From a food perspective, this time of year is definitely the high point. Due to the funky weather we’re just getting tomatoes now, but I’ve also got tons of summer squash, basil, peppers, onions, kale, chard, chamomile, calendula and herbs. The giant growth winner is clearly the mullein, now two years old that tops out at about 9′ tall. This is a good thing, as my allergies are kicking in big time and I’ve needed to make several batches of mullein-goldenrod-sage-chamomile tea, which is quite nice with honey.
I whipped up a Claremont Salad yesterday with cabbage, onions, pepper, cucumber, carrot and parsley all home grown. Then today I made a spur of the moment green salsa with extremely local tomatillos, cayenne, garlic, onion and coriander seeds.
Meanwhile I keep re-potting seedlings and putting in new seed. I cleared one of the raised beds last weekend and have stuff sprouting already. I put in soy beans, parsnips, several kinds of lettuce, cress, onion and I forget what else- dill maybe. This polyculture mix has worked well for me over the last two years. I re-potted a bunch of wild flowers the children started, as well as larspur, asters and my new prize, black mulberry.
Couple of weeks ago I discovered a black mulberry down by the old railroad bed and brought a couple ripe fruit home to try and start. Kai and I were talking about how you don’t see a bunch of seedlings under mulberry trees, but I’ve since discovered the reason for this. I frequently walk along the Canal Path east from Pittsford village, and down where Mitchell Road crosses the canal there’s an old mulberry. One day I watched a herd of chipmunks scrounging the fallen berries. Another day it was ducks. So very few berries escape notice long enough to take root. However, the berries I collected and planted sprouted easily and are now growing vigorously. I put 12 into larger pots and I’m looking forward to seeing if I can get them through the winter.
I finally set up my first rain barrel, a birthday present from my dad last year. Just need to run the gutter downspout to the top, drill a hole and put in some screen to keep the detritus out.
I should probably strap the barrel to the side of the house. Haven’t filled it up yet to see how the tires handle the weight. The elevation is needed to be able to get enough pressure out to the garden beds.