : At-a-Glance Solutions for Every Gardening Problem / edited by Fern Marshall Bradley ; contributors, Linda A. Gilkeson

This is THE manual of Organic Gardening. Not a book you sit down and read cover to cover, but a necessary reference manual to be kept handy at any garden. It has individual sections on most commonly cultivated vegetables, as well as chapters on insects/pests, garden planning, growing fruit and more. It can help you know when to start your seeds, plant your starts, check for health and disease, maintain a healthy soil, test for ripeness, harvest, and put your garden to bed–all done with age-old organic techniques. I recommend the hardback version, as it will likely see a lot of heavy use in the garden from dirty and or wet hands. We keep a copy in our garden shed.

-Bryant

In Praise of Soil

(Thursday, August 9th, 2012)

The documentary Dirt!, was an interesting look at the ways the soil is so valuable to our existence. It covers many facets of the relationships found between humans and the “earth’s skin”–everything from pollution and degradation of soil, to inspiring stories of children eating from edible school yards. It gives me even more motivation for composting and eating delicious veggies from our Library Community Garden!

-Amanda

A Weed by Any Other Name

Friday, July 21st, 2012

weed1    [weed] noun

1.

a valueless plant growing wild, especially one that grows on cultivated ground to the exclusion or injury of the desired crop.
2.

any undesirable or troublesome plant, especially one that grows profusely where it is not wanted: The vacant lot was covered with weeds.

And yet…sometimes they are quite beautiful, as with the Morning Glory, or Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), pictured above. Beautiful…and deadly, in the sense that they will choke the life out of your precious little sprouts and seedlings without a second thought.

Zucchini for Days

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

…plus crookneck squash, cilantro, red and white chard, young serrano peppers (not as hot as their mature counterparts), anaheim peppers, onion greens, and a single green bean.

What a harvest!

The cilantro is starting to bolt–see the little flowers? That means it needs to be harvested and consumed ASAP, before it goes to seed. Some of the chard is trying to bolt, as well, possibly due to the hot dry spell we “enjoyed” a week or so ago.

This current mild and cloudy weather, however, is perfect for gardening.

Look for upcoming posts on what to do with all the zucchini!

-SC