Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Winging it

So we (i.e. the SB) decided that it actually is too hot to work in the yard. Even at 8:30 in the evening. The benefits of 100 degree heat. I knew there had to be some. So I caught up on a little blog reading and decided to do another post. Two in the same week. You can thank me later, cuz I know this stuff is R.I.V.E.T.I.N.G.

As you may know, I love to grow some potatoes. As you also may know, seed potatoes are absurdly expensive. So for the past few years, I have been saving my own. Yay me. Last year, in addition to the spuds I had saved for seed, a bunch of our La Ratte spuds sprouted in storage. For the record, they don't really store for crap in less than ideal circumstances. So we had LOTS for planting. So many, that I had leftovers even after giving away a bunch to SHG (for her excellent housemate) and Tay of Tuesday fame. Rilly, I mean a LOT. The long and the short of it was that we didn't get a chance to plant them all. The leftovers have more or less been sitting around in the way since, oh, maybe April. I was going to throw them out, but the SB insisted we try to plant them. So we hastily dug a "bed" where one of the future garden beds will be, added a little compost and fertilizer and some very dehydrated, very unrecognizable potatoes. Today (though we did the digging yesterday. When it was just about as hot.) In case you aren't a gardener, this is totally non standard practice. Potatoes are planted on St. Patrick's Day. Or as close to there as possible. We are not very close to St. Patrick's Day. But if we get anything at all, perhaps we will be that much ahead since we had to dig that bit anyway. We shall see. The moral of the story is don't hoard your potatoes. Eat them early while they are still firm and delicious.

We are eating tons of them. Cold boiled potatoes with smoked salmon. Tonight maybe with some tuna/white bean salad and green beans and boiled duck eggs. A sort of modified salad nicoise.

Edited to add:
OK, dinner was delicious.

On the unorthodox subject, I also played fast and loose with the bees. I checked on them a couple weekends ago and they had totally filled their honey super (woot!) and so I decided to put another on. Of course, because I was in a rush, I didn't put new starters in 4 of the frames. I left the edges where I had cut out the comb over a year ago, which had been totally cleaned, and then alternated the starter and non starter frames in hopes that the bees would do some mind reading and fill in the frames instead of building comb willy nilly all over the place. I'll keep you posted on that. I am pretty much the laziest beekeeper ever. Whatever happens, I can deal, even if it means just yanking it all out and melting it down. I suspect what is going to happen is that with this dry hot weather, honey production is going to come to a screeching halt so there likely won't be any issue at all. I do need to pop out there and check though and see what is going on. To be honest, I don't really like this hive. I think that my last hive spoiled me with their docile personality. These are a little more, well, impatient. Not so much what you need as a beginning keeper.

I have become a fan of the asparagus bean. These babies take a while to get rolling (75 days as opposed to 50-60), and you definitely need something for them to grow up, but I am right now getting about a half a pound of beans a day. No sign of slowing down, despite the heat. We trellised them up a bamboo grid we put against the duck yard in hopes of providing shade for the ducks during the hottest part of the day. It doesn't provide as much shade as I was hoping for, but it is definitely giving it a go. It being right outside the door, the ducks have paid a little attention to the beans, but luckily after they got established, so no harm done with a few lost leaves. We lost much more to the munching rabbit than the nibbling ducks.


Anonymous said...

You should also know that your potatoes took themselves to Long Island and are reported to be happy up there, although still in the ground.

Elsie said...

Definitely keep me posted on that! Ours have been delicious.