One of the ironies of this whole “let’s grow our own” saga is that it takes so much work to grow the food, I barely have time (or energy) to cook the food, let alone eat the food. Maybe I’ve just bitten off more than I’m too tired to chew but between duck chores, cat chores, house chores, garden chores, not to mention, husband and daughter chores, I’m too beat to bake. Or sauté. Or chop anything (might cut off a finger, you never know.)
For a variety of reasons including my still-novice status, the relative smallness of our arable land, the weather, the bugs, the duck-trampling, the plain ol’ bad luck, I have been able to produce only a smidgen of the food that we actually eat every day. A far cry from my hopes in the depths of our (admittedly temperate) winter, when I airily dreamed of perfect rows of perfect vegetables complementing copious eggs from a perfect flock.
SLAP! OK, I’m awake.
So, as of June 20th, in 2012 this is the sum total of food produced (and eaten):
3 servings of sugar snap peas*
4 servings of spinach**
4 servings of bok choy**
Lettuce in profusion, mostly given to the ducks (they love it!)
Dill on demand
Pending food—expected to survive to harvest but who the ducks knows?:
Basil (newly replanted—the first plants went outside too early and failed in the rain)
Rosemary (very hardy)
Shallots and scallions (did well)
Carrots (first time I’ve had success from seed—they’re in the planter so it’ll be interesting to see how stumpy they are)
More lettuce (you can never have too much)
Potatoes (out of control big now but the proof is in the digging up)
Tomatoes (killed two plants by not getting them in the soil fast enough, two to go)
Pepper (one plant, not great odds)
Blueberries (I think we have about 6 berries)
Peach tree (looks exactly the way a peach tree should look, only smaller)
Olive “trees” (more like olive “branches” but flowering and holding their own)
Indian corn (lost a few plants due to Some Bird pulling up the emerging leaves, I won’t name names, ok, Peep….)
Runner beans (just coming up now but so far so good)
Pumpkins (again, lost a few due to ducks but put up border fence and now thriving)
Fig tree (when still inside, cat nibbled at leaves and later, outside, didn’t get right amount of water and keeled over)
First blueberry bush (never made it past stick phase)
On life support:
Two apple trees (alas! both in the soggy beds along the property line. We elevated them slightly but they don’t look too feisty at the moment)
Two pear trees (compared to their peach tree companion, look pretty sickly)
But a couple of large salads do not a balanced diet make. Luckily, we made a strategic investment in early spring, in case we had a total, not just mostly total, crop loss. That’s right, we joined a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture*** allows you to buy weekly supplies of fresh farm produce by paying a set fee directly to the farmer who then in turn, delivers a “share” of vegetables and sometimes other crops to a designated location, usually weekly, from about June to November. (Not a bad backup plan, right?) This week, for example, we received the following (Ducks: ooh, more salad!):
Red Lettuce-1 head
Green Lettuce-1 head
Bright Lights Swiss Chard-1 bunch
Summer Spinach-1 bunch
Mustard Greens-1 bunch
Chinese Cabbage-1 head
As my mom would say, lots of roughage. To which I would add, when it comes to farming, all’s well that, um, ends well.
*Many more to come, some to be frozen because I DON’T HAVE TIME TO COOK!
**Bolted or almost bolted early
***Our local CSA is with Stoneledge Farm, a 200-acre certified organic farm in NY state.
Copyright 2012, Lori Fontanes