Independence Days update #3

Another update in our Independence Days challenge

1.) Plant something: Sweet potatoes are the only thing I’ve planted. Everything else is in the ground. I’ll need to replant for things that didn’t sprout but that won’t be for a little while yet. I may be renting another garden plot to grow more vining veggies, and if I do that I’ll be busy planting again.

2.) Harvest something: We harvested some lettuce to augment a salad. It wasn’t enough to fill the salad but things are coming on now. We’re running about 10 degrees below normal for this time of the year so growing is a little behind.

3.) Preserve something: Nothing.

4.) Prep something: Prepped the three sweet potato beds, although they were mostly prepped. We built the chicken coop. I would post a picture but it’s too embarrassing. Thank God that chickens don’t have housing codes and code inspectors. Our coop might be deemed unfit for chicken living. They are coming next weekend so this week will be busy finishing their run area and buying supplies.

5.) Cook something new: Didn’t cook anything new. I was looking forward to trying Kohlrabi soon, but the rabbits got it. They seem to like it so much more than my other stuff I might plant it to for them in the future just to distract them. They ate my peppers too. I guess they needed something a little spicy. I didn’t think in a million years they would touch the pepper plants.

6.) Manage your reserves: Most of my reserves are used up. I keep pushing applesauce on anyone who comes over for dinner. I have a ridiculous amount of canning jars ready for the summer.

7.) Local food system: I built two 16 sq ft garden beds at the low income hub I’ve talked about before. We also planted these beds. (I didn’t count these beds in #1 because they aren’t for me) I’m excited at the opportunity to talk to the kids about local foods and talk about healthy foods. I just have to figure out how to make it interesting to them. While working on the bed a bikers was hit by a car, and we didn’t even see it even though it happened right around us. We had 4 police cars show up and we were wondering what the hell was going on. I did also inform a neighbor that the compost at the dump is free if you take a truck to pick it up.

8.) Reduce waste: I took more newspapers from work to use in the gardens above, so they went into the soil instead of the recycling bin. I also procured more lawn refuse to use in the garden so it wasn’t trucked to the compost facility.

9.) Learn a new skill: I’m getting really good at weeding since my compost was full of seeds. I guess I’ll have to do a better job at turning it in the future or something. I think most of the plants coming up at tomatoes, which is interesting, if I didn’t already have so many other tomato plants planted. This is a skill I’d rather not learn or get better at.


6 responses to “Independence Days update #3

  1. Yeah, I have a lot of “volunteers” in my garden, too. I use a lot of leaf mulch, which tends to spread some seeds around, but mostly, it keeps the weeds from growing, and I don’t have to do a great deal of weeding in my raised beds. Good thing, too, because I’m not very good at it ;). I hate “thinning”, too – as evidenced by my, currently, overgrown bed of leaf lettuce. Did you say you needed some? 🙂

  2. Has the recent rains in northern Iowa threathend your rented plot by the river? The rising waters are hitting Des Moines now. I took a bicycle ride on Friday night on a bike trail that goes by the Des Moines river. I was gone a couple hours and by the time I came back the river was over the trail in the low lying spots and flowing at a fast pace.

  3. I’d love some lettuce Wendy. I’m afraid it’s not very local.

    Dan–I’m going to check it tomorrow, but I don’t think our flooding has gotten that bad yet. (fingers crossed)

  4. merlotmudpies

    did you use just sweet potatoes from the store, or do you use seed potatoes like you would with any other type? i love sweet potatoes and would love to plant them, but am totally lost on this one. would be thrilled to know what you used and if you’ve grown them before.

  5. I bought the seed potato starts form Jung’s Seed Company. They sent me 24 of them. I don’t know the yield yet, but from what I can gather that should be quite a few potatoes.

    You can also use a store bought potatoes to grow slips and then plant them, but I haven’t had success with that version before.

  6. with the compost – think the heat will kill seeds/weeds – add manure. chicken poo might help that out a bit (i use horse manure, since i have a ready supply) 😉 i’d think turning it often (~weekly) would help speed the process, too (aerate and break up sprouting things that have germinated in heat/sunshine)

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