I went out to check the garden yesterday and found my Swiss chard looking like Swiss cheese as the slugs seemed to have been helping themselves to it since it started raining. Since some plants are still rather healthy, I went through and thinned the chard back to about where the package of seeds told me I should and got two decent side servings of chard for the freezer out of it. I saw the kohlrabi leaves were turning color and looking like they weren't doing well, so I figured I'd see if I actually got a root vegetable in my planter. Turns out, nope, I didn't, although it was terribly root bound. You live, you learn there. I'll know next time not to plant kohlrabi in anything but the ground. I did mix the kohlrabi leaves in with my chard when I processed things for the freezer once I learned that the leaves were edible too. So, a few more greens for the freezer there.
Went by my potato plant in the smallest planter and saw it was starting to succumb to some type of curly leaved blight (probably due to too much rain and too dense of soil in the planter) so I harvested that plant ASAP to avoid any damage to the actual potatoes. Actually got a decent amount (2 bigger potatoes and a bunch of little new potatoes) out of the plant, but it was sad as there were so many little budding new potatoes still. I'm keeping a close eye on my bigger planter of potatoes to see how it does. So far, so good. Went by the garlic and saw something (I'm thinking my air craft carrier cat might be to blame) had stepped on one garlic plant and just basically killed the leaves off. I dug it and turns out the garlic hadn't yet put any effort into growing, so all I got out of it was a mini-bulb of garlic. I'll throw it into dinner one night sometime soon, but depressing as I was hoping to get as much garlic as I could from the garden this year with the unexpected plants I found.
I wasn't really planning on harvesting chard and things in the rain, but it was better than them going to waste. So, while it was kind of depressing having to harvest things early and not getting as much as I'd hoped from them, but silver lining there is at least I got something out of them. Glad I check the garden pretty much every day or some of my chard might have just plain gone to the bugs.
I am trying to think ahead to winter and things I want to be able to get from either the garden or the produce stand/you pick farm to see us through and how best to store them. I researched how to store turnips and other root veggies and things (I haven't had much luck storing them in the past) to find that turnips, beets and carrots like it a little humid but also cold. Colder than my pantry gets during the winter, but not freezing (which is where my problems come in as all of my outbuildings the vegetables would just freeze in). Cabbage was the same way. Apples and potatoes I can store in the fridge, but I couldn't figure out where to store other things where they wouldn't quickly rot on me or take up needed room for other things. I have a spare fridge in storage, but it also is big, has a freezer I'd have to worry about too and I have no idea where I'd put it as my husband uses his garage and the only place I could think to put it I already have a standing freezer in it's place.
I finally came up with the idea of a mini-fridge (like they use in dorms) or something similar in size. I could store that easier, even in the corner of my kitchen if need be and between it and my fridge I think I have a good shot of storing vegetables over the winter months without having to can them all. So, now, it's going to be keeping my eye out for a free mini-fridge as I plain don't have the money to buy one if I can help it. Hopefully God will send me in the right direction :).
As for other goals this month, I have plenty. I somehow have to get a back pack for my daughter for school (her zipper is broken on hers and is just plain beyond my ability to repair) and school supplies. I forgot that I would need to start worrying about that stuff this month. Blah! So, I need to dig out what I have for supplies around here and see what I can come up with on that end before I end up spending a fortune at the store that I don't have.
Oh and my husband's birthday is this month. So, yeah, it's going to be busy!
Goals for the Month: July 2016
- Start Christmas projects
- Repair t-shirt holes and other mending
- Repair husband's work jacket (before winter, preferably there, Erika!)
- Collect seeds from heirloom plants as they bolt/seed
- As things bolt/seed pull them out and plant turnips or other cold-winter veggies
- Keep an eye on garden and take care of it like a third child.
- Continue to make different types of rat tailed radish pickles as they produce.
- Continue to dehydrate herbs as they grow.
- Continue to clean out and deep clean kitchen cabinets (I've been ending up doing these one at a time over the last little bit). Figure out if there is anything that could work better somewhere else and reorganize if necessary.
- Keep cleaning hallway closet (this is my back up plan for somewhere to store veggies this winter if finding a fridge fails to produce anything as it is drafty and cold during the winter, which MIGHT work for vegetables. Might).
- Clean kid's rooms some more
- Shampoo all carpets thoroughly
- Dust ceiling fans and chandeliers (I hate that chore)
- Keep eye out for free fridge
- Keep eye out for excellent deal on back pack (we might be hitting used stores a lot this month)
- Dig out school supplies and figure out what needs to be bought for back to school
- Figure out birthday gift for husband (keep it simple)
- Keep eye out for deals on meat and produce
- Glean what I can for fruit. Talk to friends about going to pick wild blueberries when they ripen for the year (I've never done that up here and need someone who knows where to go and hold my hand while I do it the first time *laugh*).
- Work on non-sewed Christmas gift ideas and start on any that need extra time.
- Go insane (already done! Ha!)