Monday, September 27, 2010

Greenhouse just before watering, Monday, September 27, 2010
clockwise from left: mustard greens, cilantro, carrots, (sad) onions, beets, kale, dwarf pomegranate, parsley, arugula, beets, parsley, [leeks, rosemary, and thyme cut off]; violets and plantain interspersed

The greenhouse is moving along slowly in the shade of the white and pin oaks. We started our seeds about a month early, directly into the beds, rather than into seedling trays and then transplanted into the beds. I'm not sure which worked better, but the summer's heat made every thing difficult.

The carrots in the left foreground had been seeded months ago - they are tasteless and bug eaten. We pulled them all. I washed them but have not sampled another carrot...just in case they might be edible.

Overall our garden harvest was just ok. We made only a couple batches of fresh salsa and gazpacho each. By the time we remembered to make cucumbers in sour cream, we were on our last batch. We were able to freeze about 1 and a half gallons tomatoes and dry a pint of hot peppers (Hot, I think. the pepper plant always get mixed up - "Maybe the seed has crossed with a hot pepper?" Every year? Doubt it. Must be our error.)

I also dried a few herbs - rosemary, marjoram and mints (cat, pepper, and balsam - need to do lemon yet).

We made several pints of dilly beans and several quarts of brandied peaches (seconds) and received gifts of one pint each - figs and pears.

The wild, medicinal herb harvest was much better than the garden vegetable harvest. I made oils of dandelion flower, red cedar and white pine, violet flower, plantain, and yarrow. Syrup of elderberries. Tincture of dandelion roots, boneset and black cohosh. Dried couch grass and corn silk. This includes only what I can recall and excludes Jared's solo efforts.

Echinacea tennesseensis was one of this year's surprises. Started from seed and transplanted this year - several individuals bloomed with minimal watering. Other surprises: Our arnica transplants made several noble comebacks - we lost only one. And, boneset did very well this year with successive and long lasting blooms.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Today's Walk Along the Pipeline

Two Common Buckeye - Habitat: open, sunny, & with some bar ground. Hostplants: plantains, figworts, Schrophulariacaea (gerardia), vervains, etc.

We have all of the above just a mile away, but I have never seen a buckeye. Perhaps the meadow isn't big enough.

Frog in the only water left in the Sourlands.

Persimmon seeds

Caterpillar - I can't figure this one out. I didn't take a good look at the plant it was on.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I would like to

sit in the hammock and watch the warblers and wonder what the blue jays are talking about.

Smooth sumac fruit

Teeth marks on recycled plastic decking along hiking trail

Autumn meadow, sunny and warm: goldenrods, New England aster, Indian grass, little blue stem, aspen, red maple, dogwood, big-head clover, steeplebush

Broken feather, diabase boulder, autumn leaves

Greenhouse, photographer's shadow, and wetlands garden: Boneset bloomed continuously and robustly, and appeared frequently, despite the drought.