I didn’t intend to take a break from gardening (or blogging) – it just sort of happened. A little period of anergy overtook me. It started with unsettled weather. I’m not eager to plant if there’s baseball-sized hail in the immediate forecast. None of that happened here, though, and we’re still in a drought, which is really disappointing but not at all surprising. This week is still unsettled with moderate risk of storms, but I’m back at it now, planting, weeding, maintaining, and mulching. Last night, even though I was dead tired and had way too much going on, I planted 32 okra plants that I had pre-germinated in a wet paper towel. There was some question as to viability, so I did that to have a better idea whether they would actually germinate or not, and about half of them did. That sounds like an awful lot of okra, doesn’t it?
I’m the first one to tell people they don’t need to plant the whole packet just because it contains dozens of seeds. I chastise people all the time for starting 100 broccoli plants for a family of 2. That’s just crazy! This was different, though, because these were packed by a friend’s mother, collected from her own okra plants, and there was the admitted question of viability, so I started all of them. I will find homes for them if they all survive. I don’t have room for 32 okra plants. Well, I do have room, but that’s way more okra than I can deal with comfortably. I do, however, have a large pressure canner and I could easily preserve a whole bunch of okra for next winter. If the economy continues to be awful, we would be very grateful for that preserved food later in the year, and we could probably trade it with neighbors for other stuff, like apricots and peaches and pears, which we don’t grow yet here on the farm.
And that reminds me… my husband and I have negotiated a truce on cucumbers. We’re only planting 4 plants this year. And only 2 zucchini plants. He has post-traumatic stress disorder from previous “up to our ?$&% in cucumbers” experiences… the same with zucchini. Some things we can agree to without debate or discussion – tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic. He’s cool with potatoes, too, and will help harvest when the time comes. And that reminds me – it’s much earlier than I would normally harvest garlic, but the elephant garlic I planted last fall really looks ready to harvest, so I’m going to pull one and see what happens. BRB.