Monday, June 29, 2009

Independence Days Update

1. Plant something: No. I have no room currently, and anyway I am seriously questioning the wisdom of planting too much stuff this time of year here in the low desert. There isn't that much that does well apparently apart from okra, Armenian cucumbers, basil, and probably melons, and squash, and the veggies I already have are requiring a lot of water. To be honest I am not feeling too good about this as usual. I am needing to water twice a day, and our water usage has increased again as a result. The okra I planted aren't doing well mainly because they have been invaded by pumpkin plants, and are fighting for water and space. I am kind of feeling recently as though I should treat these few really hot summer months like a Midwest winter, during which time one plans for spring, although spring for me will be Fall. August will be here soon enough and then I can start over again.

2. Harvest something: Less then there has been in recent weeks but still a few tomatoes, (which are definitely coming to an end), cucumbers, eggplants, basil, and of course zucchinis. I have lots of pumpkins growing all over the garden. In fact the pumpkin plants have totally taken over the entire garden. All the more reason to get the sand box finished and filled with top soil so that they can have a place all of their own. I cooked up lots of eggplants into a great pasta sauce as suggested by Judy, and it was delicious! (Thanks Judy). I have also found a recipe book with several great eggplant recipes so I am happy that I have more options for my eggplants in future.

3. Preserve something: Just more pesto to feed my ever growing pesto obsession.

4. Reduce waste: Better this week. Composted a TON of garden waste, and did all my usuals of recycling, cloth bags, reusing zip locks, line drying the washing etc, etc. I can't ever feel good about reducing energy waste though when I wake up each morning to hear the AC running already because it is going to be so hot. Not good, and no easy solutions except to keep the air at 83 as always, and shutter everything up during the day. I suppose some consolation is that during the winter we seldom use too much energy to heat our home.

5. Prep and storage: Nearly done with preparing the new sandbox veggie bed, (pictures soon). Got the new recycled trash can compost box which I am still delighted with, continued chicken coop and chicken keeping planning, and all the reading I usually do.

6. Build community food systems: Had an excited response from our neighbour across the street when we told her we were getting chickens. She wants to help with them as much as possible which is great. (I hope everyone else in our rather stiff street is as excited! :) Was asked again to talk about veggie growing in the desert with another friends hubby. Don't know if it will happen because I get asked a lot and then nothing happens, but it will be nice if it does because of course this is my passion. Was asked by another friend to give her any surplus eggplants we may have because she loves them apparently.

7. Eat the food: Did quite well again. Made pasta sauce with eggplants, tomatoes, zucchinis, and basil. Had a few salads with cucumbers, and tomatoes, and added basil to everything as usual. I swear I am totally addicted to the smell of basil but I suppose there are worse things to be addicted to.


mnfn said...

(Here via Sharon's blog)

I used to live in Perth, Western Australia (very hot summers, constant water restrictions) and ended up doing what you are suggesting - focusing on winter and spring crops, and limiting summer plantings to stuff that could take the heat a bit better. Lots of work on improving the soil and mulching to increase water retention as well.

Good luck!

Mo said...

Thanks for popping by mnfn, and thanks for the tips. I will take all the advice I can get! :)