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The world rolls onward, the garden gets useful.

The original crop we planted in the garden is mostly a month out from harvest, theoretically. Today I got around to thinning the carrots, finally, and fed the thinnings to the chickens. The Black Seaman tomatos are getting buds on them! So soonish there should be black tomatoes, which means funny-colored pico de gallo and funny-colored tomato sauce and funny-colored salsa…

Also today, we caught Annaham crowing. Previously I was pretty convinced Annaham was a hen, and Annaham’s comb and wattles are still very henny, but her tail is very roostery, and then there’s the crowing thing. So we shall see.

At any rate, we also planted some plants we picked up from Home Depot: red, orange, and yellow sweet bell peppers; a couple of strawberry plants; a Mr. Stripey tomato plant; a yellow pear tomato plant (we are going to be deluged with tomatos); and a zucchini plant. And we put in some seeds to see if they could make it through July to give us a second crop: capitaine lettuce, salad beets, buttercup squash, and watermelon, all courtesy of my friend Gowan who sent me surprise seeds. I learned this time, though, and did not overplant things like I did with the last set of carrots.

Once we harvest the purple spinach, I will dig out the “Teflon Spinach” seeds we bought, which theoretically are heat- and drought-resistant, and plant those for Third Crop, along with possibly some other shortish grow-time things. Sometime in September we’ll put parsnips in the ground for Fourth Crop, and if I can find some collard seeds maybe plant some greens, too — they’re much better after a frost, much like parsnips. I’m tempted to order some mangel wurzel seeds to plant, just to grow forage for chickens.

Having grown such mighty variety this year, we shall dig some of our own chicken-enhanced compost into the beds after Last Harvest and let them rest, and then next year shall be the year of Nitrogen Fixers: peas, green beans, black beans (my favorite of the actual beans), and probably building a fourth garden bed in which we can plant the corn and squash and lettuce and spinach and tomatoes and carrots and things. Although I strongly suspect after this year, when we have five Black Seaman tomato plants what sprouted from seeds and then one Mister Stripey and one yellow pear tomato plant, we will get slightly more conservative with those. I’d like to grow some pumpkins, though.

One thought on “The world rolls onward, the garden gets useful.

  1. I had to go look up mangelwurzel. What part do you feed to the chickens? Do you have to cut it up for them?

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