And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What happened?

While I was in the garden yesterday, I discovered a strange phenomenon. 2 tomato plants and one cabbage plant had been cut off about 1/8" above the ground and the tops had been left lying where they fell. What in the world could cause that? It was a clean cut, not a break. That rules out weather. Rabbits (of which there are many around here) would have eaten the tops. Cutworm would have eaten the roots out from under the plants (or so I have been told). It makes no sense.
The rest of the plants look good. This is a relief as the pepper plants gave me a scare last week wilting in the unusual heat we have been having. The thought of no peppers this year was not something I wanted to think about. I am so looking forward to the first fresh produce out of the garden. I hate to cook, but am willing to spend hours in the kitchen slicing and peeling fresh stuff from the garden.
I discussed with DH the possibility of setting up an area in the apt to start seeds next year. Surprisingly, he did not argue with me. I would like to think that his first foray into jam-making with my mom has opened his eyes to the joy of growing and making your own food, but I have the feeling he is just humoring me and counting on my habit of having big ideas and then not following through. Well, the joke will be on him this winter.
I have also considered setting up a mini-garden actually IN the apt. Now, I have horrid luck with houseplants. I even killed a cactus once by not watering it enough. But what about some lettuce, tomatoes and such in pots? If the plants were FOOD maybe I would have the motivation to care for them a little better. I have been looking for ideas on how to accomplish this, so I can plan it out and impliment it this fall. The whole point would be to have fresh veggies in the winter. I hate to buy my veggies from the store, as the flavor is not as good and I am afraid of all the chemicals and treatments that get put on them. There is really no organic place to buy produce out of season (or really even IN season) around my area. So the logical next choice is to grow your own. Logical. In theory. Hmmmm... I wonder who would be carrying the soil up two flights of stairs?
I know it seems early in the season, but I am already planning my storage options for what I grow this year. My father thinks it would be fun to build a cold storage room in his basement for cabbages, potatoes, and such. I like the idea, but am unsure as to 1) how my mom will take that; and 2) how much use it will be this year with how small the garden really is. I have also read that cabbages can stink up your house if kept indoors, and my mom isn't all that fond of cabbage to start with. I have been lucky enough to obtain from a family member an upright freezer that they were unable to take with them in a recent move. I know I can freeze beans, peas and onions for sure if needed. I also found a new way to try to freeze zucchini by frying it lightly instead of blanching it. The blanching method turns them to a disgusting mess. However, I don't know if I will use that method as last years zucchini kept very well for months when kept in a basket on the counter. Good old organic gardening at it's best, I tell you. I know the winter squash can just sit on a shelf and be fine for quite a while, as well. Lots to think about.

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