Monday, April 5, 2010

Early spring IDC

It's another Monday and time for my usual check in with the Independence Days Challenge. Things are definitely ramping up here- both in the garden and in other projects. We've had afternoon thunderstorms here both yesterday and today which has hampered my efforts to get things done outside. But here are the accomplishments for the week.
1. Plant something- let's see... I did plant out my little blueberry plants and one more that J15 and I picked up on Saturday. I transplanted peppers, tomatoes and tomatillos into larger pots. My cabbage and broccoli are ready to go into the garden but the garden isn't ready for them :( I wasn't planning to till it this year but when I was out working I discovered that it is riddled with vole runs that I would like to disrupt. Roger has a little tiller that was left to him by a mutual friend who left town and I've asked him if we could use that one. Roger has a huge, rear tine tiller that I borrowed last year but I don't think I need that much. In addition to my seedlings, I've got little onion plants ready to set out as well. I'm most likely going to get a few more onion sets to put in as well. I've got strawberry plants on order so I REALLY need to get that raised bed finished! I was only part through last fall when I hurt my shoulder swinging the pick and then it snowed....
2. Harvest something- only chives. I'm hoping to try some nettles this week. There is a huge bunch out in the garden that I may as well eat before I rip them out.
3. Preserve something- only my sanity! And that was a close call! Things are getting crazy-busy around here.
4. Waste not- Let's see, I repurposed some of the rabbit fence we removed from the yard to make cages for the blueberry plants and have been scrounging flats in which to put my seedlings. I'll need to make some more cages since we have some more things on order (bush cherries and Manchurian apricots) and my apple trees will be arriving soon as well. I've also made arrangements with the power company for a delivery of wood chips. They are trimming trees in the area and will deliver wood chips upon request. I'm not sure if they will actually give us the chips from the trees they trim in front of our house or it it's just a random delivery.
5. Want not- hmm, stocked up on coffee that was on sale this week. I really need to get to the grocery store and clip the store coupon for sugar since we're running low. Other than that- we've now got enough chocolate in the house to last us for a while.
6. Community food systems- I registered for the second class in the permaculture series. It will be the weekend of May 1. J15 and I dropped off a donation of canned good, diapers and toilet paper for the "Stuff the Bus" food drive last weekend. They were trying to get enough donations throughout town to fill a city bus! We also received a confirmation letter from our Amish farmer for our beef. He will take the cow to the local locker on Wednesday of this week so we'll have to call them with our instructions for how we want the meat cut and packaged. I'm also counting some of the work I'm doing transplanting seedlings this year in this category. I have started some extra seeds this year and the little plants will be sold at a plant sale that we are having at our church to benefit the local Crisis Center. I'm hoping that heirloom tomato and pepper seedlings will sell well.
7. Eat the food- This has been a weird week. But for Easter breakfast before we headed to my parents we had cinnamon rolls, local eggs (dyed) and local bacon (YUM!)
Not too bad, I guess. I just feel that there is so much more that needs done and I don't have enough hours in the day.

Oh, and one more thing. My Dad gave me a tip yesterday. The National Soybean Research Laboratory has been doing work to develop edamame that will grow well in the US. They are doing "garden trials" and have a limited amount of free seeds for those interested in trying them in the garden. I sent an email last night and heard back this morning and should receive some free edamame seeds in a few weeks. I figure another source of protein isn't a bad thing. My dad is also participating and plans to plant enough to be able to save seeds for next year. Not too bad for an old farmer. Of course, I remember saving soybean seeds when I was a child. We always had to run it through the machine that cleaned and sorted it prior to filling bags for the planter. Now, these edamame seeds have been specifically bred but are not to my knowledge GMOs. But still, buyer beware... except that they're free!
Have a great week everyone. I'll try to check in occasionally but it's "that time" of year.


  1. I really feel stupid asking, but what is Edamame? A soy plant? Once you grow it, what do you do with it?...debbie

  2. Edamame is an edible soybean. The vast majority of soybeans grown in the US are not edible in their natural state. Edamame have larger beans and aren't easy to machine harvest. You pick them before they are fully ripe and steam or blanch them in the pod. You don't eat the pods but the beans inside are quite tasty. I think you actually have to cook them to be able to get them out of the pod.
    I've had them before in restaurants so I figured it's worth a try in the garden.

  3. Good luck with your Edamame! Besides tomatoes, it is the thing I cannot do without in my garden! The only problem I have is that I really need a full acre of them to sustain us throughout the winter. They freeze wonderfully for preservation. Just steam, toss with a bit of Kosher or sea salt, and suck them out of the pods - nature's perfect snack! We eat them EVERY night while relaxing watching tv or whatever! I easily eat one raised bed's full every 2 weeks, so you can see that you can never have too much space for them. Also, they are the most well behaved compact plants, you will LOVE them! I should get paid by the Soybean companies for marketing them for the home garden, LOL! Remember to just suck them out of the pods, don't remove them first or it takes all the fun out of it! This is the same way they are served at Sushi bars and the like, they go perfect with beer, so the guys love em!

  4. Erin, your making a very good case for raising Edamame! (funny word) And they must be tasty if you eat them every day. Judy, maybe you better see if you can double your free seeds!! lol ...debbie

  5. I'll have to check that out. Nettles make a great tea too :-)


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