Saturday, May 30, 2009

Is that a dishrag in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

Today was a perfect day here at Shmoopywood South. After 4 days straight of cold and rain, we were all very thankful to see the sunshine that's for sure! This morning we were greeted at zero dark thirty by a very enthusiastic Django. He had to go potty. Django has a digestive issue, he will wait like 3 days before he will go potty and then every now and then he has his emergency potty runs. If we are lucky its in teh day time and not at 3am. Poor guy! Then I got up and slid my ladybug slippery rain shoes on and off I went to do my chicken chores.

As you know, Dave and I try very hard to be aware of what we do and how it effects the environment. Like dishtowels for example, we use them often because we do not use paper towels. We use them to clean counters and dry dishes, we use them as napkins and when they are so used that they are not useful for that purpose, they become rags and they are reborn into a whole new use. Unfortunately, when they change into the rags it leaves me without dish towels. (Dave will read this and not believe that I just gave up a perfect opportunity to use the word Metamorphosis in a sentence.) SO today we purchased NEW dishtowels. I am like the chickens in a way where something as simple as buying new dishtowels entertains me and makes me as giddy as they are first thing in the morning when I lift the door. For this reason, I would like to share my new towels with you good people.

Ok so those are not the ones that I bought, and I shamelessly nabbed this photo off of Google (sorry rightful owner of the pictures of the towels) but they were there. I got ones that are beige with black writing that says "what goes around comes around". I just love them. They are 60% regenerated cotton and 40% recycled Polyester and they were not expensive.

I also took some time in the garden this week in between rainstorms. I put the rest of the starters into the ground. I just couldn't stand to see them getting killed off mercilessly here inside my house. We worked so hard to get them to this point and to see them gnawed on by wayward Maine Coon cats and catapulted (ha! catapult) across the room by dogs was just too sad for me. I took the risk and put them in the ground. The next day the rains started. I truly believe that I am cursed to never grow anything with dirt. When I get a chance I will take some pics. Incidentally, any of you "followers" want to give me advice on potatoes? onions? Garlic? We have NO idea what we are doing and having a hard time knowing when to start harvesting these things in particular.



Claire said...

HI! Thanks for visiting my blog! I thought I would give you some advice on potatoes and garlic, since you asked. Garlic is best started in the fall. You take a whole garlic and you break the cloves off individually, then plant them about 4 to 6 inches deep. We mulch them heavily with straw/compost mix. In spring, you will see green shoots coming up. This is what we do in zone 5. Unless you are in a hot zone like Florida or something, you probably would do the same. Potatoes you start in the spring. You dig trenches and you get potatoes (either from the store or from a supplier). You leave them out in the light for several days so they get little sprouting eyes on them. Then, cut them into 3 or 4 chunks, so each chunk has a sprout on it. Leave the chunks for a couple of days to callus over so they don't rot in the ground. Then plant in a trench about 6 or 8 inches deep. Slowly fill in the trench as the plant grows. Continue such that you hill up the soil around each plant as it grows to max out your yields. They are ready after they have flowered, and will get bigger if you leave them even longer. New potatoes are awesome! We try all kinds of fun and different varieties, like purple ones and such. I plan to blog soon about our potatoes and garlic....stay tuned!

Claire said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that you should harvest the garlic scapes (the sprirally things with a pointy thing on the end that looks like it will become a flower) because you want the plant to put effort into the bulb. The garlic scapes can be chopped and sauteed or, we make them into garlic butter by putting them in the food processor with butter, making logs, and freezing it. Also, the bulbs are ready for harvest when about 60% of the leaves have gone yellow and died back. Water well.

shmoopywood said...

Oh Claire!! thank you so much for the potato advice. I have been burying the plant for what seemed like weeks. Now the potato plants are HUGE... I didnt know when to harvest them!! I feel like they should be huge because the potato plant itself is enormous and that surprises me.

This is awesome information and I am so happy that you took the time to write it out!! THANK YOU


Claire said...

Excellent! If they are huge, you should have lots of potatoes growing under the soil you've been heaping on them! It also depends on the variety - some get bigger than others. If you know the variety you planted, you should be able to look up if it is an early, mid, or late season potato, which should give you a good idea of when it ought to be ready! I can't wait to see the pictures of your harvest!