13 November Weekly Garden Update

A relatively quiet November garden week it has been.

Kale

Harvests are minor:  Kale for soup, 3 small volunteer potatoes found when working beds, along with some garlic we missed, and lettuces.  We also grew some sprouts this week.

Lettuces

Mung bean sprouts

We still have celery plants in 3 different locations in the garden, so fresh celery for Thanksgiving is looking more and more likely.  Speaking of Thanksgiving, we bought our turkeys yesterday:  a 20 pounder, and a 28 pounder.  They were supposed to be considerably smaller, but the farm raising them ended up with much larger turkeys than they had expected.  If you’re in our area and want an extra-large white-breasted turkey you can go to Rogers Cattle Company.  These are pastured turkeys raised in good conditions and humanely slaughtered that were slaughtered, vaccum-packed, and frozen this week.  They have at least one at 36 lbs.  And the price is good for this kind of turkey as well.  They are selling them for an upper limit of $100 no matter how much they weigh.  These are our first turkeys from them, but we’ve had their beef and their chickens and enjoy them very much.  And while I’m plugging them, they raise their beef on pasture, then finish them with a soybean byproduct that doesn’t make them sick like corn does, so you still get some marbling while getting great flavor from a humanely raised and slaughtered beef.

Celery

One of my ancient habits is to name the creature whose meat I am eating.  I even do this in restaurants with my lobsters.  With the meat we’re getting these days, the farmers can often tell me the name of an individual chicken or pig that that I’m purchasing.  Why do I pursue this somewhat odd habit?  For me it is all about respecting the animal and the spirit of the animal that dies so I can eat it.  The boston butt I’m cooking right now isn’t a *thing*, it’s an animal that has lived and walked the earth in the same section of country that I do, basked in the same sun, and stared at the same moon.  If an animal is gonna die so that I and others can eat it, at least I can remember that.

We finished turning over and weeding all the beds that aren’t in use this week, and did general lawn/aisle cleanup.

Lettuce Bed

More evidence that seed packets lie:  We started the broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts inside on 7/16 and transplanted them out on 8/14.  The seed packets claim anywhere from 48 days to harvest (one variety of broccoli) to an outer date of 90 days for one variety of cauliflower.  Do you think we have one head of anything yet?   Of course not.  Even though the plants for the most part look large and healthy.  Bah, I say, Humbug, I say.

Greens & Brassica

Brassica

Cabbage

And we still have issues with those ‘easy to grow’ plants like radishes, beets, and carrots.  We have no idea why.  The carefully made composted beds have matured some and developed raging microbial systems.  We sulfered them to bring down the pH, carefully added supplements of magnesium and boron, fish emulsioned them, planted mycorhizal fungi, set out ceramic turtle idols, and sent out prayers to the small gods for success.  And every other farmer in our county grows larger and nicer root crops than we do.  Maybe I need to plant them in the poor native soil with north carolina clay and ignore them…

November Garden

November boxes

 

 

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10 Responses to “13 November Weekly Garden Update”

  1. kitsapFG Says:

    Those turkeys sound wonderful. We were able to source a nice locally (humanely) raised turkey for our table and it is in the freezer waiting for the day. I agree with you that understanding what came before our consumption is important and respectful.

    I think it is time to grow those root crops in the native soil! LOL!

  2. Robin Says:

    How nice to have a local source for your turkey. I like your ancient habit of respecting the animal that is providing you with food.

    I think that the passive gardening approach may work. I always have a hard time growing spinach. One year I said the heck with it and totally let it go. It was the best spinach that I have ever grown!

  3. Diana Says:

    I have not tried growing mung bean sprouts before. Yours look good that I am contemplating on trying to grow them. I like to fry them with tofu and soy sauce.

  4. Norma Chang Says:

    It been a while since I grew bean sprouts. Thanks for the reminder, must do so this winter.

  5. Mary Hysong Says:

    Your naming your food before you eat it is not too odd; I butcher some of my own meat and always say a blessing while I’m doing the deed and thank the animal as I dispatch it.

  6. Barbie Says:

    Took me five years to grow a decent carrot or radish here! Now I have no idea WHY all the sudden I can grow them I am not doing anything different at all. Same practices but they grow so I don’t argue. Keep trying one day they will suddenly grow I bet!

  7. Wilderness Says:

    I had good carrots here for the first time this year and no change in the soil or space that I grow them in.

  8. Lou Murray, Ph.D. Says:

    I love seeing all the wonderful space that you have for your garden in North Carolina. I struggle by with 3 small raised beds in southern California, plus a community garden plot. I like it that you’re seeking out local, ethically raised animals. My husband and I raised lambs to eat when we lived in Connecticut many years ago. Yes, they had names. We bought a lamb out here once, and named it too. Our three hens have names, but they’re for eggs, not eating. Bon appetit!

  9. Julie Says:

    I’m having the same problem with my broccoli and cauliflower, planted them with plenty of time and I’ve got nothing yet. Last year the cold took them out before they produced. I guess I should have learned to plant them sooner, but silly me forgot and used those maturity days instead!

  10. Mike Says:

    Ah yes, bah humbug when it comes to maturity dates on the seed packets. We transplanted our broccoli in early May and it was not until late August that there was anything worth harvesting this season.

    I enjoyed hearing your thoughts on animals as food and agree that at the very least we should show respect for their lives.

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