||[Nov. 21st, 2016|11:25 am]
So, here it is, Monday morning, and i'm dithering. Email triggered some work and i was productive on personal things (putting things up) while listening to some folks describe a new tool for doing certain software development practices.
The weekend was rather productive, though. I borrowed my dad's tiller, made some initial passes over the 15' by 30' garden area, and then created the beds. The long dimension runs north to south. The west side of the garden faces the house. So there's a border that goes around the north to the west and from the south to the west. The border opens in the center of the west side to have isles on both sides of a narrow center bed. What's left are two 10' by 10' beds, and those are divided into three. That was the size recommended for a "three sisters" planting.
Here's a sketch of the lay out and what i intend to grow. I made a mistake in the labeling: the basil, squash, and peanuts are for after the *potatoes* are harvested, not the pumpkins.
In the three sisters square, i'm planting more corn & beans than the design at Renee's Garden. I'm not a big fan of winter squash, and i'm not sure how many would go to waste if we grew more. The corn & beans seem more versatile. The corn is a popcorn, and while i can roast some while it's still soft and young, most of it will be for decorative gifts, bird food, and as popcorn. (Christine's not a fan of corn on the cob.) I haven't decided on the bean yet, but whatever i get will be a type that can be eaten fresh and dried. ( These butter beans are beautiful.)
Yesterday i skipped Meeting to stay home with Christine who had been feeling fragile. Many times the fact that i'm a morning person and she's an evening person work in our favor, but it's not conducive to togetherness at ends of the day. By staying home, she could wake up on her own schedule and not feel rushed by me having to get out to meeting for business. I need to remember to set the Saturday mornings aside before early Sunday meetings.
In the afternoon i fertilized the potato square with potassium and phosphorus, and then planted with rye. I hope there were some fertile seeds left in the bag. Some bugs had gotten in it and turned it all to flour, it seemed. On the three sisters side i planted crimson clover. Around parts of the border i planted flower seeds. Some were very old, and i just wanted to get them off my hands. Some were collected this year - i'm hoping doing the "natural" thing will work. Last are some lupine seeds that are not ridiculously old - i think they were for last year.
I'm spending lots of screen time working out the schedule for the work in the spring. I want to be prepared for the weekends and not doing what seems to happen too often, which is making stuff up at the last minute. I've started making little seed starter pots out of the cardboard tubes from paper towels & toilet paper. I'd like to know how many is enough and so on.
I'm actually using a Gantt chart, and for the first time ever it seems like a reasonable use of a Gantt chart: the estimate data isn't a complete fiction, and the tasks of planting, growing, and harvesting aren't likely to change (well, other than a complete failure to grow).
I did a little research this morning: dehydrated potatoes sounds like a great way to preserve any surplus potatoes. In some time, i'd like to be able to grow most of the potatoes we eat. I don't have anything like a root cellar to keep them in, though. I chose later to mature varieties that were "good keepers" hoping to extend the period when we can eat them fresh. Nonetheless, it's theoretically possible that i could have 50 lbs of potatoes come in over two months. I don't think i'm going to get 1 to 10 returns, but even 25 lbs of potatoes is a bit much for the two of us over a short time. Dehydrating would be great way to preserve them. I'm not excited about other ways of preserving food. Freezing is expensive and risky (due to power loss). Canning seems miserable.