Friday, June 19, 2009

Rain, rain, go least for a little while

Only the absolutely hardiest volunteers showed up on Saturday, June 13. The rain was pretty well pouring down, and we spent some time huddled under the shed hoping it would pass or at least lighten, which it did, which made harvesting a little more pleasant and somewhat simpler.

Again, it was a bumper week for the greens: they are loving this cool weather even though the tomatoes and peppers are suffering from it. Unfortunately, one of the beds of collards has been attacked by aphids. The collards were still good, but we had to spend a long time washing the aphids off before taking the harvest to Vital Bridges. Collards covered in aphids really aren’t very appealing. Luckily, the collards planted in the bed with the chard escaped the attack of the aphids.

Many pounds of greens and herbs were taken up to Vital Bridges including two types of spinach, two types of collards, kale, some beautiful ruby chard, gorgeous purple-veined mustard, a few daikon, a large bunch of savory chives and a bunch of sage.

Here's some peppery mustard leaf

Sadly, the turnips were still a little too small to be harvested, but they are coming along, as are the beets (both red and golden – finally!) and potatoes (which are looking very happy, see photo below).

The fava beans continue to grow enthusiastically, and the beans planted around the papasan frame have already sprouted!

And the lettuce may be ready for harvesting next week.

The sun didn’t really come out while we were at the garden, but the rain did taper off enough to let us get some other work done. The aphids were sprayed with a diluted solution of dish soap. A few eggplants were put in the ground. The small plugs of prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepsis) were planted in the front garden along with some newly purchased Panicum virgatum, a native prairie plant commonly known as switchgrass and currently in vogue as a potential source of ethanol.

Caging the dropseed to protect it from predators in the front garden (that is, dogs and trash)

The Panicum virgatum, caged

And straw that had been soaked in water for a couple of days (thanks to the Thursday evening crew) was strewn under the plum trees and inoculated with more wine-cap stropharia spawn.