Wednesday, April 24, 2013

PAR Davies Update 4-23-13

Note from the blog editor:  I'm sorry I failed to tell everyone that I would be away from computer access last week.  I had a great time at Penland School of Crafts!  It's good to be back to spring; when I left Penland on Sunday, it was 32 degrees! Now for the PAR Davies report:
You know we love red out here!  Future home
of Aunt Ida's Pole Beans
Wow, what a day. It was perfect for working--overcast and breezy. The workers today were Suzanne, Susan, G.A., Virginia and Bob V., Mary Elizabeth, Cathy, a new volunteer, Janet Wehner, and myself. Welcome Janet and thanks for all your help; we hope you want to come back. The first order of business was harvesting, and everyone pitched in to get it done. We got collards, radishes, romaine and leaf lettuce, spinach, kale, herbs (including lots of cilantro), and onions. We picked a good bit of baby kale, and I was able to send a recipe along with it:  "Baby Kale, Potato and Bean Soup." I tried it over the weekend and it was very good. Cathy delivered everything to the Women's Shelter.

Pea blossoms

G.A. and Bob V. put up the wire for the espalier project. Then we moved some of the fencing material from one bed to the middle of the cabbage bed in order to companion plant pole beans with the cabbage. Mary Elizabeth planted a lot of different varieties of peppers. Suzanne finished up the tomatillo bed, now with six mixed of purple, verde, and pineapple. Sounds like there will be salsa in someone's future. Virginia thinned the beets that look beautiful, and she filled in a few more seeds in the blank spots. We had planted two types of beets, Detroit Red and Lutz. The Lutz are supposed to get big but not woody if left in the ground. Unfortunately, something messed up the row and not many came up. What did survive looks good. We will see which variety we like best and plant a bigger crop in the fall.

Yesterday I got some tomato and pepper starts from our friend Vernon. Most of these were planted, with 6 of the Tumbling Tom Yellows being planted in pots. Suzanne mixed us up some more fertilizer to add to the pots, and then the tomatoes were planted with earthworm castings and mycorrhizae, and mulched with shredded leaves. Two Sungold cherry tomatoes were planted in the area between the potatoes and arched trellis. By the way, the potatoes are looking good.

Comfrey tea

The Comfrey tea is still brewing and is on its way to becoming some pretty smelly sludge, as evidenced by a nice scum on top. Any volunteers to help strain this stuff? What amazed me is that where we cut the Comfrey down to the ground last week, about 1/3 of it has already grown back. If this proves to be the wonderful fertilizer it is reported to be, we will have a steady supply of free fertilizer. I guess we'd better go easy at first just to make sure it doesn't kill anything.

We are still on board for our Saturday workday from 8:00-10:00. Right now the prediction is rain, but being Memphis that could change in an hour. I will send out a notice Friday to let everyone know if we will work on Saturday or not. And remember, next Wednesday our hours will change back to 8:00-10:00 for the summer.

'Til later,


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