Monday, August 31, 2009

Picking Green

As vine ripened tomatoes obtain cache, we may over look the up side of picking green. Picking green has taken hold as a solution to shipping, and in shipping we have reached and over reached limits of picking green.

In backyard and local farming and gardening, picking green is useful to rescue produce from scavengers. If you pick tomatoes green, you can beat the varmints to them and they will ripen on windowsills, and taste as flavorful as ones allowed to ripen on the vine. Vine ripened tomatoes will often have bites out of them.

I am finding the same principle to be true for fruit, though am new to this branch of farming lore.

There are also advantages of pie and cobbler making (besides excellent taste) and cutting out bad parts and consuming good parts of fruit. Those who came before us knew and were skilled in using the ‘bad’ fruit to provide provender. There is an upside to having dessert, gaining thereby antioxidants and vitamins, saving up for the winter.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fall begins

Fall garden mode: does anybody really know what time it is...

The sun is peaking onto my south facing window sills again after it was high in the sky all summer. It is time to begin to think of winter gardening, set up grow tunnels outside, bring house plants in from summer vacations, what not.

As a gardener, I used to be sad this time of year, thinking of the long winter ahead. There is so much gardening to be done, since I opened up to cold weather gardening, fall is almost as busy as spring. Fall crops need a start, most are started but I found beet seeds waiting, lest the winter and colder months be barren. Peas are already flowing out of containers and garbage cans in the back.

My competent neighbor has made squirrel proof fences, he will get some of the corn he planted. Well done. I will have to pick my corn under ripe. I can try the old bag around every ear. I will get some corn that way, but squirrels are quite competent at eating through bags.

I bought some corn at the farmer’s market and froze it, but look thoughtfully over at those fences that fit in his raised beds and over the corn.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Invasive plants 2

I have a friend who says why bother garlic mustard is clever, are we? Invasive species are here, and how can we fight an invading army?

I ran into a steward of a natural area, he was digging a new bed and will get to the buckthorn, female trees first. There are many things on his to do list, buckthorn removal was apparently not at the top.

When the paradyme is framed on the linear level, moral equiv of war and all that, I tend to relax and back off. Invasive species are not the end of the world. I hiked with a man this spring who took garlic mustard home and made Lasagna.

I love to recall literature (I am including comix as literary): Mr. Natural sat down and meditated in the middle a countryfied space. A city, complete with freeways and interchanges grew up around the old duffer and still he meditated. Then the city declined and open space returned and then he stood up and went on.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Floppy Fence

Biggest Garden Technology of the Season (for me): Fencing

Hurrah, tomatoes are beginning to come in, this has been a cold year, but I take my harvest bowl out to the garden in August.

My three sisters garden, safely behind floppy fencing is proving to be GH proof, at least in the middle. If beans or squash grow through the fence, they have been chomped. I have noted one winter squash developing. Green beans do well when the leaves are uneaten. I almost feel young again, floppy fence technology is that gee wiz to me. For years I have been unable to grow beans, lettuce and squash, which the GH likes. What the GH doesn’t like is mostly peppers, tomatoes, and fine old raspberries, onions and leeks, I have grown these in the way back.

I have been unable to grow squash or cole crops for years, I give homage to the floppy fence. (Floppy fence is wire fence with no support at the top that Ground Hogs have little interest in finding themselves swinging at the top of.)