Thursday, October 20, 2011


The week's haul. Smallish broccoli, several large eggplant, small poblanos, a black russian tomato, and several stunted but FAT carrots. The beach farm was a little sad this visit. Must be the season of decline, the weedy abundance in every other plot, the dead tomatoes, and the waiting. With the cool air blowing now from the northwest, instead of from the ocean as it does all summer, it is upon me to clear the plot -just empty it of everything. Garlic time is in November, and with it goes all else dead or alive.

I placed the dead and dried cilantro in the area I would like them to resprout next year.

The snap peas look good, but it's just not the same as spring. Why?

Most of the seeds rotted due to Irene and other rains, so only a few on the trellis. I never did remember to plant more, although there was time -I just didn't make it a priority. Peas in spring.

Still, lovely flowers.

You may not be able to see how outsized one of the cauliflower plants is compared to the others.

In an effort to make good use of the compost we are producing at home, I decided to start bringing our home scraps to the beach farm. The pit is under the chard leaves to the left. Proximity to the composting heap has made this cauliflower twice the size of all the others despite constant munching by cabbage worms.

I've noticed something about compost this year, something I suppose I always knew but chose to disregard for the sake of convenience. Bagged compost is essentially dead compost. Yes, it's rich-looking, dark, and earthy. But the sogginess and suffocation seems to kill off most of the biological activity. It is easy to think that it is the compost that betters your plant growth -but it isn't. The composted matter is simply the medium of explosive biological activity that plants really do respond to. In other words, your compost needs to be alive to really spur amazing growth. Yes, "dead" compost is still okay and useful in poor soil, but "alive" compost is where it's at. Now to figure out how to have all my soil seriously biologically active.

I've ranted about the NYT article on community garden vegetable theft, so all I will say is -hope you enjoyed it.

These guys are wreaking havoc on my tender chard -the same chard from last spring. Hope to get a frost sometime soon to put them to bed while the chard hangs on long enough to produce some tender leaves.

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If I do not respond to your comment right away, it is only because I am busy pulling out buckthorn, creeping charlie, and garlic mustard...