Sunday, July 24, 2011

Independence Days 2011-6: Too Darn Hot


I don't know about you, but that massive heat "dome" that settled over the eastern half of the country this past week just about knocked the stuffing out of me. Even with waking at 2 AM to get most of the baking out of the way before the day really got unbearable -- even with lower sales making extra baking unnecessary -- even with camping out at Local Roots in the afternoons to enjoy a bit of air conditioning -- even with lots and lots of liquids! -- I was a wilted mess by the end of the week.

In my book, that means it's just too darn hot.

It's hard to force myself to get out and work in the gardens in this heat, but I have tried to get to garden #3 on Sunday evenings to check, weed, and harvest. But even with irrigation there, even the plants looked droopy in this weather:

Broccoli raab

Squash, pac choi, golden chard, Soldier beans

Still, it's good to see that things continue to grow even when I don't bother to pay attention to them. This garden alone has yielded more than enough greens for filling my vegetable rolls for the past month, and I still need to put some in the freezer. And now the cucumbers are coming on, and you know what monsters those can be!

Little by little, though, I'm adding to my Independence Days challenge:

1. Plant something: nothing

2. Harvest something: Bonanza!!! Picked dill, basil, LOTS of golden chard, pac choi, LOTS of broccoli raab, purple pole beans, cucumbers, zucchini, potatoes, nasturtiums at the Contradance Callers'; dill, basil, parsley, golden chard, green beans, sugar snap peas, garlic at the Southern Belle’s; garlic, spearmint, lemon balm, oregano, first tomatoes! at the Renaissance Man’s

3. Preserve something: dried lemon verbena, basil, dill, cherries, spearmint, lemon balm, oregano; froze more garlic scapes, blueberries, green beans, snow peas, basil pesto; strained and bottled nasturtium vinegar and borage vinegar; cured and cleaned up garlic for storage

4. Reduce waste (Waste not): trying to use produce a little more quickly as it comes in! and stepped back baking a little bit during the hot weather

5. Preparation and storage (Want not): picked up more flours for baking

6. Build local food systems: baking for market and for the Local Roots Café; taught class on cooking with blueberries at Today’s Kitchen Store; picked blueberries with My Adorable Nephews; traded leftover bread for carrots, herbs, cookies; gratefully received a jar of a new red raspberry glaze from the Syrup Guy in thanks for showcasing his syrups in my TKS class; baked for the Innkeeper and enjoyed a Sunday breakfast with her after helping at the Inn

7. Eat the food: quinoa with first tomatoes and pesto; pecan ring; cucumber slices and Swiss cheese for snacks; roasted vegetables (beets, carrots, potatoes, squash, broccoli); leftover vegetable rolls; Asian cabbage wrap (at the Local Roots Café!); fresh corn on the cob and fried okra; blueberry-lemon verbena pound cake

How are you keeping cool these days?

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