Hal's Hat

Hal's Hat

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Garden Almanac

Here are some updates to my garden almanac:

Due to that extended stretch of heat in the first three weeks of September, I've replanted my spinach THREE times. I have a few that are happy now and germinated... but sheesh!

My lettuce and chard are both doing fine. Since I started them from seed, they got bedraggled by heat and insects. However, they are loving Autumn and looking like troopers. 

Made some Melissa officinalis vinegar (that's Lemon balm) this weekend. It is the simplest recipe ever: stuff a jar full of lemon balm, pour cider vinegar over it. Cap it. Woo hoo. I use it for salad and soup. It is lovely tasting- lightly lemon. Balm is used for mood lifting and lightening the heart. It isn't a heavy hitter on the herbal medicine scale but not everything needs to be. (Harvested it from the kid's school garden :))

As the equinox approached and the season shifts, I am aware that my body is craving balance. I need to feed it more bitter foods, more wild edibles and nourishing seasonal goodies. It's important, for me, not to give in to my basest cravings. I natively crave carbs the minute a seasonal change appears. I mean, I wander my kitchen mulling my possibilities and settle on cheez-its. I then eat them, notice they feel and taste tangy (that's good) but also muddy (like rancid oil). Really self? This is what you wanted? It turns out that sesame oil is a recommended Ayurvedic remedy for my constitution. I make a salad bowl with kale and lettuce and beets and add lots of sesame oil. Better. Left over Vietnamese beef broth with noodles and green stuff- also very very good. Warming, dark, flavorful but balancing. Adding kale gives it a tang and kick that settles my stomach. 

First apple crisp of the season last night. My dad loved the seasonal apple crisps! 5 lb bag of Jonathon apples from the Rees farm near Perry. Perfect tart flavor!! 

What is approaching? Waiting for the sweet potato leaves to begin to yellow. Harvesting all the tomatoes I can and cooking them down. Harvesting okra here and there for freezing. Tomatillos are STILL producing well!
I made infused oil in the last month as well. I dragged my feet in the summer... so I harvested rosemary and comfrey during their respective bloom times for oil. 

Pro tips: Separate your perennials (that is DIVIDE them) now. Use root stimulator to assist them getting acclimated. The cooler the weather, the easier it is to plant!
Fertilize grass- Milorganite is a manure-based fertilizer that is non-chemical and fairly natural. Spread it on your grass for a green up and assisting the grass roots!
NOW IS DESIGN TIME. Consider design in your landscape. Yes, I'm a designer. Yes, I think design makes everything feel better. You can work within whatever framework you like- permaculture, native landscaping, xeriscape, fancy English gardens.... 
Bulbs--- because you will love yourself in the spring! I mean it. Great big fancy daffodils will make your March. :) Woodland bulbs I love: 


galanthus or snowdrop
grape hyacinth

Bulb tips: forget tulips or understand that they aren't the best perennials. I like and am experimenting with:

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