Friday, June 13, 2008

Independence Days #7

How a week changes things! 5 days ago I was introduced to our new garden plot. By the way, I was wrong about the size. Mr. Greenjeans (who works crazy hours) came over and measured it for me: 107' x 107'. That is slightly larger than 1/2 acre but there is a corner missing so I feel OK about rounding it to about 1/2 acre, maybe slightly smaller (by a few feet).

This is absolutely the largest space I've gardened, but I'm not doing it alone. We are 3 families consistinig of 2 teenager girls, Mrs. neighbor, who is pregnant, and her 2 year old, and the land owners who are too elderly to garden at all but provide all the equipment, water, land, fertilizer, some seeds and plants, and instruction. Actually Mr. Garden walks behind the plow using it as a walker. My husband and neighbor husband are great guys who work physical jobs at long hours so they are around on days off to help with what we can't do on our own.

When you read what we've planted, remember that a committee planned and came up with what was planted based on what we all wanted. I think the assumption is that we share in the work as able, and will share in the crop equally. I can see maybe all cannning together at the end of the summer. We'll see how the weather goes. It was down to 38 f one night this week.

1. Planted: From bedding plants: 60 tomatoes of different varieties, 40 chili's of different varieties, 14 watermelons, 6 broccoli (never tried before), 4 Brussels sprouts (never tried), 4 celery, 2 pumpkin, 10 pickling cukes, 10 salad cukes.

From seed: 40 onions, 18 rows @ 107' a row of sweet corn (Mr. garden owner request), 3 rows @ 107' of green bush beans, different varieties.

If I finish planting today, I'll edit my post to reflect the updated amounts for the whole garden. Added today: 1 row (107') of beats, one row of carrots, one of spagetti squash, one row of winter squash, and a 3' section of bird house goards (for Chibi). There is still some space left - even skipping a row to let the squash spread out.

2. Harvested: Rhubarb, salad greens, mint, milk

3. Preserved: Walmart finally got in a giant order of wheat so I picked up another 4 bags (24 lbs ea) of Montana golden wheat ($11/ bag). Now I need more buckets and lids.

4. Prepped/ Managed Something (categories now combined): Tilled and furrowed and planted. Looked for COE fertilizer (from gardening in hard times) to no avail.

Came across a farm store in Colorado that was going out of business as farm land went under to tract homes. Picked up a rabbit hutch, galvanized poultry water and feeders all at half off.

Brought home some antiques I had stored at my parents: a daisy butter churn and an 8.5 qt. milk can.

Found a pair of good shoes at -50% off and a dress shirt for Mr. Greenjeans (OK, that's more like truth telling than prepping). Mr. Greenjeans teased about all the sales there will be when TEOWAWKI comes.

The house is a wreck and my office work is slightly neglected as I took a day of vacation to plant and have been spending every spare moment in the garden.

4. Cook something (new): Hey, I haven't even been cooking for the family this week! If the teenagers will cook it, we eat it (except for home made bread).

I tried to make cream cheese and it was a dismal failure that got poured down the sink (milk @$8.00/gal and hand milked). My rhubarb pie was slightly undercooked - somethign I didn't notice as I came in tired from the garden one night... that is until it *struck* in the middle of the night. I put it back in the oven the next day and cooked it silly and it was OK.

5. Work on Local food systems: Well we've got this neighborhood garden going.

6. Learn something new: worked a big rototiller, a hand plow, well water, planted the largest garden of my life, watched the land owner make the city dig up the new sidewalk they just put in because they messed up the slope of the irrigation water to come, saw family I haven't seen in years... I feel as if I'm learning everyday.


Hausfrau said...

This is great! I love that you are gardening as a group! Can't wait to see how the canning parties turn out...

Becca said...

Whoa! That exhausted me just reading it! Good thing the neighbors will be helping with the neighborhood garden! Canning parties definately sound more fun than trying to do it solo.

Caroline Freedom said...

Hey Woman! Great going. I'm so impressed at what you've made happen. Our temps are in the 90s here; we had our first rain in two weeks...about 5 minutes worth. It's going to be fun to see how your neighborhood Victory Garden. My grandson lives in a neighborhood where the boys are older and more street savvy. I was going to suggest they start a neighborhood pumpkin patch. Anyway, I'll talk with you more in the online course. Take lots of pictures!

Songbird said...

You are the woman.

Danielle said...

Ack! You need chickens! $8 down the drain—that's heartbreaking. I feel your pain.

The community garden sounds wonderful! What an inspiration.

LisaZ said...

Amazing! I will also look forward to the garden's progress and the canning parties. I love that you're doing this!

Lisa in MN

Tara said...

Holy moly, Verde! It really was a big week! Well done, and nice score on the used equipment, too. I'm anxious to see this behemoth garden in action.

ilex said...

Geez Verde, you had a heck of a week! Very impressive. And I've heard that Daisy butter churn is the best. said...

you are doing great work---very impressed. there never seems to be a spare moment. but if you have some time kick back and please visit Dale's garden.dedicated to my sister---you wil be enchanted by the beauty she sends in the form of flowers, fruit and vegetables. and
visit often

kale for sale said...

It sounds like there's going to be a lot of salsa at your house this summer with all those tomatoes and peppers! Very impressive garden and I love the diverse group you've got working on it from the not yet born to the gentleman using the plow as a walker.