Independence Days – July 8

It’s been crazy-hot here – as I understand it’s been in a lot of other places – and it’s been difficult to do much at all this week without risking some degree of heat exhaustion.  But looking back, in that time I think I’ve done a reasonable amount, and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in spite of the rather unprecedented weather we’re having and the fact that I’ve spent much of the week just trying to keep marginally cool.

Plant something:  Arugula, lettuce, scarlet runner beans, peas, nasturtium, carrots, cucumbers; started growing micro-greens (pea shoots and lettuce)

Harvest something:  Borage, mint, thyme, sage, basil, violet, and the First Pepper of the Season (capitalization absolutely required)

Preserve something: Dried borage, mint, thyme, sage, basil, and violet

Waste not:  Thrift store purchases: five reference-ish books (Insect, Disease & Weed I.D. Guide, Cook with Jamie, The Herbal Pantry, True Thai, and The Pie and Pastry Bible); reused plastic containers (ice cream and spinach) for growing micro-greens; managed the food for very little food waste (frittata is a handy repository for saggy or leftover food bits)

Want not:  Stocked up on more seeds and things to sprout; trying to plant as much extra food as I can (even if just as an experiment to see what’s possible)

Eat the food: Frittata, lots of salad, pasta salads, potato salads, veggie wraps; pasta with veggies, miso and veggie soup

Build community food systems:  Chatting with the neighbours about gardening for food; talking with organizers about joining up with local community gardens for next year

Skill up: Practicing growing micro-veg or micro-greens (in the hopes of doing it through the winter); reading more about companion planting; researching plant diseases and undesirable insects (and treatment options; re-learning to play the guitar; working on basic hand sewing skills

Get healthy: Still walking and biking everywhere I can, plus gardening; lots of good, healthy food; starting to make my own herbal teas with health issues in mind; working on establishing a meditation practice

It’s still very much summer here, but I’m already thinking towards the fall and winter.  I’m not anticipating a huge harvest, but now seems to be a good time to think about what I’d like to put up for fruit and vegetables this year (as some of my favourite things start to come ripe and show up at the farmer’s market), as well as herbs that I’d like to dry and things that I can grow through the winter.  Once I’ve started practicing with some of the micro-greens, I’d also like to stock up on some larger quantities of the seeds that work the best.  Hopefully there will be just enough incoming sunlight to get enough seedlings going to eat through the season.

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