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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Garden Work


We spent a good share of last week in Lake Delavan, WI at a local resort for a family reunion. I had someone lined up to pick tomatoes and eggplants while we were gone. After a week of neglect, I did some garden maintenance this evening.

First off was the rain barrel. Today was pleasant, not steamy hot. ("Send me back to Wisconsin!" was a thought I had right after we got home.) This evening, I attached the second rain barrel. I think I made three trips to the hardware store last month to get supplies. I used them all tonight, which means that I did not overbuy. Yay for me on that! My set-up looks nice. This will help when we want to do things like wash the car.

Before we left on our trip, we washed our car, the Yankee School Bus, named by "N" of GAIN right after we got it. He was 3 1/2 years old at the time. We traditionally wash the car before a trip. With only collected rainwater, we used about 25 gallons. 3 for sudsy washing water, and the rest hauled in a trash can for rinse water. I have to mention that the kids and I always neglect the roof of the van. I also have to mention that I love to see my kids work. Three of the kids decided to wash their bikes after the van was clean, but I already wrote about that. They used what was leftover from washing the van.

The garden uses at least 6 gallons each day -- 2 for the eggplants, 2 for the edamame, and 2 for the tomatoes. I don't have our third EarthBox set up for anything, otherwise it would take an additional 2 gallons daily. Weekly total water consumption for the garden comes to 36 gallons. Our barrels hold a little less than 55 gallons apiece. (36 + 25 = 61 gallons; 61 > 55) I figure that with two rain barrels, I can wash the van once a week when the barrels are full and water the perennials if I feel like it, on top of watering the garden. I guess I am saying that I have water to spare and I like that.

The next thing I did was have "N" and "I" dig up the onions. They found a couple 'twins,' or onions that looked like they shared roots (which they did). Our yellow onions are currently drying in a Little Tykes wheel barrow. They are small, so I am sure they will not last long. There more to dig, but they are also small.

The last thing I did was a time-consuming chore -- tying the tomato branches up to supports. They have grown by leaps and bounds and outgrew the old support system. "I" and I re-tied a lot of the branches and re-directed them where we could to allow for good air flow. The tomatoes that fell on the ground while we did this are in the picture above. We have three Amish Paste Roma tomato plants and one Sungold cherry tomato plant.

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