Sunday, November 13, 2011

Down on the farm this week

Last evening and today I had the pleasure of hosting Florida rosarian Pam Greenewald of Angel Gardens in Alachua where she raises over 1,200 varieties of roses own root and organically. We ate, yapped, laughed, swapped seeds and cuttings of plants, attended the Tampa Rare Fruit Council meeting, mingled with my poultry, took pics of each other on my Space Couch, then off she headed back home. She is a fun woman and a passionate rosarian.

My delightful egg customer and blog reader Jeannine brought to me from St. Pete three lovely, weatherproof "OCCUPY YOUR YARD" signs Friday! One for sure is going into the new bed west of the mailbox outlined by logs and now teeming with hundreds of baby winter annuals including Bachelor's Buttons, Carpet of Snow white sweet alyssum, Dwarf Jewel Mix nasturtiums and more. Pics soon.

It seems that the momma Muscovy duck has rejected the eggs after I moved them into a cozy nest box when she'd laid them just inches from a poultry fence where a nocturnal racoon could have easily grabbed her or the eggs. Now I wonder....should I have let nature take its course?

The Sunn Hemps (Crotularia lutea) are in full glorious FRAGRANT bloom in Dad's driveway bed, and are coming on now, as is a self sown seedling of Malva sylvestris that I grew profusely in my Denver yard as a self sown very xeric edible annual. Pics soon.

The bulbs of ordinary garlic I planted a few weeks ago are now offering those savory leaves each day for omelets, salads, entrees or as a decadent nibble. At 5 bulbs for $1 for months of those heady leaves, how can I go wrong?

Three thriving tanks of brewing kombucha provide a big cup a day of that delightfully brisk, vinegary,  fizzy liver cleansing beverage I enjoy both at room temperature or over ice. Brewed for 6 weeks it closely duplicates apple cider vinegar taste-wise....blended with extra virgin olive oil, garlic (of course!), a fat pinch each of sea salt, black pepper and oregano, and a bit of honey it becomes a delicious healthy Italian dressing for home grown salads. I'm now drying out old "SCOBIES" in my Victorian workout and reading room to see what happens...Pat says he's read some people use thoroughly dried ones as dog chewies. I will be curious to see what Cracker does the first time I offer him one. I've offered the ducks chopped up fresh SCOBIES and they scarfed down that protein-rich mat of beneficial bacteria and fungi.

Late-emerging plants of self-sown Vigna unguiculata "Clay" cowpeas all along the chicken paths are yielding tons of those protein-rich pods in all stages, from tender young stringless pods to ones that need to be shucked for the beans inside that I love raw or cooked. Pam Greenewald, like me, loved the young pods raw so I gave her dried seeds from last fall for her to grow nest summer. What a wonderful bonus of food from a very effortless, soil-enriching heirloom crop as winter approaches.

Chicken stew seems likely quite soon of a VERY mischievous chicken that Jeannine gave me back from eggs of mine she hatched for being an "escape artist" that for me is a "breaking and entering artist" who a week ago somehow got into my east bed and ravaged container gardens of purslane, Minovase daikon and more. Today as Pam and I toured my back yard I caught this errant dinosaur-bird damaging my SOUTH bed.....again.  I caught her, clipped her wings EVEN shorter, then put her back in the free range chicken path. If she keeps it up, stew it is after months of her crop damage. But I reluctantly admire her tenacity and ingenuity....the bitch!

I've now done three loads of laundry using that mega-cheap home made laundry soap I made using my solar shower heating dish vs. my electric stove and it seems to work just fine. No toxic chemicals. So now I wish to route that water outside somehow as all these years I've wasted it down the sewer....I am thinking of routing to my east property fence line and planting a true plantain there...a Rhino Horn type is my preference.

Occupy your garden, occupy your heart, occupy your life.


No comments:

Post a Comment