Sunday, October 29, 2006

More gardening titles

In addition to the Square Foot Gardening title we are re-reading, we picked up a copy of Ruth Stout's "No-Work Garden Book" from the local library book sale for $1. A fascinating title that claims that you can garden with little effort, we have come to believe and agree, although her ideas on composting in place have not taken hold here, as we enjoy our composting bins and the dark earth that results, and use the end product where it's needed. Much like Gus Portokalos from My big Fat Greek Wedding's use of windex on everthing and anything, Ruth's answer to every gardening ill was mulch, to great success. A wonderful review of this great lady and her ideas can be found at Homestead.Org

Square Foot Gardening - maximizing space & effort

We are re-reading one of our favorite books, Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening, and are intrigued by a question he raises in his introduction; "Does anyone know the real reason people garden?". For us, the answer is easy. We want a sure supply of affordable healthy food. We want to be sure that our food is chemical free, available when we need it, and won't break our budget keeping us fed. Mel shows how in a single 4' x 4' square, you can grow in two months the following supplies:

  • 32 carrots
  • 12 bunches of leaf lettuce
  • 18 bunches of spinach
  • 16 radishes
  • 16 scallions
  • 16 beets
  • 9 Japanese turnips
  • 5 pounds of peas
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 4 heads of romaine lettuce
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 head of broccoli

If you need more, grow another square, and many more vegetable types are explained in his book. His method almost eliminates the hours typically spent maintaining a garden in a healthy weedless state. Well worth the read.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Todd wood-fired cook stove arrived

Our new Todd wood-fired cook stove has arrived, and is being assembled. The chimney pipe is back-ordered, but should be here soon. We look forward to cooking Thanksgiving dinner with it, and hope to learn how to use it before that day arrives.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Canning Time

This weekend while Jim and I were building the components of the wind tower, Linda was making applesauce for water bath canning, and preparing carrots for pressure canning. She also found time to make a delicious apple pie. Jim put up apple cider in carboys for future consumption.