Day Ten

Hm. Seems the resting thing is hard to knock. I'll do work tomorrow 🤣

Today I planted corn. Found a few kernels on cobs that I didn't harvest because they were half eaten or molded, and I planted them to see what happens. They're in the potato bed that still has potatoes growing in it. Layers or something like that.

I ate so many blackberries today. Melissa has been digging on me because the garden never produces what I think it will. Well, I had a meal of blackberries. From one cane. Then I told her to take note of how many blackberries I've eaten from the store over our ten year marriage. The answer rhymes with "nun," and isn't "one." I'm eating the hell out of everything that grows here.

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I didn't check the zucchini plants for a little bit, and this monster popped up! Too big to eat, so we'll save seeds from it. I think the variety is black beauty. I need to be more on top of that. Nobody is harvesting from the sharing garden, so I harvested and took squash and zucchini to the neighbors. +3 for diplomacy and community building.

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I've been saving seeds in various buckets. This one is beans and wheat. The wheat is from a half dozen or so plants that the chickens planted. I winnowed them today to save the seed and replant. Been talking with Melissa about a big grain patch or something substantial like that next year. The garden isn't saving as much grocery money as I told her it would. Her frustration is understandable.

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I painted my radio too. Because why not? It looks better now. Camo is good.

Tomorrow I'm headed to the dairy. Gonna get rabbit wire to finish a cage or two and to use on the chicken coop vent/window. The breeder has a few rabbits for me and I'm trading him some comfrey and baby mulberry trees towards one of them. More to come on that project as it gets closer. I can't wait to have a sustainable source of poop to throw everywhere!

Sleep good, early start tomorrow!

Love from Texas

Nate 💚

Yikes. Almost posted this on steem. That would have been awkward.

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My mum used to cook them that big - slit lengthwise, scoop out seeds, fill with some spicy tomato chili - rice or ground beef concoction and bake in the oven. Cheese optional. I LOVE really young courgettes (as we call them in europe) sauteed with mushrooms. 😍

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It's hard to figure how much food things will produce when planting as you do. Because I do need to know how much I will get, as I grow to have enough for a whole year, I plant as I do. Eventually you may reach the levels you had hoped for...

As I learn, I'll be able to better predict those kinds of things. I've taken to writing things down here (plant spacing and location) to kind of keep track and apply what I learn. Kinda how you do. Also, I'm somewhat adapting my newer systems to a less wild patterns. To learn some controls and such. I'm learning a lot!

And I've almost got Melissa on board for a mass raised bed setup.

Way to go on the raised beds! :))

The idea was inspired by John Jeavens (not sure on the spelling). He has a regenerative system of growing a complete individual diet on four thousand square feet of raised beds. It's a vegan diet, so I'll add space for chickens, but his system even accounts for growing biomass for composting to maintain soil. I haven't looked super far into it yet, but I figure I can still make some beds.

I've also heard you can grow seven loaves worth of grain in a 100 square foot patch. I'd like to give something like that a try, and I've got a spot where I'd like to try it this year. Some heritage variety winter wheat would be really fun I think. Do you have any idea how to convert a patch of lawn into a small grain field without turning the soil?

People have done things like black plastic (I'd be afraid it WILL kill everything, biology included) or layering cardboard (I worked in a cardboard factory- NOT in MY gardens). I personally have used a sod cutter and taken it up that way, and used the sod elsewhere.

Personally, I'd be inclined to use the sod cutter, actually turn the soil that one time, allow time for the biology to re-establish (up to 9 months) while using mulch to prevent weed growth. I'd NOT use hay if I planned to grow wheat. Maybe leaves instead.

What type of wheat are you thinking of using? The older varieties are much more digestible.

As of now, the only local one that's appealing is Russian beardless. But I want something pretty too, so I'm tempted to try Tibetan purple barley... Or black tipped durum... Or utrecht blue... And I'm kinda of the mind that the taller, the better. Newer "improved" wheats grow more compact, right? And the older ones have a much better nutrient profile and less of the stuff that people are having dietary problems with.

I basically have no idea what to plant yet. They're all awesome and there's about ninety million types of wheat.

Here's the only local joint I've found yet that sells locally adapted grains. I'll most likely order from her. No ornamental types there though. I sent her a nice long email with a bunch of questions today.

How much are sod cutters? 🤔

I don't remember as it was back in 2016 I think I last rented one, to do the New Herb garden. I thought they were reasonable and was surprised they didn't cost more to rent. That was back when every penny had to do the job of 2....

In a nearby town there's someone who has been breeding and raising einkorn wheat, one of the earliest forms. http://growseed.org/einkorn.html

I got some from her years back but in the end I reacted to that too, so I avoid all wheat now.

Not sure you can save seeds from that one, it's not ripe yet. The stem has to begin to dry.

Also cucurbits cross pollination usually is a problem, if you have multiple varieties flowering in the same time.

Lastly, if you leave a fruit on the vine to ripen, the plant stops producing. So usually the tactic is to plant two plants next to one another and then net them and pollinate by hand and use them just for seeds.

Womp! Oh well, @artemislives has a good idea for a giant stuffed cucumber casserole! 💚💚💚💚