Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Today on the farm.....

Opuntia cochenillifera

Purple Kosaitai

Purple Kosaitai

I just love a sunny, breezy productive early fall day! I transfered the new baby chicks to their big spacious transitional cage atop the quail pen, posted the video of them plus that of urban farmer Pat's Saturday launch of his handcrafted cedar canoe to YouTube, rooted more edible thornless Opuntia cochenillifera cacti to sell in several weeks via my front porch Honor System plants sales cottage business, started Arbol hot pepper seeds, put two of today's eggs in the incubator with today's date written on each, prepped 1 gallon Lesbos basil plants for sale, and created and buried in my east street bed a 4 gallon Water Wise Container Garden each for my new Heliconia starts and a hybrid Louisiana Iris.

I checked the brand new Muscovy duck nest for eggs (nicely feathered with down but no eggs yet though she acts in heat), weeded and other chores, then incorporated into my new late afternoon bike ride down Bayshore Blvd. for cardio and weight loss a side trip to Britton Plaza to shop where I splurged on a gallon of Publix "organic milk" ($4.29 vs. $3.29) for a new batch of home made kefir. Recipe: 1 gallon milk, 1 quart Old Orchard Blueberry Pomegranate juice to further feed the bacteria, then about 1/4 cup plain Lifeway kefir as the starter, all mixed in a super clean glass 2 gallon glass cookie jar I dumpster dived last year, then rubberbanded a clean white towel over the top to keep out dust while letting the 10 bacteria species breathe. I will stir it daily with a clean knife. This time I plan on doing a 3 day ferment in my warm, un-air conditioned laundry room where the two previous batches turned out SO good from a 2 day ferment. My friend Avena is enamored with my home made kefir.

Since the October veggie planting season for central Florida is closing in, tomorrow I'll do a rough sort of my vast winter veggies seeds collection (fills both produce drawers in my fridge) to select mostly various brassicas plus herbs and root crops that love the cooler, drier winter months. I already have Roma tomato seedlings in a pot, and as soon as the seed displays return to stores I'll get me a packet of 'Sweet 100' cherry tomatoes for me and friends. One brassica I have grown VERY fond of is a Chinese one called 'Purple Kosaitai'....the lavender-green leaves are tender and mild and sweet, raw or in stir fry. In cold climates, it would be sown in spring with other brassicas like broccoli and mizuna. Get their seeds and MANY other superb Asian veggie and herb seeds from: http://www.kitazawa/ Seeds.com
"Autumn Mania" in Tampa, vs. warding off "SADS" as I had to in Denver each fall and winter using light treatments, is for me a treasured part of the annual cycle of living and gardening in central Florida. There's no place like home.


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