Every time you feel in God's creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say: "O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!
- Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

You can’t get to joy by making everything perfect. You can only get there by seeing in every imperfection all that’s joy.
-Ann Voscamp

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Garden Progress

The main garden is doing fairly well now, especially considering that I really don't know very much about gardening at all. I am learning a lot this summer, and over the winter I plan to set aside plenty of time for looking through those seed catalogs and planning, and for learning all I can. Now I just need more garden to work and plant. I was weeding and picking peas in the rain today, and I was surprised to find that I was really having fun! I do keep remembering that the bugs haven't been bad this year though, and I don't know if it would still feel like fun when the black flies are on the attack!

This is Hattie and Dani's garden. as of a few days ago. It has since been weeded (finally).

The beets have actually survived three deer "attacks" and are still growing well. We've been eating some in salads. There haven't been any more deer nibbling on them since I sprayed the leaves with a mixture of cayenne pepper, water and eggs. Unfortunately, it also means that we haven't gotten to eat any more of the greens either. I wasn't sure about using the eggs, but I did read that it was almost guaranteed to work, so I decided to try it.

And these are the mystery peas. I was sure that I'd planted stringless sugar snap peas, but now I don't know. The pods, when small, DO have strings and are bitter. If I let them go until they're fat and round, they have about 6 to 8 small peas in them. The peas themselves are sweet and tasty, but develop so slowly and the pods contain so few that I'm sure they're not a shell pea. I think I just chose a poor snow pea, but I'm not sure. SO, I'm letting the peas develop as much as I can and shelling them even if that's not what they're for. We all agree that we're not eating those pods.

I've decided that we're going to go with all open pollinated or heirloom seed next year if possible, so I'm sure I won't end up with these again anyway. I just purchased these peas from the grocery store.

And finally, here's my new spinach under it's shade cover. It actually seems to be growing really nicely since I put the cover over it, but something is helping itself to a meal here and there. I haven't been able to see what it is. Hopefully we'll get to use some of it soon ourselves. I planted two types. One of them is definitely doing better than the other. One was called Bloomsdale Long Standing. I think that's the one that is growing slower and had less germination. I can't remember right off what the other was called. I guess it won't matter next year since we won't be using either of them any way.

I didn't get any pics of the squash or tomatoes. Some of the squash looks like it's actually going to blossom, but I feel like it's too late in the year to actually get squash by fall? One of the tomato plants has tomatoes growing on it. They're about the size of peas today. I'm not sure if they're too far behind to grow into actual nice size tomatoes this year or not? It's fun to see them growing, anyway. I have a zucchini and squash plant that were given to me almost at the point of death. They've stayed alive but never really thrived. The funny thing is they get a lot of blossoms, but they fall off. I don't know if that's because they were just too far gone, or if that's something that happens to squash. Hopefully some of you can tell me the answers to these questions? ;)

One more question:
Does anyone have information for me about where I can find organic produce that's locally grown to buy/barter for? I've heard somewhere that there's some kind of a group that you can pay a fee to get a certain number of deliveries of whatever is being harvested each week. I know that a friend of mine in Two Harbors belonged to something like that. I think I might be interested in something like that until I get more garden space to grow more stuff in greater quantity.

OK, that's all!


  1. The produce "share" is called a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), it's worth checking into, but most people's experience is that the shares are so random and there isn't enough of anything to really do anything with, like "1" pepper mixed with lots of greens, or "2" apples, etc... this may be different in your area - here in the land of many people per square inch LOL, those CSA's tend to get greedy and oversell their shares, which equals less harvest for everybody but people continue to do it because it is seen as trendy so say "I belong to a CSA" LOL! May be different where you are, worth checking out!

    Your squash probably depend on the variety, some grow pretty darn fast once that blossom starts off... I'd defer to Mama Pea, she's probably tried them all up there!

    The garden is looking great Patty, by the time we move up there in a few years, between you & Mama Pea's advice I should be able to make some good choices on what to plant!

  2. Thanks for the information on CSA's. You know, that's exactly the impression that I got when my friend belonged to one. She seemed to make a lot of stif fry's because that's about all she could do with that odd variety of stuff. All the greens in spring - sallad coming out your ears. Mid summer - yummy stir fry's. All the root crops in the fall - funky stir fry's, and trying to find a way to use up turnips. ;) It might be worth it in terns of fresh eating, but not probably for what I'm really hankering to do. I want a substantial amount of each fruit/veggie to preserve for winter. Still, I might try looking into it. This winter I guess we'll be eating onions. ;)

  3. I believe there is at least one active CSA here in our area but the produce you get each delivery is a little of this and that which wouldn't give you anywhere near enough for preserving for the winter months. You're a quick learner in that you're realizing you need to grow A LOT of each crop/veggie to have enough to feed a family for longer than just fresh eating out of the garden. And in our location, of course, it's a challenge anyway because of our short, short growing season. But I think you've done wonderfully so far and each year you garden, you'll find yourself with more "surplus" to can, dry, or freeze.