This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

update - October has been keeping me busy

Oh gee, I meant to post regularly and here again, I've gone a long time without posting. So much is going on. (I'll fill in some back posts soon.)

I've been getting good harvests regularly, still. Lot's of lettuce. Also beans, summer squash, and peppers. All the green tomatoes I picked two weeks ago (thinking we were getting a hard frost), are on my kitchen counter and rapidly ripening. I make sauce every time I get a bowlful of ripe ones. We use that in a few days, or freeze it.

With all my beans, I've canned two batches of pickled three bean salad. A recipe that we love. I now have a pantry full of this, mixed vegetable pickles, sandwich dill pickles, and tomatoes in all different forms: salsa, Rotel-style, crushed and pizza sauce.

My Master Gardener class is coming to an end soon. I finished up my final exam today. All my homework and the 60 hours of gardening volunteer time are done. I'll miss the great classes. Our final class is tomorrow and it's on ... VEGETABLES!! Yeah. We have a treat - Roger Swain (TV host of "The Victory Garden" show) will talk to us from 9 am to 3 pm!!! I have been looking forward to this since the class started back in April. I'm told he's "a hoot". (I don't know how I'll be able to sleep tonight.)

I've been putting a lot of time into my community plot. I've stepped down as the Coordinator as of the end of this year and with my extra time I want to do a really nice job on my plot next year. I cleaned out all the summer debris, made a second compost bin, and leveled the soil in all the beds. Some of my raised beds, made 6 or 7 years ago out of untreated pine, are rotting and falling apart. I removed the wood and made raised areas with paths between. I planted 60 cloves of garlic in one bed and planted the rest with winter rye. It looks very well tended.

I've been working to make sure we have a smooth transition to new leadership at our community garden. I was so happy that many gardeners have stepped up to participate in leadership. Our new management will be a committee of 7 gardeners (including me). I think a committee will be so much better than just one person. I am very pleased.

I've been spending time with Suzie. We both miss Skippy. Suzie completed an obedience class yesterday. She is very smart and very motivated. It's fun to do classes with her. We've gone on long walks and just relaxed and hung out together.

I've been watching TV - who can avoid watching presidential politics this year!!

But best - I'm getting ready for my puppy who is coming this Saturday! Charley. I can't wait. I have been puppy-proofing our house, assembling comfy crates, re-reading puppy training info, and visiting him every couple weeks. Last week I helped the breeder bathe all 6 pups in Charley's litter. I'm sure I'll have a million puppy photos to share soon.



Blogger CHRIS said...

wow. that sounds very busy but also very fun! you inspire me to venture into pickling/canning next year. i meant to this year but with a one year olds and a kindergartener bot adjusting to their respective schedules, the garden fell by the wayside a bit once we hit fall. oh well. goals for next year!
question- you said you had raised beds made from untreated pine that you were repairing... have you experienced issues with termites in them? and if so- what did you do to get rid of them/keep them away? i made the unfortunate discovery that some are eating away at one of my beds made from the same pine! ah!
congrats on the puppy! so excited for you! we are currently waiting to get one when our baby gets to be a little sturdier/trustworthy!

October 27, 2016 8:05 PM

Blogger kathy said...

I've never had a problem with termites in raised bed wood. I've looked through information on controlling them. Many things seem too toxic for a vegetable garden. You could try beneficial nematodes. Arbico Organics has info and a product for termites. Seems a bit expensive to me - $60. Personally, I'd just let them eat the wood. Maybe you can line the bed with stone, or leave the edge raise but unlined.

October 30, 2016 12:04 PM

Anonymous JustGail said...

Is Victory Garden still on the air? I used to watch faithfully every Saturday, until it became all about fancy pants landscaping.

Lucky class, getting Mr. Swain for the day!

October 31, 2016 4:23 PM

Blogger kathy said...

The Victory Garden is not on the air any more. You can get any of the books, though not in press anymore, of course they are here and there at used sellers.

Roger mentioned a show that's on the BBC now: Gardener's World. He and people in my class said it's really good and lamented that we need to go to British programming for a good gardening show. It's run since 1994, so there are lots of episodes. Looks like you can watch it here from the US

October 31, 2016 5:27 PM


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