"Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row."
We are in full swing of summer life here on the farm, and do say it's busy might just be an understatement. There are days I wonder about what we've taken on. When my garden is overgrown in grass is one of them. Luckily with my gardening method, this isn't too much of a challenge if I have a good. Which, incidentally, I do. I have several to be precise. I may have a mild love affair with my Japanese sickle. It is a true workhorse on my farm . I use it to take down 2nd year burdock, to cut all the grass around my plants and drop it on my plants, to cut herbs, to cut Comfrey (oh Comfrey! I have several bunches sitting on the trampoline that I need to tie and hang - ADD moment sorry), to cut rabbit food. The list goes on. I've even cut fencing with it (whops!).
I have more tomato plants this year than I have done since we moved here. Last year I started fermenting my tomato products and fell in love. If you are on facebook and interested in fermented products, you have to check out the group Wild Fermentation. You could spend days searching the archives alone. It's a very active group but I love it and use it often during the growing season. One of my favorite discussions on tomatoes is this one.
My tomato set up this year is a bit different. I think I have close to 20 plants with most of them on strings under a cattle panel trellis. I am planning on climbing pumpkins up the trellis behind the tomatoes. We shall see how that goes. Check it out below.
We only did 4 squash plants this year which will likely be enough once they start producing. Thanks to the good graces of one of I was able to do squash. I didn't get plants at the local nursery soon enough and when I was ready they were sold out. Ahh well, they will start producing later but I am hopeful they will be abundant.
Then we have beans. And ooh boy do we have beans. I may have gone a bit bean crazy this year. I have all my plants panted biointensively but my beans boy. I had almost no seedling losses. So I have 14 feet of pole beans and about 60 green bush bean plants. Oy! I see fermented beans on the horizon!
A new crop for us this year was corn. We were able to find non-GMO verified sweet corn. Figured it would be fun for the kids. The peas are also fun for the kids and they love them! I just had to tie the top of the peas to the trellis today as they are getting a bit unruly. But they are producing quite well for only 8 feet of peas. I have snap and shell mixed together. The kids garden is pretty much just sun gold tomatoes at this point. Sun gold's that need a trellis or cage of some sort!
Garlic is getting ready to harvest. I have a couple fallow beds and then there's my kale and cucumber bed which is rocking. I have the cucumbers on strings this year going vertical. Should be interesting! They are currently about 18" tall. We've had crazy weather so I'm grateful they are that big. My younger son also planted radishes and I planted carrots. The carrots aren't doing much but I have two rather large radish piles.
Then there's my herb garden...which is A MESS! But both the licorice and Ku-shen came back (happy dance!). My Bocking 4 and `14 Comfrey is doing really well and I had an amazing surprise this spring when my Astragulus came back (being zone 3/4 with very little snow cover last winter, I was shocked). The cat used my feverfew and mugwort plant starts as her bathroom...so they didn't take, but my lavender overwintered and is currently blossoming. It's LOVELY! My sea kale appears to have established itself which is exciting (until I have to move it again because it's in a row that's probably going to turn into greenhouse in the future). My other perennials are doing wonderfully but the garden really needs some love! It's getting overrun by grass and the paths need another layer of mulch.
This post is getting long. If there are any plants I've listed that you're interested in, please contact me. I'm sure we could work something out assuming I have enough to part with.
If you want to keep track of us when we aren't posting updates to the blog (because life has a tendency to get away from me at times, please follow us on facebook, instagram, twitter or pinterest.
This may or may not be something that is already part of your awareness. The first time I realized I wasn't the only one experiencing this "phenomenon" was when I was listening to a podcast on The Paleo Parents when Stacy mentioned she had experienced this with one of her children. I would like to make a quick note that I have no issues with raw dairy consumption IF it is tolerated. Pasteurized dairy is a whole other topic that I have no interest in getting into here.
I have now seen a connection with bed wetting (or not being dry at night if still in nappies) and both my sons. It took us over 2 years to figure out with our first son and lots of food trials and removals. With my second son I saw it within a night of introducing butter into my diet. He is exclusively breast fed.
I love herbs and have been studying at home for some time now (through Rosemary Gladstar's home course). When I was young I "helped" my grandmother develop and build an herb garden. Needless to say, now she's stuck with a garden that gets regularly overgrown with the mint family plants because those seem to be what survived! Go figure. She has kept up with the garden and now I have my own so I don't play in hers anymore, but she has gifted me several herbs which I use in my gardens and orchard.
I hope there is some interest in this area. I love herbs and hope to find others sharing their herb recipe's, nourishing infusions, salves, or herbal writings. I will likely utilized this as a place to keep track of the herbs that I am personally studying as well and the adventures I am having in herb land (a lot of wild fermenting too!). Who knows, I may even get better about pictures (and take some of my own!). Please share in the comments section any herb specific posts.
I am delving briefly into this subject as my wee man is not terribly content with Mr. Jackson right now. But I must admit, I have an itch to write. I need to write and this is something I feel I need to touch on as it keeps appearing when speaking with friends or loved ones. In theory we all know what a symptom is. In practice, do we have the slightest clue?
In the mood of "Waste Not Want Not" I want to share what I have recently done with my kale, chard and collard green ribs as I process the greens or use them in my meals. If you aren't familiar with those ribs rather tough. I do cook them if I am cooking my greens for a good long time but more often, I am sautéing and the ribs won't cook long enough to soften the structure enough for my pathetic digestion (which incidentally is getting better with the help of my new chiropractor, new herbal regiment and cutting all sugar out of my diet). I could also justify giving them to my chickens if they were chopped up well, or to the rabbits who I have started keeping a separate "compost" bucket for.
One thing I will never regret doing with my second son is a food journal. I wish I had started it during pregnancy or even at birth but I didn't, I started it a little over a month after birth.
When people tell me babies are fussy, I have to shake my head. It is not my experience nor is it my reality. If my son is fussy, it's because I (ME) ate something that this little being doesn't like in my milk. I can show you the notations in my food journal. If he won't sleep or has lots of gas, it's because of me. The only nourishment that goes into him is from me. So in an attempt to understand what my body was (or was not) doing I keep a food journal and it is a blessing.
Well since I have been stewing on this for a while I suppose I should continue my rant.
My dear husband has sent me the true quote which is "The problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude about the problem." I think I got that right this time.
Now, lets talk about our attitudes. I am going to list a few "problems" that I run into on a relatively regular basis and common attitudes underneath plus a little description of other ways that the thinking could result in some sort of solution.
Food has a lot of power over us and depending on where you come from you may understand this to be literal as well as emotional. We have emotional eaters who eat to suppress their emotions. But we also have individuals whose personality and/or mood is literally altered depending on the foods they eat. Love ones have love affairs with foods they cherish and that represent something to them emotionally (but which is different then the emotional eating to suppress emotions). There are foods that are consumed because it is interpreted as the proper food to consume based on a religious text. We also consume foods that have been marketed to us as being healthy or a better option then the traditional food. Parents make and serve foods to their children when they are ill, like good 'ol chicken soup. Culturally food plays an important roll, it connects us to others in our culture and provides a common base. Food even connects us to our heritage. Food is fundamentally an extension of ourselves on every level.
My dear husband and I were having a conversation yesterday in the car. That particular conversation sparked my husband to quote Jack Sparrow. "The problem is not the problem, your attitude about the problem is the problem." Now I'm not sure that's the exact quote but it did get me thinking. I have been wanting to write more (lets be honest, I've been wanting to write and haven't figured out how...) and as I lay it bed this morning with my two sleeping boys it occurred to me that the problem was in fact not the problem, I was thinking about it all wrong. So as I sit on the chest I made in high school in close proximity to my sleeping infant and right outside my toddlers room where I can watch him play, I think I have figured it out. Granted I am using a discarded printer paper box as my desk and the iPad as my computer, I am in fact writing.
“We are only as healthy as our Mother’s womb” -Chris Kresser
Here's my plea, is anyone else out there pregnant, paleo and attempting to be low-FODMAP? I want to talk to you! What do you eat for carbs? I'm also nightshade free and I'm finding myself relying heavily on green plantains when I can find them. That being said, I have NO idea how to prepare them other then fried into chips, which I have to tell you is absolutely amazing for me. Crunchy, salty, carbohydrate hit.
Why am I doing this to myself during my late second trimester?
Hi there, Wysteria here. I will be writing as regularly as possible on behalf of my family and regarding our adventures in farming, food, health and things of the like. My interest range widely and my brain wanders far. Namaste.