Monday, October 15, 2012

Garden Progress Report

We just had our first killing frost on Saturday, when temperatures dipped to 20*F/-6*C.  I cleared out the now-dead beans from the garden, leaving the kale and lettuce (which are thriving).  I also laid sticks on top of the garlic so that neighborhood stray cats don't dig them up.
Isn't that kale gorgeous?
Yesterday I took my brand-spankin'-new loppers outside to dispatch the oak saplings that were growing through the concrete pad in the back yard.  In order to create a new, much bigger garden, they would have to go.  Eventually, they would've been girded by the concrete anyway, and would have died a premature death.  With the help of my cleanup crew (a.k.a. my three daughters), we managed to cut and clear all but one stump to ground level.  I'm going to have to get the saw out and cut the last stump to the ground.  The diameter of the stump was about four inches, and far too wide for my loppers to cut (not to mention, my upper body strength to manage).

This is what we started with at the beginning of August:

overgrown concrete pad full of weeds and saplings

And here is what it looks like today:

Slow progress, but looks much better!

I still need to weed the remaining plants that are growing through the cracks, as well as apply white vinegar so that they don't grow back again.  I ordered a 100-foot roll of weed barrier from Amazon, and I'm going to double it over the concrete, once I've filled gravel between the deeper cracks to level them.

We're trying to plan on the number of raised beds we'll need to grow all of the food we'll need to harvest for a year.  I'm thinking we're going to need eight to ten 8x4-foot beds.  I received my seed order from High Mowing Seeds, and I've divided them into seeds that are directly sown and seeds that we'll start in February.

Organic seeds are the only way to go
I'm really looking forward to next year's garden already.  I've also started hunting for heirloom organic apple trees, and hopefully, I'll have some luck finding varieties that'll do well in my clay soil.


  1. I read on another blog about a recipe you had for rabbit. Would you mind posting that please?

    1. Zia Anna's Sucu (Braised Rabbit with White Wine and Red Peppers)

      Olive oil
      4 cloves garlic, chopped
      1 small onion, or 2 large shallots, minced
      1 really big, or 2 small red bell peppers, peeled with a vegetable peeler and minced
      5 small, or 3 large bay leaves
      3/4 cup white wine
      salt and ground black pepper
      2.5 lb rabbit, cut into pieces

      Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add the rabbit pieces and sear until just browned on each side (they will not be cooked). Remove rabbit pieces from the pan and set aside. Add the onion/shallots to the pan and cook until translucent. Add garlic, and cook until just fragrant; about 30 seconds. Add peppers and wine to the pan, scraping any browned bits that stuck to the pan. Add the rabbit and remaining ingredients, except for the water. Add enough water to cover the rabbit until all but the top third of the rabbit is covered with liquid. Cover and simmer over low heat until the rabbit is almost done, about 30-35 minutes. Stir occasionally. The thigh meat should register at about 150*F, when not touching the bone). Remove cover and check liquid level; add enough liquid to cover the rabbit pieces as before, then simmer over high heat with the cover off of the pan, until the liquid reduces by three-quarters. Adjust salt and pepper; remove bay leaves. Serve with crusty bread.

  2. Sure can. I'm knee deep in typing up an assignment at the moment; but I can post it (or email it) later on this evening.


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