Friday, August 7, 2009

Foraging and farming

If you came to visit my town now, one of the places I'd take you is my open secret -- the berry picking park. Some of the brambles are best up at the top, and those have a nice view of folks going round and round and round at the golf course. Sometimes I wonder if they're going to look over and wonder why there's a woman leaning way over the berry patch, but so far they haven't.
The other day a friend of mine came and we picked along the lower section where a ladder isn't quite a necessity.

Maybe the golf course is arranged so that fewer balls come over this side?

Tor has been a pretty good sport about coming along -- he picks some, eats some, flies his kite, and just hangs out.

Closer to home, Fred the cat got out after I pulled some of the honey frames off of the hives today. We had to leave for piano lessons before he could be caught, but he ended up in a comfy bed of catnip. He was also stoned enough to be easy to capture!

An attack of intelligence (or at least efficiency) prompted me to mix up an entire bucket of baking soda/soap water for battling my new official scourge, powdery mildew.

I'd already pulled the yellow crookneck that had succumbed, but not before it spread to the butternut squash. What really got me off my rear end and into active battle mode was finding it on the cantaloupe-type melons yesterday.

They look worlds better today and I have some hope for allowing at least some of the butternuts to get ripe.

Some are past saving, though.

I'm pulling leaves and trimming what I can as fast as I can. Thank goodness that being a gardener means there is always a new season coming. I dreamt of a back garden that was nothing but kale this morning. I guess that's one approach to crop rotation!


Jeff Vandiver said...

Oh goody....berries! Gonna make some jam with them? What a beautiful kitty....They sure can get into stuff. Powdery mildew keeps me pretty busy around here, too. It sure makes the plants look ugly...

Tessa at Blunders with shoots, blossoms 'n roots said...

What yummy berries! Looks like some great produce there. Time for some jam. Smart cat ;)

Mr. H. said...

Jeeze, I wish I had a secret berry picking park to go cool is that. Just watch out for the flying golf balls.

Those crazy cats, they do know how to find contentment. Fred is adorable.

Heather said...

Those brambles are amazing! I wonder how they trellissed them? Sorry to hear about your powdery mildew. Life hands you unfair things once in a while but it looks like you have a handle on it.

Stefaneener said...

I knew that if anyone could appreciate good brambles, you guys could! EG, I've made jam and will keep making. My latest try was a batch with cardamom in it -- it was a nice change.

Tessa, he is actually a thorough idiot. Probably why we love him so very much. That pot on the front porch is pretty attractive to the neighborhood cat population.

Mr. H., you do have one -- your whole world looks like a park! It is nice, though. Hard to find stuff like that in a city.

Heather, on the other side of the fence are drainage ditches from the golf course with cattails in them. The berries grow up to and through a chain link fence. The park side gets weedwhacked every so often, so they keep piling up and up. I don't think they do a thing except mow any that escape on the golf course side. Lucky me!

Unknown said...

I'm battling pm on my tomatoes! Oy.

Jackie said...

I hear ya on the powdery mildew. My Italian Romanesco zucchini resisted quite well for a while, but now it's showing spots. (The yellow crookneck I grew last year was terrible.) Spots are on the winter squash, too. I found some "wild" blackberries here in Monterey. Planning to do a post on them soon. -Jackie

kitsapFG said...

We have wild blackberries everywhere, including a decent sized patch adjacent to my garden area. We pick them and make jam, jelly, and freeze them whole for eating during the winter. I love free food and berry picking in the summer has become a bit of a tradition for us.

Stefaneener said...

The upside is that the spraying seems to have halted the spread of the PM. At least if I get out ahead of it next time, I'll do better. I think I've saved the melon crop, and hopefully will get some buttercups. Next year I'm going to be prepared for it ahead of time!

Good for you, Jackie, on finding the berries. Hey, next year, let's try to meet at Swanton for strawberries or something. Or maybe at Ano Nuevo for elephant seals. . .

Flowrgirl1, I'm so sorry about your tomatoes. It's such a hassle on squash, and it seems tomatoes get enough without this. I'm really loving the results from my spray. Good luck.