Sharon, over at Casaubon’s Book has an Independence Days Challenge that I am going to try to take part in this year. From what I have gathered, it is a challenge to do something in each of the following categories each and every week.
- Preparation and Storage
- Plant Something
- Harvest Something
- Preserve Something
- Reduce Waste
- Build Community Food Systems
- Eat the Food
Well, since “H”, “E” (aka “the toilet guy“), “J” and I – plus CT at her satellite garden – have decided to work on a “family garden” (or one large garden and two small satellite gardens) and preserve what we can – I figured I’d give this a shot. I have done so much this past week… I can’t imagine I would have the energy to do something like this weekly – nope, just can’t see that happening.
Preparation and Storage:
One of the group – “J” – and I spent a Monday late afternoon weeding and pulling flowering plants where the new garden would go.
On Thursday, he, and another friend with whom I had bartered my time for his, came over to my house and we hauled four loads of amended soil to set up the garden area and (finally) fill in the raised bed. The amended soil is beautiful. Each truckload cost just under $27. “J” covered the cost of one load.
“E” and I built a second raised bed next to the first. (To see how to build a raised bed garden, see this post.) When we hauled the amended soil we dumped a big pile in the middle of where the new would go, so we just needed to spread it around when the raised bed was done.
Over at CT’s garden (a satellite garden just a few miles from my house) I planted eight tomato plants: three Cherry, three Roma and two big boy (one of the big boy’s broke on the way into the ground).
Then, “H”, “E”, “J” and I met yesterday afternoon at my house and planted:
- Twenty-six tomato plants (a total of 37 now in the ground at my house) – including Roma, Big Boy, Cherry and Yellow Pear Tomatoes.
- Two four foot rows of Radishes seeds (front garden).
- Two four foot rows of Lettuce seeds (front garden).
- Eighteen Fennel plant (started from seeds a few months ago).
- Twenty Sweet Red Onions (started from seed a few months ago).
- Two eight foot rows of Romain Lettuce.
- Two eight foot rows of Basil.
- Two eight foot rows of Bush Green Bean seeds.
- Three bell pepper plants (most are planted in H&E’s satellite garden).
- Seventeen broccoli plants.
- A four foot row of Honeydew Melon seeds.
- One Watermelon mound of six seeds.
- Three Zucchini mounds of three seeds each.
- Three Cucumber mounds of six seeds each.
- Three Butternut Squash mounds of three seeds each.
- Six Strawberry plants (the only plants I actually purchased).
Lettuce, Arugula, and a few radishes were harvested from the garden.
Preserve Something: Nothing to report.
Reduce Waste: Nothing to report.
Build Community Food Systems:
Started a garden over at CT’s – the “over-flow” garden. Prior to this year she didn’t have a garden, but with a little encouragement, she dug up a chunk of her yard, and I planted tomatoes. She excitedly planting carrot seeds, lettuce seeds and strawberry plants on her own.
Over at the “main” garden in my back yard, “H”, “E”, and “J” and I planted the garden with seeds and seedlings for our family garden.
Eat the Food:
I love sprouts. I use mostly in my new favorite sandwich: toast with a little brown mustard, provolone cheese, sun dried tomatoes and sprouts. YUM!
From the thinning out the Arugula and Lettuce, “J” was able to create a lovely salad for the four of us – complete with a radish from the garden.