Well.... we all knew the rainless heat could not go on all summer. In all honestly, the garden needed it. We've been learning a lot in the last few weeks.... Here's a peak into some of the many lessons and thoughts we've encountered:
1. Water carrots a TON after planting (any seed for that matter)... We planted two rows of carrots that I'm afraid are not coming up due to the lack of rain and excess sun and heat. Thankfully, carrots are a speedy crop! We have time to plant more!
2. Cabbage moths are not the only cabbage predators! We had to pull up all of our cabbages early due to the security breach of green caterpillars! However, we will have sauerkraut to snack on for the rest of the year! Bonus.
3. We need to order less snap peas and more carrots! I must remind myself to save seeds this year. It's great having so many local sustainable and organic seed companies to choose from, but I'd really like to gather and save our own seed! Another step towards becoming a closed loop, independent homestead!
4. Daikon radish is not a normal radish! Hilariously, I planted daikon radish amongst my other regular, small, round radishes! Only to soon discover that they are unlike the others! Spicy and big, these guys will soon become kimchi- another fermented treat to have for the rest of the year (hopefully)!
5. Ducks Ducks Ducks Ducks Ducks... who's got some ducks??? If you're familiar with permaculture, you'll know that the chicken is a go to example in permaculture based on the few needs it has and the bountiful benefits it offers us and our systems. However, did you know ducks are cold tolerant due to the layer of fat under their feathers? They also do ok in the heat if given fresh water to play in! Remember how chicken poo is too hot to apply fresh on the garden? Duck poo is good to go! Ducks are also less likely to get sick because their internal temperatures are higher than chickens. And because they're constantly in the water, bugs, mites and other creepy crawlies are less likely to stick around! Annnnnddd duck eggs are fattier than chicken eggs with a lower water content! Overall-ducks.
6. Bugs- we got them. Little Window Farm does not apply any nasty sprays on our veggies! Pesticides and herbicides are designed to kill unwanted 'pests.' However, the thing is, usually they also end up killing everything else- beneficial and not. By spraying these products on our gardens, we put the whole ecosystem out of whack, and usually give all the pests we don't want an open window to go on a rampage! That's why here, on Little Window Farm, we plant a lot of companion flowers and herbs to try to combat the excess pests! And when it seems like there's still a lot of let's say squash bugs... you know what we do? Squash them.... by hand... That's how much we care about the environment's health, your health, and our own. We will sooner walk up and down our rows, checking all the squash flowers and squashing the 'bad' bugs than spray our plants. We will never apply any pesticide or herbicide on our property.
7. Storage! It's time to think about storing things for the time when the sun goes down early and the world seems white and cold. I'm starting to think about freezing and canning all of our extra goodies! Who has a favorite recipe? Pickles? Jams? Sauces? Let us know, we'd love to try something new!
We know it's summer, and you're probably missing the sun already, but just remember how happy the gardens are to have a good long drink! Dance in the rain!