Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Some garden thoughts from the hills around Bell Buckle.

Posted Sunday, July 7, 2013, at 1:50 PM
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  • Mmmmm, a first picking of edamame tonight. I was out checking for squash bugs and they jumped in my pockets. (not the squash bugs)

    I also pulled a meal or two of beets. As I mentioned above, they were needing thinning anyway. That will just about empty that bed for replanting, but before I do I need to fix the water situation.

    Usually, the water is a blessing but twice this year the one bed has been inundated with too much water from the roof. I'll dig up the drain and extend it further. A project for a cooler day though.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jul 7, 2013, at 4:54 PM
  • I love beets...someone gave me about 20 fresh picked ones the other day...they were kinda getting soft so I stuck them in the fridge in hopes they would last a little longer before I oven roast them...It's looking like a job to clean them all up and peel them before roasting but, I'm definitely eating beets for dinner....most likely Harvard style hot in a sugar vinegar sauce....kinda reminds me of the old school lunches when I was a kid....YUM!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Mon, Jul 8, 2013, at 9:40 AM
  • They can be a bit messy, (and will stain) but I find it best to slip the skin off them after being cooked. Not sure how that works for roasting though.

    I have friends who used to use the water after boiling to dye cloth. They cut the stems all the way to the root and even quartered them.

    I find that if I leave about an inch of the leaves and the slim root on the other side, they don't bleed as much and maintain their color better. Steaming or roasting should preserve the color even more.

    Just don't wear white when you are cleaning them!

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jul 8, 2013, at 12:02 PM
  • I lost two squash plants yesterday to a fungus or wilt. No need to do an autopsy. The outcome was the same.

    I am attributing it to the ultra wet streak, and my eternal optimism that the weaker of the two plants would thrive. I had two plants competing for the same space. Since I was keeping the squash bugs at bay they both seemed to be well, except one was definitely smaller and slower.

    The weaker plant succumbed to a wilt that I believe was brought on by the wet conditions BUT because of its close proximity to the larger plant I believe it passed along the wilt. Of course, I could be wrong so any plant botanists please speak up.

    Within a day that I noticed a slight weakening of the smaller plant, both were gone. I pulled them both immediately and did not put them in the compost pile. They were exiled to a far part of the property.

    On a brighter note, we took three bitter melon and 3 fuzzy melon to some Chinese friends on Tuesday. They seemed to be really pleased and therefore, so were we.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jul 11, 2013, at 8:31 AM
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