Saturday, July 25, 2009

The garden is now up to about 500 square feet, since I added a new bed for some of the fall crops—fall peas and beets are in already and there’s room for a little more of something.

I'm still thinking about expanding next year. Eight hundred square feet is sounding about right to me now. I think I could pull that off without making the whole yard look like one big garden. (If I owned the place that wouldn't be a concern.)

Next year I want to get some bean towers or rig up some bean trellises. I want to be able to grow a lot of dried beans for use in the winter. 

Herbs have begun to preoccupy me a bit. When I move back to PA, I want to have an enormous herb garden. It’s been great this year having nine different herbs growing, but I want much more than that. I really believe fresh herbs are vital for good health.

Most mornings Collin and I have been enjoying a cup of oregano and rosemary tea. It sounds a little odd, I know, but it’s really delicious. I make a decoction—just steeping the herbs isn’t enough to release the flavor—and it gets a really wonderful full-bodied flavor. It’s so wonderful to go out to that big bed of oregano every morning.

I've added a small still to my wish list now. I want it so I'd be able to distill essential oils from all of my herbs.  That would cost several hundred dollars, so it’s got to go lower down my priority list.

This month I bought a food strainer to help with the upcoming tomato harvest. And once I buy the optional screens it will be good for other things like pumpkins, berries, grapes, and making salsa.

Bit by bit I’m making progress—I expand the garden a bit, get a few more tools, learn new recipes and preserving techniques, try new varieties of veggies and herbs. By the time I move back east I should be fairly well set. It’s nice to be doing something productive while I’m here in Colorado. There’s a lot I can do already as I work towards self-sufficiency.

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