Friday, June 17, 2011

Midlife Farmwife Salad Bar

For many mnay years my husband and I kept a large garden. We kept it planted. We kept it weeded. ( most of the time) We kept it harvested. We kept it fertilized with horse, chicken and well rotted cow manures. We kept it watered.

And it kept us...well fed.

So this year when we decided NOT to plant our big garden it felt quite sad. Reason ? We do not know where we will be at the end of the summer when it will be time to can, freeze and/or dry. We might be in a whole new home or we might be right here staring at the FOR SALE sign at the end of the lane.

We also decided not to plant due to time restraints. In years past if garden produce needed to be attended to, grass mowing and housekeeping could wait. (Housekeeping can always wait. Mine has been waiting 3.5 years) But with our farm officially on the market we have other priorities such as front doors to fix, porches to paint, rooms to de-clutter, barns to repair. In fact, I will even be taking down the sheet I stapled to our upstairs bathroom ceiling over a decade ago. A DECADE AGO mind you, when I decided it would take too much time to remove all the peeling wallpaper up there so hey ! lets just staple a sheet up there.

Can you spell moron ? I thought you could.

Yes, this is lettuce in my salad bar bed. Don't remember the variety but
its so pretty I now wished I used for ground cover.

Irony. Are you grasping it ? We are not planting a big garden which would produce lots of veggies which would help support us, in order to have time to fix up the farm so it will sell and we can buy a new place with a big garden that we can plant in order to support ourselves.

So, no garden. Except the very little salad garden the GK's and I planted weeks ago. Made of recycled plastic milk bottles (why don't they just put more milk in those recycled milk bottles ?!?!) it has worked very well. Only 4 x 8 feet the amount of greens produced has been phenomenal and we've been eating from it all season. Lesson learned, smaller is often better, unless you are riding a mini-bike on the Stephenson.


  1. I would like to take over your life.

    You have my permission to give it all to me.

  2. Things must seem so unsettled right now. Here's hoping the path becomes clear soon.

  3. Oh Briny, you can have my life...if I can have your hair.

    MBJ. Yes it is all unsettled, up in the air and chaotic. Where do we put our efforts ? How do we focus ? Like today I realized in the new place we will have to make our own juice. How ? with what ? Do kiwistrawberries even grow in Illinois ?

  4. You mean your'e supposed to do housework more often than every 3.5 yrs?

    I understand all the cleaning and fixing up... we just finished doing that at the farm... got the farm rented ...and the house roof started to leak!!! Now I have to hire a guy to fix the damage because Brian is too busy with his internship. Sigh! In the mean time I am drooling over possible homestead property in Kentucky and lusting after other people's gardens.

    PS. There are hardy Kiwi that will grow in IL and you can grow strawberries... mybe you could hybridize for a hardy kiwawberry vine? lol Just a thought. I've been reading a really good book on how to breed your own vegetable varieties.

    Hang in there sister!! :^)

  5. The red tinged lettuce looks like the "Red Sail Lettuce" that we grow 1500 kilometers north of you! Still a week away from plate! Raised beds are a wonderful way to get a lot of veggies in a small space, or a climate where it doesn't get all that warm. Right now it's 54ยบ and the garden is growing!

  6. Dot, so good to hear from you ! Keith has been using the cream separator so much a bearing burned out. We love the cream it makes . We still owe you milk !

    Art, thanks for the info on the lettuce. I used it to make mixed lettuce bags for our Farmers Market this past Sat and it sold out !!!! Yup, all three bags.