Saturday, September 3, 2011
We're getting lots of carrots now, full of flavor, not like the grocery store variety that mostly taste like cardboard. (The breakfast radishes are also doing well, adding spice to our salads. They're a tad "hotter" than the standard radishes.)
Here are some interesting carrot observations:
1. You can't tell how big it will be by the size of its topper.
2. A few of our carrots seem to have run into something in the dirt. Since there are no rocks, it must be bits of bark or other stuff in the compost mix. Stunted as they are, these carrots are still tasty.
3. Something's amiss. We wondered about underground insects, but on looking up carrot problems, we found that it's most likely due to over or under watering. Since only a couple of our carrots have this problem, we're not going to change anything. And, after cutting away the affected parts, even these carrots were tasty.
The kale is such an unexpected pleasure. Neither of us had eaten kale previously. Now Robin stir-fries it, puts it in soups, and makes a fantastic massaged kale salad with apples and Gorgonzola cheese. She also likes how it looks in the garden, like dark, intensely green fountains spraying over the edge of the horse troughs.
We harvested the second gunny sack of potatoes. Disappointment! We expected potatoes at all levels in the 50 or so inches of dirt. That didn't happen. Robin dug and dug... and dug...a ton o' dirt... all the way to the first 6" of dirt, the initial planting level. There she found potatoes, a modest single-level harvest of reasonably-sized spuds. Next year, we'll forget the gunny sacks, plant near the top of 8 or so inches of dirt, and cover with leaves or straw as the plants grow.. So much for gunny sacks!
Ever since May, when we carried out squash and tomato starts every day, trying to remember to bring them inside at night, trying to keep track of how much time they were outside, all the while wondering if they were sufficiently hardened to plant... ever since then, I wanted to build a garden shed-greenhouse.
Finally that dream is a reality! Only 8 x 6 feet, with a 4' deck, it will serve our needs well. With a big, south-facing window and glass-pane door, there should be plenty of early spring warmth for seedlings to thrive. Plus, we have a storage space for garden tools and supplies.
A local builder, Larry Nave, did the lion's share of the building. We're pleased with his work! Robin and I did the clean-up, shopping, painting, and inside shelving. Now the garden seems complete, unless or until we decide to add a couple more troughs. Although, with four troughs, we have had ample food for ourselves and quite a lot to give away.