Today in the Garden

Sweet Potato Vine, Beautiful AND Edible!

Sweet Potato Vine, Beautiful AND Edible!

In my opinion, it’s important to listen to the garden’s whispered entreaties and tune in to it’s ever-changing rhythms in order to reap the rewards of it’s bounty.  It’s a matter of respect.  Gardening may be a grounding and joyful task, but it also takes commitment, attention, patience and knowledge, and it regularly results in aches, pains and bug bites.  It’s hobby for some, but growing food for my household and family is my home occupation.  And, it negatively affects our home economics when the garden isn’t producing.  It’s my job to make sure the garden is happy.  So, each day, I spend several hours pruning, mulching, amending, planting, harvesting and observing.  The garden shows me it’s yellowing  leaves,  the new bugs that just moved in or other such hints to help me prioritize garden tasks.

Today is day four of creating walkways in the pea patch, which has gotten pretty hairy over the summer.  This activity was prompted by four factors.

One:  It’s difficult to pick peas when you can’t quite reach them.

Two: A watermelon vine that was growing inside the pea patch died and I didn’t notice it for several days, which allowed the fruit on the vine to whither (heartbreaking!) due to the crazy vines growing everywhere.

Three:  The leaves of the sweet potato vines need TLC so that I can better see the tender new growth and harvest it before the leaves get too big.  (Yes, you can eat sweet potato vines and they are delicious!)

Four:  Dead foliage one the ground is nice for summer mulch, but a breeding ground for cucumber beetles and leaf footed-bugs, both of which I’m currently working to control.

Operation Pea Patch Paths went fairly smoothly and now three quarters of the last walkway is now walkable.  Tomorrow should be the last day of this work and I’m happy about it, as it requires more patience than comes naturally.  Peas are vines, generally, and they crossed the walkways to vine around other vines.  This requires a lot of untangling of tender vines that break easily.  It takes some time and inevitably, some of the vines get too manhandled to survive (I grieve for all of them).

Each day also requires harvesting for the evening meal and the following day’s lunch (usually leftovers).  As the Food Acquisition Specialist, it’s my job to grow it, pick it and use it.  I’ll try to make a regular out of “Daily Harvest” and “Today’s Garden Tasks” in the case that anyone finds it useful, interesting or might want to comment, add a recipe, offer advice or the like.

Today’s harvest:

about 1 pound of okra

1 bunch of kale (to be added to vegetable soup for dinner)

2 small butternut squash (harvested early because of squash-vine borer)

a few dried black eyed peas (incidentals harvested while cleaning the pea patch)


Today’s Garden Tasks

-cleaning out the pea patch

-pruning the okra plants

-removing dead squash vine

-harvest okra, kale, peas