Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Tragic. And not just for the destruction of the wholeness of community and health. As the world gets flatter and smaller, it also gets more monotonous and uglier.
Mediterranean Diet Declines, and Weights Rise - "Small towns like this one in western Crete, considered the birthplace of the famously healthful Mediterranean diet — emphasizing olive oil, fresh produce and fish — are now overflowing with chocolate shops, pizza places, ice cream parlors, soda machines and fast-food joints.

The fact is that the Mediterranean diet, which has been associated with longer life spans and lower rates of heart disease and cancer, is in retreat in its home region. Today it is more likely to be found in the upscale restaurants of London and New York than among the young generation in places like Greece, where two-thirds of children are now overweight and the health effects are mounting, health officials say."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Potatoes and peanuts...

I planted some sweet potato slips and raw peanuts (from Publix) along the edges of my main bed, in some sunny spots where the last bit of weedy grass lived in my back yard. Not a big space, a narrow slice about ten feet long and five feet wide. I used the mower or weed whacker to keep them in line all summer. They made a nice enough ground cover--aside from the mowing, no maintenance (no fertilizer, no water). The peanuts were very well behaved and dense enough to keep most weeds out. The sweet potatoes had good days and bad.

Anyway, I dug them up today. I expected more sweet potatoes, but suspect my harvest was reduced because I never tilled or spaded the area. The sand was surprisingly compacted when I dug the bed. What's more, I didn't improve the soil at all. When I've grown sweet potatoes in the past, they were in fairly rich beds.

The total yield for peanuts was only a couple cups, but that's the fruit of four or five plants, from a handful of peanuts that I seeded back in May or June. So, return on investment is pretty high.

I have a couple more beds of sweet potatoes scattered about them corners and edges of the yard. I'll leave them another month or so, seeing as how many of the potatoes I dug were meager.
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Seeds are up...

So, I wouldn't go quite so far as to say that the dry season is upon us... but, for the first time in months, this evening was quite pleasant. Hot and not exactly dry... but not muggy. We had a nice shower around four that cooled things off, and the sun was so low that it could no longer warm things back up. When I did my after-work walk through the garden, it was wholly pleasant.

I noticed that most of my seeds were up--broccoli, collards, arugula, and chard.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fall planting begins...

A pretty pleasant day, all things considered. It was around ninety, but the relative humidity was lower and there was a nice breeze out of the north-east. I did a lot of maintenance work around the garden (weeding, whacking, mowing), but found time to plant the following:
  • Seafoam Chard
  • Champion Collards (from Southern Exposure)
  • Broccoli de Cicco (S.E.)
  • Chervil
  • Parsley
  • Apollo Arugula (T&M)
It might be too early, but the forecast for the next week is the upper 80s and dry, so we'll see. The real hazard is still bugs this time of the year... Usually I start my vegetable seeds in cups or pots, but I direct-sowed these, since all the seeds are large and the soil is well tilled and covered in pine needles. Next up, beets and carrots. Then, a bit later, lettuce crops.