Cutting Back: Part 3

Shifting gears when you have a well laid plan is something I admittedly struggle with, especially when I really have a vision of what I want.

And I can vividly see our back forty with the perfectly raised beds, beautiful and healthy plants thriving in the soil, no weeds anywhere, and a beautifully rigged water barrel to keep all those healthy plants watered during the dry patches we’re inevitably going to have this summer.

It’s really quite beautiful up in my head.

What I didn’t foresee was that we’d have a monsoon season this spring rendering our tiller (and the neighbor’s best discing efforts) useless.  It’s a giant mud pile that still needs some desperate crab grass control, and it’s leaving us with two options.  1)  Throw caution to the wind and plant, plant, plant which will mean weeds, weeds, weeds galore come June, or 2)  Shift gears.

We’re choosing the latter.  Until we can get back and do the leg work that we really need to, we’re cutting back on the original gardening plan, and focusing on the side kitchen garden and the front flower beds.  The side garden is going to get re-dedicated to tomatoes and salsa making plants, and then we’re going to incorporate beans, cucumbers, and squashes into the front flower beds.  I’m hoping this edible landscaping will allow us to not only create something beautiful, but also still grow enough produce to can, freeze, and preserve.

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And the culinary holding pattern is over

Today was a great day.  I woke up before the alarm went off, made it downtown to the farmer’s market and coffee with one of my colleagues, picked up clean supplies for under $5, and made it home to get started on housework and gardening all before 9:30 am.

Good day?  GREAT day!

We were so fortunate today to get some additional helping hands in our good friend AG, and we were able to bust out some incredible weeding and staking today.  The majority of the tomato plants in the back forty have multiple tomatoes on them (although I found quite a few with blossom blight–any helpful tips out there for that?), and while weeding out the acorn squash and cucumbers I found several incredibly over ripe cucumbers that have been hiding away from us.  JGL also got a great surprised when we realized that the first batch of October Beans had successfully dried on the vine.

MR joined up later in the afternoon and we had quite the cooking lesson, tackling pork chops with a fresh peach chutney, a heirloom tomato salad, and saffron rice.  I love showing others how to create healthy, delicious meals, and I was thrilled to pieces that MR was willing to (and wanted to) listen to me drone on for forty-five minutes about peach seconds, heirloom tomato flavor and where vinegar comes from.  I think we might even get together again at some point to do more “lessons,” and I hope MR is as excited as I am to do that.

Good friends, good work, and good home grown food–can’t ask for much more than that for the Fourth of July!