Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dry Summer Wet Fall

Five thousand things to do and not a whole day of sunshine to do them in, or is that not a whole day of darkness to stay inside and do them. Hummm, Am I becoming another hobbit, nope, to large for a hobbit, Hermit crabby maybe.

The days have grown shorter, and getting shorter still. I guess I really got frustrated when I could not buy and have sent to me, in my backwards state a bottle of wine. I could buy it, but had to store it at their place of business out on the west coast, because they said they could not ship it to Arkansas, yeah okay, but then they'd likely not be able to ship it to my brother's state either then, after all we are both southern states with dry counties in them. As if people don't drink in them or something. Or for that matter don't make beer and wine in their basements, out buildings or bathtubs! If the world ever goes into a tail spin, making beer and wine and other alcohols will be a new cottage industry again, not the least for the property that alcohol kills germs, but that you'd like to drown your sorrows in something besides teas.

I'd like to make up my Christmas wish List now.

Get Fuzzy books, the earliest that you can find.
Pearls Before Swine books, ditto.

A LifeSaver Water filter system, the personal bottle, and maybe later a Jerry Can size.

That last one would be on my list of must haves any day of the week, but I guess the only way I can afford to ask for it, if someone were to pool several people's worth of gift money to buy it. And seeing that my brother lost his job, their Christmas buying money has been cut short some.

The books are for the laughs, the water bottle is to add to my survival gear and to make it so that I can drink more of my rainwater. I sometimes collect the fresh stuff to drink, but once it sets any length of time it is just used as plant water mostly.

We had a light frost a week or so ago, and this week in a few days we are expected t0 get a harder frost, I hope that my Peas and Greens will survive it. I need to get some clothes pins so that I can throw clothe over the plants to protect them, or else I'll have to use strings to tie things down with.

What has surprised me is that the Peas have grown so tall, something in my head made me think they'd be shorter. Now when I plant them in the spring, I'll be sure to give them more head space. I'd like to grow more melons and squash plants, and more Armenian Cucumbers next year. I guess they don't like the harsh heat of summer, they did a lot better toward Sept. and early Oct. than they did in the summer. Oh and more roma tomatoes.

What with all the no rain days in summer, now I can't get the water into the rain barrels fast enough, mainly because I have to transfer by hand into all the white ones, as they aren't the ones collecting it off the roof line.

I figure with every 0.25 inch of rain the shed roof pour off of one side 20 gallons of water, so 1.25 inches of rain gives me two full rain barrels. I haven't figured up the amount from the house roof, but I know I could never collect it all. My collecting containers were always running over with a steady rain. Half those containers are doing other duty now as planters and table legs.

I don't think the fall/winter will be as dry as the summer was, and I won't need all the rain water I do have collected so far, but I don't want to just pour it out or anything, because nothing is written in stone about how wet or dry the spring planting time will be. That and I hate to waste anything, at least once I have collected it, but it is not my yard, and I have to convince other people of my ideas still.

I've really got to re-dig the Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) bed this winter so that the plants aren't all crowded like they were this season. But I am betting that the crop is thinner than last year, because of the lack of rain, I hardly watered them, and few of them flowered.

I'd also like to set aside an area for growing the Guadeloupe cucumber (Melothria pendula) It grows over most of this region, The southern US, but people hate it because of it's viney way of covering other plants or fence rows. I don't really know why I have them in the yard, but I do, and I have a liking to the crunchy taste. I have not gathered enough of them to make more than two small jars of pickles out of them. But I hope to keep them growing next year and even expanding their range in the yard. The young fruit are best, the seeds get tough rather fast. Picking them then putting them in cool water, so they don't dry out is also best. Eat them as soon as you can, no longer than 2 days after picking as they go bad faster than their name sake. I gather the only reason they are called cucumbers is the taste, but they do have leafs and flowers like their larger relatives, although there seems to be more than one species of them. The one I have listed, will get you pictures online that look like them, the USDA plant listings did not have a picture, but described them to a tee. Also mentioning that they are considered endangered in their native range, likely because of the weedy viney habits and people just stoning anything they don't like.

I did find a new source of info a guy on YouTube that has a bunch of videos called EatTheWeeds.

Part of the BioWebScape Design process is finding people that have information and linking them all together in one place, so that others can find them, but there also needs to be a lot more hard copy of information that they have in a book form offline so that people without computers can have it handy, or if there is ever a time when computers are no more, the book form of data storage can be utilized again, just piling all this knowledge into my head might not help anyone more than locally. I had always thought that we needed to teach more than we do the growing food at home process, and then I find out that there were folks doing that out there in the world already. I always seem to think of something then discover someone else has too and gone and published or made a movie about it. Nice to know that I am not alone in the thinking of thoughts, but boy does it bruise my big ego.

I guess I'll stop now, but I am in a writing mood, so I best go outside and get a shower. Laughs.

It stopped raining I think, something about the water was getting to cold and God decided to move the clouds elsewhere, you know how God can be at times, just when you think you are That Special Someone, He goes and shows you that you are just one of many, calm that ego down son.