Monday, July 27, 2009
These are the beds we patched together from found and cheap materials, shown in an earlier post. They are holding together, and the squash are luckily planted at the edges so they can spill out and take up less room (they are so pushy!). The beds (one wood, one brick, one cinder block) are at the back of a vacant lot near our house. The lot still looks vacant from the street, which isn't a bad thing....it's very peaceful in the back. The great thing about the lot is there is lots of material lying around that puts itself to use. Broken branches or mini invasive trees that we pulled up are good for tomato and bean supports and a broken length of fence makes a good trellis. The bad thing is the ivy and bittersweet that are trying to creep in and take over the world.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Found a great pickle website....awesomepickle.com
I am hoping the pictured items from the garden can turn into salt pickles. Just ferment and then refrigerate...no vinegar or sealing needed! Awesome. Bought some mustard seed and celery seed, and picked some dill. Packed everything tight in the jars with garlic and covered with brine. The sources I found made the brine with 1 TBSP salt (without iodine) per 2-4 C water. Dechlorinated water is recommended (brita filtered, bottled, or tap water left out for 24 hrs) so the chlorine doesn't inhibit fermentation. Check daily to make sure the vegs don't poke out of the brine...they need to stay covered but not tightly covered so the carbon dioxide can escape. Ferment a few days to a few weeks and then refrigerate. Bring on the pickles....I hope it works! For more information, such as health concerns and botulism (seems safe if you learn how it works and how long people have been using the technique), see Sandor Ellix Katz's "Wild Fermentation" book or website.
After several months, the red worms that now reside in their bin in the basement have tired of their surroundings and munched up all of the newspaper strips and vegetable scraps they could. So, I spread their "product" out on a tarp in little piles in the sun and they dove to the bottom and formed worm balls. This made it easier to sort them out and put them into the old bin that had been refreshed with new newspapers. The castings will now go back to the garden as fertilizer for the squash, tomatos, peppers and eggplants. Good timing since they are hungry right about now.