july 2012, garden bounty

graveyard shift

I was sent to bed last night at 7. It was good and necessary, as I was being a total crabby-patty and there was no light at the end of that tunnel. Andrew made delicious pad thai, then for dessert he calmly said “I’ll give Valentine her bottle and I’ll go water the transplants. Go to bed.” I typically fall asleep like a dead frog, and that is exactly what happened. But then of course, I woke up at 1am. Went to check on the baby Bubsters in the pitch dark, then made some coffee, and got to work.

The wee early morning is not a sane time to begin working, but after high school I worked overnights one summer at a telecom place and really enjoyed it. Watching the sun set, then rise. And then napping all day. That part doesn’t work with farming very well. But blanching broccoli in the cool quiet of the uninterrupted kitchen does!

I’d spent nearly all of yesterday transplanting in our fall crop of brassicas- Napa Cabbage, all kinds of baby cabbages, brussel sprouts, and my very favorite- Romanesco, which is like a perfect combo of Broccoli and cauliflower. We’d excavated the bed the onions were in, got all the onions setup curing in the pavillion, added rabbit poop and tilled the bed. As all the little baby plants were tucked in I told them they are going to love their new home, what a fine job Andrew had done fluffing the soil for their roots to grow big and strong. These crops will all mature in the cool of fall, and I think they are going to be amazing.What doesn’t go into our last shares in October, will be hoarded for our winter share box around Thanksgiving time.

500 or so plants later, I was exhausted. We don’t have a transplanter attachment on a tractor. We choose to garden by hand, to keep our garden small and biointensive, our footprint light on the soil. All afternoon Andrew was preoccupied with the well and water guy, who’d finally arrived to finish getting our well hooked up to the waterline running to the duck barn. Andrew had been nervous about it all day. Our well is old, the pump is fragile, and here are 2 strangers messing with it. Luckily they are professionals, so nothing happened. Just imagine if we’d tried to tackle that kind of a project ourselves! It would have been a disaster.

The other thing that sent me over the crabby edge yesterday was the overwhelming inundation of vegetables needing attention. I knew this would happen, you freaking reap what you sow when you have fertile soil! Cucumbers, zucchini, beets, green beans, kale, cabbage and carrots all needing to get harvested PRONTO and dealt with appropriately. Somethings will be just fine to hang onto for Tuesday’s CSA shares, but broccoli, green beans, leg-sized zucchinis, and the loads of cucumbers need to be preserved now. They will keep on coming too.

On my graveyard shift this morning, I’ve been planning my attack for the day, getting all the canning recipes in order, and lists of spices needed that I’m almost out of for the relishes and pickles I’ll make today. After milking time and a nap.

what NOT to do on a hot day, must it must be done! 15 qrts of green beans blanched and bagged, now in the freezer!

what NOT to do on a hot day, but it must be done! Waste not want not! 15 qrts of green beans blanched and bagged, now in the freezer!

One thought on “july 2012, garden bounty

  1. I do a lot of my canning at night – not 1 am night, but starting around 9pm, when the house is cooler. I had a meltdown myself last night – just too darned much on my plate and no end in sight – which is basically what your post was saying. Solution for me was a trip down the road to the beach, where I literally threw myself into the frigid water as soon as I was waist deep. And stayed there for a good few minutes, till my brain had cooled down.

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