Last one to the pickle party is a rotten... pickle.
That would be me. Pickling is not complicated which is probably why everyone has done it but me. There I was stressing over the details of pickling.
There are about five ingredients. You throw everything together and wait. The internet is loaded with recipes, so I wont bore you with mine. I didn't even follow it anyway.
I had fun. We'll see in a month or so if it actually worked.
2012-2013 Veggie Garden, Post-Op
As previously mentioned in my posts, I have no expectation of anything I plant, "fix" "prune" or touch in the garden, or in my yard, for that matter, actually surviving or (gasp!) thriving.
Not only am I an inconsistent and sporadically passionately gardener (and blogger), there are many things out of my control that effect the outcome of my garden. Weather, soil, sunlight (I'm in Seattle), slugs and other pests, disease and mold, children, wild animals, domesticated animals, semi-domesticated animals (chickens), irrigation and summer vacation all play an important part.
Spring & Summer of 2013 was a huge step forward for my personal fulfillment in the garden.
Even if nothing bloomed in the beds, I'd still be winning.
It's amazing to watch these huge, orange pumpkins support their own weight on their vines. We have about 6 pumokins hanging from or sitting on the arch. It's fun to walk under and through. All summer long, we had nice, big snap peas and now, tomorrow is September, the tomatoes have been exploding for a month. I don't even know what to do with all my tomatoes!! They're sweet and small and they make great bruschetta.
Due to my love of pumpkins, I planted a lot. They took over my potager. With their broad leaves shading the direct-sow basil, garlic, onions, carrots, pickling cucumbers and leeks, I haven't gotten much else out of the garden. Somehow , I planted a ton of radishes and while they went bonkers, they took up a lot of space and they are disgusting. I tried them over and over throughout the summer and they never got any better. Next year, no radishes.
We had friends over and one pointed out my beets. "Your beets are ready. You should pull them before they get too big." I have beets? Huh. Turns out I bought a "salad mix" seed packet and the beets actually grew. Who knew?
Another total WIN, my ginormous sunflowers. I don't know how they got so tall, but they're about 12 feet! They make me happy. So yellow and flowry. I don't know what to do with them except love them.
I put some corn in. It grew to about 4 feet tall max. I think it had to compete with the sunflowers and pumpkins too much. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised in October?
I'm thinking about next year... plotting my garden. I'd like to turn a corner of my "landscaped" yard into an orchard.
I'm a kid on Christmas at the moment, because the new deck is being installed. It's doubled in size, has manufactured wood (no maintenance!!) and will have a metal railing (again, no maintenance.)
My back yard is where I can put all my crazy energy. It's fun and it teaches my kids a lot about food, hard work and how sometimes working looks a lot like playing.
CSA Farm Intimidation Tactics
I intentionally didn't sign up for a local CSA farm box delivery for several reasons. The most important reason was my envy of the farmers who, through my rose-colored glasses, were able to spend their days working in the garden. There they were, sipping lemonade in the sunshine, pulling the perfect pickling cucumbers from their perfectly mixed soil. Sick bastards.
The second reason is my universal envy/awe/adoration of and for anyone who has a greener thumb than I do. This pretty much covers everyone, but then, when I'm learning something, it always feel like I'm the last person on earth who doesn't know how to do it.
Sometimes, I'm able to take a CSA box home from work when the original purchaser is out of town. It's then that I look deep into the wax-coated, brown paper box and wonder why they grew weird-shaped onions, one pepper in each color, exactly five potatoes, a melon (I think), a head of cabbage and some mystery greens.
I look at that stuff and I think, "chicken food!" They're gonna love it!
Reason #3 I didn't want to pay for a CSA box is that I don't eat those veggies (there. I said it.) and I don't know what to do with them then they're sitting, limply in a dirty box on my kitchen floor.
However, none of this means that I don't want to, and will not try to grow and eat some of the CSA box veggies next year. And I'm giddy to try different types of tomatoes and potatoes and carrots.
My carrots are tiny. They hate me. But they're so cute! I ate them. My kid smothered them with non-organic Ranch dressing and devoured them.
So, in a reverse kinda way, the CSA box did what it's supposed to. Someone paid the farmers for the box. It wasn't me. Many people ate from the weekly deliveries and if I learned a lot from the two boxes I've brought home, then I can only assume that anyone else who has received a box has been forever changed. CSA farmers are sneaky that way.
In mid May one afternoon, I was knee-deep in the garden, wearing my ultra-buff-woman Carharts, pulling up some possibly dead tall grass shrub thingy. I equally cursed the previous owners of my landscape while realizing that another grassy plant nearby would make a perfect border.
Thank you Pinterest for identifying the fabulous border plant as a Daylily. I hacked some huge Daylillies apart and made a border for a future, blueberry patch.
Flash-forward to August 31st; the transplants took well and even flowered a month later. I'll definitely be dividing more this fall. They make great borders because they grow thickly and their root system rises a little out of the ground, which keeps mulch in nicely.
Quick updates charting my novice and experimental, gardening adventures at home.
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