July 9, 2008

Convicted by Weeds

Two hours of weeding and pulling up bolted spinach plants and I'm convinced even more that we want to try raised bed,"square foot" gardening next year. There's just too much bare ground out there and this wet weather has been ideal for weeds - ahhhh! With the raised bed method there's just more order and containment of the whole business. I think I could wrap my brain around weeding one box each day, but when you go out to a big plot like ours, you can easily stand there and turn in circles trying to figure out what's the most urgent. There is only so much time in the morning before it gets too hot to stay out there, and only so much energy to expend!

I'm also convicted about how much more time I need to put into the whole endeavor. I haven't been doing nearly enough out there and I think that my putting in more effort is a way to encourage DH to keep at it. It's fun but it's also a lot of work and when he's trying to do the lion's share of the garden work with his precious hours after work and on Saturdays, I suspect it gets a little tedious. It's important to both of us to grow healthy, organic produce and I want it to be a family effort. If he's willing to clean beet greens, I'm willing to pull weeds!

Among the weeds I found this gem! Since we hadn't sprayed any bug repellent this year (we use Organocide, which has the active ingredient of 5% sesame oil), I was afraid that I would find all sorts of buggies inside this cabbage, but look how beautiful it is! And the sharp, 'cabbagey' scent that came out of it when I cut it open was wonderful!

It was sad to retire the early crop of spinach, but it will be back in the fall. I learned last night from my "Joy of Gardening Cookbook" that the way to harvest it is to cut the small leaves on each plant right down to about one inch, and then more leaves will appear on that same plant. I will keep that tip for the fall crop. We found wonderful ways to use fresh spinach this year. "Melting" it down in the microwave with a little olive oil and various seasonings made it perfect for use in quesadillas, pizza, baked sandwiches, and a center filling for lasagna. There are also some wonderfully unique spinach salad recipes in the same cookbook mentioned above - how does spinach, celery, and apple salad with blue cheese dressing sound to you? Sounds like tomorrow's dinner to me!

Well, this is all then.

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