Archive for the ‘July 2009’ Category

Seed Saving–first item of business, the peas.

peas in buckIf your once green peas are looking bloated and showing signs of late season garden rust, they probably look like mine. Peas are definitely early risers and early sleepers. Is anyone else’s peas in the mood for castration yet?

peas in a buckHarvesting a bucket of woody, decaying pea pods made me question whether stir-frying the last crop was worth it…should I just collect the remaining pods and revive the innards next year?

Once I passed through the three stages of pea-related grief, I asked a fellow farmer about techniques for saving pea seeds for 2010 and did a search on google. Each query brought me one step forward and two steps back, because the appropriate pea seed saving method is to wait until the pods have become organisms akin to old men of the Florida coast. It’s best to wait for the pods to reach full maturity on the plant. Unfortunately I didn’t research this before the bucket harvest.

This site provides some information on the process including this–“Allow pods to dry brown before harvesting, about four weeks after eating stage. If frost threatens, pull entire plant, root first, and hang in cool, dry location until pods are brown.”

Lucky for Missoulians who have already picked the remaining pod-ies, there’s this advice from the Daughter of the Soil (a credible moniker, no?)–“If the peas are no longer receiving moisture from the plant then there’s no particular reason to leave them on the plant, as far as I can see.” My plan is to wait until the little peas are rattling around in their graves–then I’ll assume they’re ready for their next life in the garden!

Let’s swap stories (from the field and the kitchen)

Gardening for vegetables really seems like a spectrum of intemacy. And the farther along in the season, the less careful I am with the produce.

Thinking back to the beginning of the season when those first suckers (or seedlings if you’re not into the whole brevity thing) are ready to transplant, every motion is filled with too much movement. ‘No, arm–don’t figit’ and ‘shit’ were phrases that filled my thoughts and the sound waves.

After the shallets and lettuces and, now, basil survived transplants and seedings these things seem indestructible. The precense of funky bugs and maybe even a fungal disease in the tomatoes haven’t taken it out of them. Nor has MT.

The only non-resilient plant thus far has been the eggplant which is unfortunate because that’s my all-time fave vegetable. It’s been torn to shreds by the potato (read:eggplant) beetle.

Yesterday we ate a spinach salad with potatoes alongside an excellent taco filled with the following:

-Garlic

-Mango

-Cilantro

-Jalapeno

-Lime

-Onion

-1/4 tsp salt

I highly recommend it–because most everything can be harvested from yer Missoula patch, and that is honestly part of what makes it SO good. Love, BBF