August 18 Challenge Update

Wow did last week fly by!  I know this week, getting ready for school and our party, will go just as fast!  I spent all morning today working on school stuff: syllabi, website, summer reading test, activities.  I still have to finalize and burn CD’s for my AP students (to save paper handouts) and go in to photocopy what I need to have on paper.  I’m taking a little timeout to post a couple of updates on my garden-related challenges.

Plant something.  

  • nothing this week

Harvest something. 

  • parsley
  • chives
  • yellow squash
  • crookneck squash
  • tomatoes
  • sugar pumpkins
  • butternut squash
  • spaghetti squash

Preserve something. 

Prep something. 

  • cleaned out the pumpkin, squash and cucumber plants that were decimated by bugs, to get ready for a fall planting

Cook something new.  

Manage your reserves.  

  • organized the freezer, again, after I messed it up to make room to freeze berries

Reduce waste.

  • continue to recycle, compost, carry reusable bags, and limit packaging

Work on local food systems. 

  • groceries from my family’s farm market
  • visited the Durham Farmer’s Market

Learn a new skill.

  • How to freeze pie filling in a pie pan

The Growing Challenge

Yesterday afternoon, Ed and I got to work doing what we’ve been talking about for a couple of weeks now, ripping out one whole side of our garden.  We harvest everything we could before we removed the bug-ravaged vines.  We got 7 sugar pumpkins, all in the process of turning orange, 4 spaghetti squash, and 2 small butternut squash, which are sitting on our deck right now in the sun, ripening up.  As we were picking the pumpkins, it seemed like time goes so fast, and we just couldn’t believe these grew so quickly.  It feels like we just planted the seeds.  Ed’s going to bring home his dad’s small rototiller today, and this week I’ll get to work planting spinach, broccoli, turnips, and more lettuce.  Anybody have any advice on what will grow well in fall/winter in New England? We’re talking about building a cold frame eventually, and the thought of having our own lettuce all winter is just great!  Our tomatoes continue to ripen little by little, and there are still very many green ones, so we’ll hopefully have them well into September, barring an unusual frost.  I have to say that even with the trials and tribulations and droughts and bugs, I’m so happy that we put in our veggie garden.  The sunflowers are so beautiful and healthy, towering over the little garden, and they make me smile every time I look at them.

4 Comments

Filed under Food, Gardening, Home, Local Agriculture, Outside, Sustainable Living

4 responses to “August 18 Challenge Update

  1. I too am curious about planting now or sometime soon so that we have a winter garden. I know there are some lettuces and cabbages that do well in cold weather (at least according to Martha Stewart). I would love to learn more about floral gardening for cool to cold weather (I am more of a fan of flowers although I do love tending our vegetable garden).

  2. farmersdaughterct

    I’m going to do some research. I know that mums do really well here in the fall, and there are some beautiful ornamental cabbages and kales, brilliant purples and bright greens.

  3. I’m going to write a post about it soon – there are lots of things you can grow in the winter, as well as lots of ways to extend your summer and fall crops as well. If you don’t have a cold frame, you can use a frost cloth or even just a tarp – it doesn’t hold in as much heat, but you’ll probably hold in enough to keep hardy greens and root crops going in the winter.

    Also, just as a suggestion, try saving the seeds of one of those pumpkins to grow next year – you might try saving one from a plant that has been particularly hardy – then you’ll begin your own variety!

  4. thanks for the great info on winter growing…I have been freezing blueberries, peaches and green beans from our CSA all month:)

    Enjoy these days!

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