Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Herbs and volunteering

In our garden, we have planted a small variety of herbs to use later in the season when we begin experimenting with canning.  Basil, dill, rosemary, chives, and cilantro are the ones that I decided to start with and to learn from this year.  A few of my plants had been brought to me from my father's garden (parsley which went to seed, cilantro, and some chives) but the rest had been started from seed and are in containers (where they just might stay). 

I really don't know much about actually growing most of these herbs, though.  So I did a little bit of research.  Wouldn't you know that I'm growing a few in a way that I shouldn't?  I shouldn't be starting my dill anywhere but directly in the garden because they don't like to be transplanted.  Hopefully because they are still tiny, I can go ahead and move them as soon as possible (tomorrow morning) so that they won't notice!  I really want a lot of dill for pickles and drying this year.

My chives that I planted from seed still have yet to actually grow.  Even though my father provided a generous amount of plants, the amount of them we use in cooking exceeds the amount that we can harvest from the plants!  I will give them another week before I give up on them.  In the mean time, I may have to divide my father's chives because they're as bunched as they could get.

I am already learning a lot from my garden as it slowly grows.  My biggest issues are with the quality of my soil.  It holds water OK, but settles as if it were made of sand and becomes compacted easily.  I hope that with composting and lots of love, I can get my garden soil to where it should be to produce a medley of wonderful herbs, flowers and vegetables. 

Yesterday I volunteered with a local CSA group who provides local, fresh, organic vegetables and fruits to people who buy shares of the veggies.  I learned a lot about kohlrabi, garlic scapes, and kale.  I had never in my life tried any of them, let alone tried to cook them!  I realized that neither had many of the shareholders who were purchasing these items, and the ladies that I volunteered with were very happy to offer advice on their use, storage, and different ways to cook it.  I plan on going there all summer and fall to learn as much as I can about different produce that I've never been around.  Maybe I'll even try to grow some, someday!

Until then, I need to make sure my own garden can grow. 

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