Archive for the ‘Food Sovereignty’ Category

Garden Update: Challenges, Solutions, Bounty and Beauty

I haven’t given a garden update in awhile. Today we have our first sunflower of the season, but really the first sunflower in four years!

This little guy comes from an “Elves Mix” that offered seeds from a variety of dwarf sunflowers. I thought these would grow well in the raised beds out front, so I sprinkled them amidst herbs, perennials and annuals. I haven’t tried to grow sunflowers since our first year here. I heard they attract groundhogs, and I also didn’t want to dedicate too much space to them in my Big Bag Bed garden. These little guys seemed like a great compromise, especially since I doubled the size of the front garden last Fall.

I have a bunch of full size sunflowers growing out back, but those haven’t yet bloomed. Meanwhile, the squash and sweet potatoes are going crazy. You can see some of the sunflowers thriving in the Big Bag Beds, even though that area gets only about five or six hours of full sun per day. I’ve got lettuce tucked behind the other growth, and I keep hoping it won’t bolt since it gets less sun. We shall see.

Despite the prolific growth of the butternut squash vines, I ran into an annoying issue with blossom end rot. This was entirely preventable, and I’m kicking myself for not listening to my intuition. A few weeks ago, an obsessive thought kept crossing my mind: “You should really put down some gypsum for those squash plants. Your soil needs calcium.” I found a bag at the local gardening center, but I walked there. It was a 20 pound bag, so I opted not to get it. Instead of asking David to drive me home or ordering some online, I did nothing. I thought, “There’s no overt sign of a calcium deficiency. I’ll just wait, and if I see a sign of it, I’ll correct things then.”

Well, I got my overt sign, alright! I ended up needing to throw out twelve butternut squash with blossom end rot — whose solution is adding more calcium to the soil. Once it starts, you can’t correct it on an individual squash, though. In the past, I’ve added diluted milk to both tomato and squash plants, both of which can suffer from low calcium in the soil. I had used worm castings and an organic fertilizer mix, but — duh! — I should have trusted my intuition. I ended up tossing two tomatoes, a zucchini and those twelve butternut squash. 😦

In order to correct what had become a much larger issue, I needed to add two half gallons of milk on consecutive weeks, plus a bunch of gypsum (which takes longer to incorporate into the soil). So far the new growth looks fine, but I learned my lesson. When my intuition starts nagging me to add a certain nutrient to the soil, just do it!!! A wise lesson for broader life, as well. I’m happy to report delicious harvests of other zucchini, peppers and tomato. Hopefully I’ve resolved the issue.

Some clients asked me how I handle various pest pressures in the garden, so I’ll share a few tips here. Long time readers of this blog know that grrrrrrrrrroundhogs(!) are my biggest concern. I’ve inured myself to the cuteness factor …

… because these whistle pigs will decimate a garden, given half a chance. Here’s the most recent one alerting friends and family that “Mr. McGregor lives here! Mr. McGregor! Stay away! Crazy gardener alert. Oh, no, this yard is NOT worth a visit!” He turned to face me just as I snapped the photo. Indeed, with groundhogs, I’ve learned to give them no quarter. When they first appear, I run outside like a wild banshee and scare the dickens outta them. I hate doing it, but I’ve learned that once they feel comfortable in my yard, nothing gets rid of them except my old neighbor Randy trapping and relocating them.

Randy died on the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse of May 2021, so I’m on my own unless Randy’s ghost makes an appearance. I do feel like he haunted the yard last year, because I only saw one groundhog, once, last year. Randy had watchdog energy while he lived, and he continued watching over our place last Summer. It feels like he’s moved on now, so “Shock and Awe” is in effect. I put on a Faery Glamour to appear much larger and scarier than I am, and so far, I’ve not had the same groundhog repeat an adventure in our yard. Just in case, I sprinkle organic hot pepper flakes on all my front yard lettuce and chard. I also have various stinky sprays, but those aggravate me more than the critters. 🙂

In terms of bugs, I prefer to attract predator wasps by planting things like yarrow and letting some of my dill, parsley and carrots flower. Some insects can only feed on these types of flowers that face upwards with a wide landing pad:

I also intersperse borage all around the garden. These pretty blue flowers taste like cucumbers, and honeybees LOVE them. So do nearby plants. Something about borage makes it an ideal companion plant to just about everything. Whether you want more pollination, greater mineral uptake or something pretty to create a cottage garden, borage works well.

My only caveat with yarrow and borage is that both can be a bit invasive. I only plant yarrow in containers. It kind of took over parts of the yard in Goshen! You can pull it out and compost it, or make an analgesic tea from the leaves. I have magenta yarrow, which also makes a long lasting cut flower that even looks good as the blooms fade. I just keep it in pots now, because yarrow can be a garden thug. Like borage, it’s a fantastic companion plant — as long as you contain it!

Borage is an annual, so you can keep that under control by deadheading most of the flowers after they’ve bloomed. I like to let a few of them go to seed, so they reseed next year. This goes for parsley and cilantro, too. I have perpetual parsley and cilantro because I let a few branches go to seed and just weed out or transplant the extra seedlings in Spring. I do this with love in a mist and miners lettuce, too. I don’t really enjoy growing things from seeds indoors. A little weeding in exchange for keeping the hardiest, naturally seeded plants feels like a good trade-off.

What about the dreaded cabbage moth caterpillars?! Uggh. Those are not my favorite. The mesh cage around the Garden Tower keeps out the moths unless they sneak in while I’m watering or harvesting.

A downside is that my collards and kale tend to grow much larger when planted in raised beds — but then the moths go to town with their egg laying. The best defense for me seems to be spraying water where the little black eggs collect at the base of the kale stems. I also manually pick off the green caterpillars, and I have a resident frog who also likes to munch on them. Predator wasps and spiders take care of the rest.

Bee balm is another pollinator favorite. In the backyard you see the more traditional purple color, whereas I have the showier red variety up front. Little orange nasturtium flowers peek out the bottom. (If you’re wondering about all the orange flowers — “red hot poker,” naturtiums, and orange day lilies — I plant these because orange is David’s favorite color.)

I currently have an earwig issue, but it’s not terrible. These little pincher bugs love decaying matter and curly leaves like some lettuces and Napa cabbage. They’re terrible around wood mulch! I don’t grow Napa cabbage, so it’s not an earwig pregnancy resort here, but if they get any worse, I’ll sprinkle some diatomaceous earth in areas where they congregate. Diatomaceous earth is an organic powder that kills most insects, so you need to make sure not to put it near flowers. You don’t want to kill the pollinators. I prefer not to kill anything, but sometimes you need to catch issues before they go crazy. Diatomaceous earth adds minerals to the soil and quickly gets rid of slugs and earwigs.

My main advice for garden pests is to plant a wide variety of crops, intersperse them with flowers, and pay attention to soil and light conditions. Plants growing in optimal conditions manage to fight off pests more easily than ones struggling to get what they need. Below you can see purple kale, marigolds, borage, zinnias, garlic, a dwarf sunflower, and cosmos getting ready to bloom.

Tucked away in those same beds are also parsley, lettuce and pepper plants. I like that you can look at the front garden and have no idea it’s an edible garden. All the flowers and different colored varieties of veggies make it the kind of spot that only an experienced gardener would recognize as food. This also helps keep the animal buffet to a minimum. I can’t prove it, but I strongly suspect the motion detector light David installed above our garage door has kept away the deer. But maybe it’s Randy Baker — the best neighbor we’ve ever had. Cheers to you, Randy! We miss you.

Flower Fireworks

It’s Fourth of July Weekend here in the U.S., and we’ve got a floral explosion to match the skies. Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend!

I can’t quite capture it in a photo (see below), but we have red, white and blue flowers — borage in the foreground, red salvia and white obedient plant in the silver planter. I didn’t do this on purpose, but I think it looks fun with the garlic scape to the right. I thought I harvested all the scapes yesterday, only to find five more today. Over abundance is a nice problem to have, but my goodness! I missed a lot. 🙂

Here it is from the reverse side. I’m standing just behind the silver planter. Sunflowers, hyssop, a giant marigold, and bachelor’s buttons have yet to bloom in there.

In lieu of a finale, here’s the whole shebang:

Garden Update ~ It’s Iris Time

The irises have begun to bloom!

The columbine have also outdone themselves this year, blooming in different colors, too:

I saw our resident frog a couple weeks ago, so I bought him a turtle water dish on our recent trip. I put it near the area where I saw him. He does such a fantastic job patrolling for mosquitos and helps with the cabbage moth eggs on my kale. I wanted to show some appreciation!

The harvests have been tasty and colorful, too. This one formed the base of Tuesday’s lunch:

So far, this is my favorite year of gardening in Kalamazoo. I feel like I finally have “just the right amount of too much” garden again. It’s not nearly as crazy as my Goshen mini farm, but, wow, we’ve got a lot of produce hidden in plain view. I do love unusually colored foliage!

Garden Update: Colored Foliage for the In Between Time

Mid-late May is always a strange time in zone 6a. We get some super hot days that the cool plants don’t like, but cold nights and chilly rains that the heat seekers flee. Over the years, I’ve learned to fill the lull of blooms with different colored foliage like purple romaine, purple kale and purple mustard. I also appreciate the late blooming tulips, Japanese maple, and white dogwood, which put forth their own spectacular show.

columbine and chives just starting to bloom, along with dianthus and late blooming tulips
purple bok choy in front of sea kale (center) button flower plant right of center
purple kale, purple mustard, red lettuce, garlic, marigolds and more
purple romaine, eggplant and cinnamon basil amidst post blooming hyacinths

I took some of these photos before I planted ten new perennials in the front and back yard. I’ll update those as they grow. I am so excited to have sea kale again! I’ve been stalking that plant for years and finally found two available when I was ready to plant them. It’s the little things…

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Garden Update: Vertical Gardening, Paths, Beds and Shoes!

Hello from steamy Kalamazoo, where the sweet potato vines are happy, and the lettuce — not so much. It’s hot and humid and will continue so for days. Our cool, rainy Spring gave way very fast to Summer. I hope some of those cool weather crops make it through this week without bolting. Arugula, spinach and lettuce, I’m talkin’ to you! Hang in there — cooler temps await.

The past few days brought another upgrade to the gardens, along with full acceptance that I really do have two, totally separate gardens. The front yard features lots of ornamentals and bulbs, plus perennial herbs, garlic, and pollinator flowers that reseed themselves each year. While I grow a few standard edibles up front, a persistent groundhog issue, deer, bunnies, and the desire for an attractive front lawn keep things in check. I added another Big Bag Bed Mini (24″ diameter) so I could have just a little more space for wildflowers and an occasional food crop. You can see the blank round canvas above the tulips in this photo:

The front garden also got an upgrade of new garden shoes. I have garden clogs by our sliding glass door for the backyard, but I’ve been using rubber boots or regular shoes up front. The boots get hot, and getting mud and water on regular shoes isn’t the best long term use of them. On Monday, a divinely directed wild goose chase led me to these lovelies while out running errands:

The main upgrades occurred in the backyard garden, with a new Big Bag Bed Jr. (36″ diameter) by the 48″ one, and another Big Bag Bed Mini added to the ornamental raised bed that came with the house:

The decorative white trellis stands in the 48″ bed, and you can just see the new 36″ bed with a Space Needle shaped black trellis in front of the older bed. David also added the same critter fencing around those that I have around the Garden Tower Cage. The back bed holds Fall planted garlic, mustard greens and newly planted sweet potato slips that will hopefully climb the trellis. The new 36″ bed holds butternut squash starts and newly planted purple Thai yard long beans — a favorite I grew in Goshen. Those should also climb the trellises, provided the fencing keeps critters from ripping out the sprouts. (I took these photos in the morning, but that area gets direct sun from late morning to late afternoon.)

I also added black wrought iron looking trellises and a green tomato cage to the trough bed we installed last Fall. Those trellises will hopefully hold peas, cucumbers and more purple Thai yard long beans. Tucked among the tomato, peas and cucumbers is a zucchini start I got last weekend. I’m OK if it’s only moderately productive. I love zucchini, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Someone in Goshen used to joke, “If you need to buy your own zucchini in the summer, then you don’t have any friends.” Gardeners are well known for overloading neighbors with bumper crops of zucchini when the freezer’s full and the taste buds are done!

Below, in the center front, you can see the mini bed with a trellis to support a container friendly tomato plant, alongside sweet red pepper and basil. To the left front corner, you can just make out one of five round stepping stones I added to this bed so that I can walk around it without compressing the soil too much. I added wildflower seeds, amaranth and sunflowers to this bed, so it will need occasional maintenance beyond what I’ve done since 2017. Assuming critters allow the peas to grow up the trellis and the sunflowers to grow beyond delicious sprouts, the central back area will get extra colorful later this Summer and Fall.

David put up the mesh cage — in its third year of service — around the Garden Tower:

The lower fencing and D-ring gate, plus the mesh cage form the best critter and cabbage moth repellent I’ve come across. The Garden Tower allows 72+ plants in a 4’x4′ space. It’s been a slow year for plants I started from seed, due to lots of cold, rainy weather until the temps shot up to the 80’s. I may end up purchasing more plant starts. Once this thing gets going, it’s very productive — a great way to grow food in a very small space.

Some years I feel so inspired to tend indoor seedlings. I use grow lights and larger soil cells. 2022 wasn’t one of those years. I started a bunch in little Jiffy pellets and just let them grow by our North facing sliding glass door. Not ideal — but I just didn’t feel like setting up a whole plant station in the basement. Things are growing, especially since the sun came out, but I put my main focus elsewhere this year. You can’t do EVERYTHING well ALL the time with gardening. There’s no shame in purchasing plant starts from a local nursery, health food store or farmers market. You don’t get as much selection of specific varieties, but sometimes you get healthier, stronger plants.

Gardening is highly variable. Go with what works for you in any given season, given your own needs, desires and other obligations. It’s more fun and productive to start small and build up your successes rather than add too much too soon. There’s a learning curve, and it helps to know your climate, hardiness growing zone, your growing space, light, shadow, critters and other things. Little by little, you can add to successes and minimize frustration.

This year’s focus seems to be about expanding the garden in a sustainable and enjoyable way. Once I filled the additional beds last Fall and this Spring, I realized it’s not much more work to grow a lot more food. I duplicated frequently used tools and plant nutrients, and I store one set in the shed and one in the garage. This might seem unnecessary, but it really makes things easier. I’m more likely to do a quick chore if the tool’s right nearby than if I need to go inside the house, take off my shoes, walk across white carpet and then go to the garage or backyard while putting on shoes again.

When I did my permaculture design certification course, we learned about different zones. You want the most frequently harvested, highest maintenance things closest to your door. If you need to walk far, you’re less likely to spend as much time tending, harvesting and enjoying the garden. I spend a LOT of time gardening. I enjoy it … but I’m also a lazy gardener. I like maximum yield and beauty for minimal work. If it’s above 90 degrees and humid and I forgot a tool in the garage, there’s a high likelihood I’ll just stay in the air conditioned house instead of grabbing that tool and going back outside. I’m much more of a lettuce plant than a sweet potato! I don’t like the heat, and my fair skin doesn’t like much sun.

In addition to duplicate tools and shoes in easy to grab locations, I’ve really enjoyed upgrading my gardening clothes. I don’t mean high fashion togs. I mean high function: wide brimmed hats with lanyards to hold them on, sunglasses that don’t slip down my nose, SPF clothing that breathes well and covers my hands, fire hose pants that can handle all sorts of dirt on my knees without rips or stains. I find the SPF clothing much easier than slathering on sunscreen that gets in my hair and makes me feel sweaty and gross before I even start moving around in the heat.

Your mileage may vary. The takeaway point is to find what works for you. Those little delights and irritations add up. Indulge yourself with things that work, and minimize the things that don’t. Then everything becomes so much more enjoyable!

Even if gardening for you means a pot of herbs on the windowsill or helping a neighbor for an afternoon in exchange for produce, there’s nothing quite like fresh, just harvested goodness filled with life force energy. Despite the slow growing seedlings, I’ve still managed to harvest a lot of microgreens as I thinned out arugula, kale and mustard greens. Many herbs are already producing, and the flowers fill my soul.

If gardening’s not your thing, no worries. Find something that is. In these wild, precarious times, the more beauty, harmony and abundance we create in and around us, the more that radiates into the world. The more we radiate, the more things reverberate back to us. Get into a positive feedback loop — whatever that means to you.

Blessings abound for those with grateful hearts and eyes to see!

Tulips and Spinach, Oh, My!

Spring keeps popping up with new colors and forms. I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to have new life exploding good cheer where we watched the magical, weeping birch tree slowly die, then decay and eventually topple over. I loved that tree and the birds that gathered on it, but this bucket of blooms fills me with gratitude every time I look outside!

The seeds I sowed outdoors on Spring Equinox are off to a very slow start. They’re cool weather crops, but we’ve had cold nights and very little sun. I feel grateful for this volunteer spinach amongst my hyacinths. I just harvested some leaves because it’s blocking a few of the late bloomers in this bed. Yumminess awaits!

Out back, the Garden Tower is fully planted with more cool weather crops — arugula, different types of lettuce, carrots, spinach and chard. Most of these are itty bitty seedlings I just transplanted from inside. I did manage to find some organic collard, lettuce and sweet pea starts at our health food store, but it’s still early for transplants. The sweet peas went into the ground in front of the clematis trellis.

David’s mowing the lawn as I type, so please excuse the extra long grass and weeds. I’m staying out of his way! One thing I love about the backyard garden is how tucked away it is. After I turned a third of an acre into an urban permaculture farm at our last place, he requested more swaths of regular yard at this one. But sometimes Crazy Plant Lady can’t help herself. We put in the corrugated bed last Fall, and this Spring I added two 20-gallon fabric pots for growing potatoes. You can see them behind the pot of day lilies just poking through the soil:

The far back bed with the white trellis currently has garlic growing in it, but I’m going to try some sweet potatoes there this Summer. That area doesn’t get the best light, but it gets scorching afternoon sun. Sweet potatoes are one of the few plants I can grow there that like it hot, hot, hot. We’ll see how it goes. With me, everything’s an experiment. Behind the trellis, you can see a pot of stinging nettles I brought from Goshen. I do love my nettles, but you definitely want to keep those contained.

To the left, you see one of the potted perennial rhubarb plants and a black lace elderberry that lost its biggest branch to something. I suspect the bunny, but it might have been an ice storm. To the right in the black grow bags, you see some lilies and lavender starting to peek out. Behind those to the right, Egyptian walking onions — a perennial onion that can take over your yard if you don’t keep up with them! I mostly put them in raised beds and containers now, as I love having free and easy food that returns year after year.

I’m afraid my “perennial” purple kale and collards that I’ve had for several years up front may have (frost)bitten the dust this year. No worries, though, I finally found a good source for sea kale seedlings! I miss those gorgeous easy care plants from my Goshen garden. The cuttings I took from there didn’t transplant well. Hopefully, I’ll have better luck this time. Sea kale is more of a cabbage, and it comes out before most other greens in Spring. It’s perennial by nature, not just a fluke. I love the dusty sage colored leaves and the beautiful white flowers that make it such an edible ornamental. As with everything, we shall see!

What are you growing this year? There are so many ways to increase beauty and food security even in a small space.

Happy Spring Garden Update

Happy Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere! Today actually feels like Spring, and I took the opportunity to clear away old growth and plant some cold weather crops. I keep dreaming of young plants just poking through the soil, and indeed, I see bits of green from hyacinths, daffodils, peonies, garlic, chives, and even a tulip.

In times like these, we need to search for signs of life. They are all around, despite evidence of things now dead. The garden’s such a beautiful metaphor for life. At first, we can only imagine the harvest:

It takes faith to believe such things can arise from scenes like this:

I added mushroom compost and then direct seeded the front and top of the Garden Tower. I don’t feel like managing and turning it, but SOME things will grow.

The back bed got cleared away …

… and I found one Fall planted spinach sprout that waited until Spring to show itself to the world.

Such things bode well in the Garden of my Mind:

Meanwhile, we wait. Mother Nature unfolds in her own way and her own timing. Patient or anxious, we can show up and play our part — plant seeds, make room for new growth, tend the perennials — but ultimately, we don’t control the show. On the first day of Spring, we trust in the birth and harvest of things not yet seen.

It’s Not Too Soon to Plan Your Garden …

Just a little garden inspiration for people who’ve never gardened before or have only a small space to grow vegetables. Whether a potted tomato on your patio, or a mini herb garden, even the tiniest amount of homegrown food fills you with flavor and a sense of real accomplishment. Getting your hands in the dirt is one of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your mood and raise your vibration.

It always helps to brainstorm a garden before planting it. You’ll save money, time, and have much more success with at least a little planning. Yes, there’s room for spontaneous additions, but spend some preemptive time observing your intended site(s) and gathering seeds and other supplies.

BBC Gardener of the Decade Katherine Crouch packs so many tips into this one video. I’ve intensively gardened for over a decade, and I learned a bunch in 20 minutes:

I’ve used Big Bag Beds and Smart Pots for at least five years. I like these for perennials, as well as annuals. You do need to water more frequently than an in ground garden, but the aerated roots produce healthy, robust plants. You can also work around existing landscaping and/or poor soil, just plunking a raised bed on a reasonably level surface with good light.

existing garden plus newly added Big Bag Beds and Smart Pots

This next video covers five different crops you can grow in under a month:

I’ve blogged for many years about the Garden Tower Project and Garden Tower 2.

I can’t believe how much produce I’ve harvested from the GT2 the last couple years. I especially love growing carrots and lettuce on the top — no bunnies munching up there! I’ve also grown several basil’s next to a dwarf tomato plant a couple years. Another year, I grew bush beans and kale up top.

If you live somewhere with garden munchers, a mesh cage and low metal fencing keeps out the larger critters AND the cabbage moths. You just need to be careful you don’t accidentally leave a moth in there if it sneaks in while you’re harvesting. In that case, you’ll need to diligently pick off those black eggs on any kale or collard plants, so you don’t get an enclosed infestation. Once you clear out the eggs, you’ll have a moth free garden again. The mesh is large enough for bumblebees to climb through, but it keeps out many aerial pests.

Garden Tower 2

Over the years, I’ve adapted how I use the Tower. I use plant nannies and scatter several Pellegrino bottles (filled with regular water, not the fizzy stuff!) throughout the pockets. This eases some of the watering frequency during long, hot or windy days. It also allows me to go on a short vacation without worrying that my plants will die. The GT2 is an amazing way to grow a lot of plants in about a 4’x4′ (or less) space, but so many plants in so little soil do require more water than a traditional raised bed would. Extra rich compost also aids moisture retention.

If I grow taller plants on the top, I use the compost tube and worm setup. When I grew lettuce up top last year, I decided not to use the compost tube so as not to contaminate my lettuce by pouring rotting food scraps and eggshells right over it. Had I thought of this issue ahead of time, I would have only planted the lettuce on the outer edge. If you don’t do use the compost tube and worms as originally designed, then you’ll need to add compost and/or organic fertilizer a few times throughout the season. The worms work well, but with all the groundhogs and bunnies, I LOVED having a large tray of lettuce and carrots out of their reach. I have other compost bins, so it made sense to prioritize the lettuce.

For those people who want to garden because they’re concerned about our crazy external world, here are the 15 fastest growing survival veggies to grow in a crisis. He offers great information, but also has such lovely energy and a positive attitude:

For seeds, I like Baker Creek Seeds, which offers a wide variety of heirloom and organic seeds. A lot of farmers markets and local co-ops also offer plant starts, which can help you fast track your garden. I use a mixture of direct seeding, starting seeds indoors, as well as purchasing plant starts from farmers or stores. There’s no shame in letting more experienced gardeners begin the process for you, especially if that makes the difference between gardening or not gardening!

Amazing Avocado Hack

This has nothing to do with anything, but it’s so cool I want to shout it from the rooftops. I forget where David read about this, but it involves storing avocados for an extended time at peak ripeness.

You know how the window between baseball, ripe and rotten avocados is more of a peephole than a sliding glass door? The secret to keeping avocados ripe is to allow them to ripen on the counter until at or just before peak ripeness. Then store them in the refrigerator, covered in water.

I’ve now had four perfect avocados that ripened over a week ago. No yucky brown strings. Just perfect green, soft yet firm texture. For anyone who loves avocados and hates wasting food, this technique is life changing. I don’t think I’m exaggerating, but your mileage may vary.

Hair and Garden Update

Whew, it’s hot and HUMID here in Michigan! Here’s a little photo update of the garden in mid-late Summer. This tends to be a time of fewer blooms. The trick is regular deadheading (popping off the spent flowers). Many plants will rebloom to complement new bloomers like hummingbird mint, hibiscus, hostas, echinacea and cosmos. Before long, it will be aster and mum season.

The garden continues to yield more produce for less work, so I’m liking that! Between massive amounts of greens from the enclosed Garden Tower 2 and cucumbers, squash, herbs, banana peppers, carrots and eggplant in the open beds, every day brings a sizable harvest. It’s not the over-abundance I used to need to deal with while quasi-farming in Goshen: rather, a steady supply of fresh flavors and nutrients.

Some photos from today:

IMG_4376

dinner plate hibiscus

 

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