Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's raining!!

After over a decade living in a hot and desert like location (Abilene, Texas). It's so bizarre for us to see it rain and also surprising to see how well things grow. We planted seeds and they all came up and seem to flourish with little work on our part. Brian made a rain barrel, so a few times when it wasn't raining and the temps were intense, I carried water to the plants and I did a bit of weeding and thinning. We tried and tried in Texas, but were not ever successful, so now we are quite amazed. I am constantly asking "now what?" and looking up on the computer. How do I harvest and cook the beets? When is this or that ready? We are learning and it's quite fun. I'm looking forward to all the food I'll be able to put in the freezer and am enjoying the salads from our lettuce, spinach and radishes. I'll give you a tour of where we were at last week...

We bought tomato plants. I had seeds, but didn't start them indoor (maybe next year!.  Tomatoes was one of the items we tried at nauseum in Texas and never ate a single tomatoe.  Now there are many blooms and green tomatoes coming along!  So fun.  I remember one year in Abilene we had tomatoes starting to grow and the squirrels ate it.
Here is a shot of about half the space.  At the back are the raspberry canes.  The kids ate one already.  From left to right- tomatoes, green beans, okra (not doing well- but we'd expected that- I'm hoping we will get to see a flower, even though I don't think we'll get an okra from it), green peppers and rutabaga, then broccoli.
Green beans are blooming lots.  I wouldn't have planted these, because my kids don't eat green beans, but Ian found the seeds in the trash and I got them for free, so I tried them and they were not only the first thing up and prospering, which was exciting, but they look very productive.  Then dad suggested I let the kids eat some beans fresh off the plant.  They may develop a taste for them when they realize how delicious they are!  I am finding that the kids are eating salads better when it's from our garden.  It really does taste better and fresher, but also there is the novelty and joy in the fact that it grew in our yard and that we had a part in it's growth.
Here is a cabbage plant.  I'm not sure how these grow, but I think they make a head.  Do I need to wrap the leaves together some, or just let it be?
Here is kohl rabi.  I first tried this plant last year.  A lady was selling it at the farmer's market (that I still haven't been to yet this year- shame on me!!!).  It was delicious, although I honestly can't remember how all I ate it.  I think it can be sauteed or eaten raw with some salt and vinegar.
We love carrots and I tried it in three different locations.  I think this spot is doing the best.  Next year, I think I'll make little trenches to put the seeds in so that the water will pool down to the plants and I could pour water at the head of the line and just let it pool down.
I'm probably going to pick a beet today.  Several are popping out of the ground.  I'm also going to look up how to cook it.  Janet told me a couple of times, but I keep forgetting the instructions.  I guess I should have been writing it down.  This is where the garden is so nice for us.  Brian had to get the groceries for us this last run and it's hard for me to tell him what veggies to get or for him to know what to pick up when I'm not there- so we are really short on vegetables right now.  Then I realized that I could just go get a beet from the garden!

Our hills had some problems, so this is either cucumber, squash or zucchini.  We will see once the plants get big enough to identify.  Plus there are some volunteer squash looking plants amongst the okra.  Since I'm not holding out much hope on the okra, I left the volunteers to grow and we'll see if we get anything.
We put a few stepping stones, but it would be nice to have more.  It gets really muddy at times.  I'm not sure if we need to rotate items or add to the dirt each year to keep it productive, but we are super happy with it so far this year.  I'm guessing we will have to invest in a rottor tiller at some point.  We've been super thankful for our neighbor and cousin for helping us with that for this year.
Another dream of ours is to have a canoe (and I really want to try out kayaking).  My cousins have a canoe, but weren't able to locate the life jackets.  But we live by 4 lakes, so I thought it shouldn't be too hard to find some, and I did after only one call!  Another thing we should invest in some day.  Brian and I lent our kids to cousins and got out on the lake.  It was so nice!
We are still newbies at steering, but getting better with practice.  This time I steered.
The sun was setting by the time we made it back.  I was surprised at how much my legs had also gotten a work out.  I thought it would just be my arms that felt it after.
And yipee!  With all the rain, Brian got half the day off today- just in time to help clean the house!  ha,ha.  That should mean that we can get it whipped into shape faster and have time for a family game or movie or both.  Ivan is a bit addicted to Settlers of Catan right now and it's one of Brian and my favorites too.  It's a bit long for the girls, but they like rearranging their little houses and last through a shorter game.

I'm on the count down for us being all well and able to get out to see friends.  Dominique's blisters are all dried up, so it's just Ivan left to be well.  Maybe 2 more days!!

1 comment:

Lela Thorne said...

I am super jealous of that garden! I love beets and all that other stuff!