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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Recipes and gardens

Here's an hypothesis: If you grow your own food; you don't need recipes. Recently Mark cooked a dinner of new Russet potatoes (emphasis on the 'new'), dried Poblano peppers and white sage. It was great; all from our garden. The Russets were incredibly tasty and a real delight in texture. It occurred to me that who would have ever thought of this combination. And if we wrote it up as a recipe, there would be no way to purchase the items, or, if possible, it'd be very expensive. So, we cook what we grow and make it up as we go along. I think that's the key to home gardens and food. Creativity and experimentation and getting along with what you have is the key. It's doable and it can lead to totally new appreciation for what's possible.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Farmers Markets

May seems to be the opening month for farmers markets around Atlanta.  There are tons of them.  I myself have a booth at the East Atlanta Village Farmers Market, selling my bags and cases.  Not exactly convenient but it's kind of fun.

The poor farmers don't have too much to offer yet - tiny amounts of lettuce and chard; a good selection of onions; and radishes are coming in.  A few beets.  I'm doing my best to support them, and it'll only get better as the season goes on.

My own garden is showing mixed results, as gardens tend to do, I guess.  Tomato plants, zucchini, peas, and peanuts are doing very well.  Carrots - zip.  Beets - kind of.  Potatoes - some beautiful plants but not as many as I would like to see.  Today I planted eggplant and bell peppers and I think that's all the planting I'm going to do before fall.

The chicks are still alive and well, growing apace.  No eggs though for at least 3 more months.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ohmigosh it's May

There have been squash blooms here and the tomatoes are also blooming. In fact, we've already eaten a few. I'm still getting seedlings started in a mad panic because the summer growing season is upon us and I feel unprepared. I did take a set of sprouting seeds of acorn squash out of the compost and replant them in pony packs. So now, I have about 30 vines ready to grow. My sister is going to take some for a school project in Malibu. Sometimes it seems so easy. Then I have seeds for poblano peppers and some eggplants that just can't seem to get going. I sowed them in February and they are now barely 1/2" tall. They get points for persistence... but goodness... what on earth is the problem? Of course, they are outside and it has been cool. Even recently the high was 65... not the best for growing. We're expecting the last of the broccoli and cauliflower. I've designed the summer garden trying to rotate crops so that high N feeders follow low N feeders and vice versa. It's not always so easy. It'll be squashes of various types, tomatoes, potatoes, and lettuce. The onions (that includes leeks, bunching onions and garlic) are maturing so I'm starting another set of seedlings.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Urban Chicken Coop Tour

With only 5 people, the tour was a little underwhelming.  But the folks who showed up were very nice.  One guy, a doctor, raises his own chicks and gives them away.  It's tempting to take some more, especially since he has the bantam silkies that Dominique likes.  But where would we put them.

All 4 of our girls are now in the coop day and night.  They've pretty much bonded as a flock, which is great.

Had a scare with an owl or a hawk the other day on the downstairs porch.  Fortunately I was out with them but only moments before I had been inside and they'd been out there by themselves.  I didn't think the raptors would come so close to the house.  Wrong.