104 I had to harvest my onions

104 I had to harvest my onions

These gardens are a trial run. Learning is the priority here. Every day in the garden teaches me new things about regenerative gardening. This time, I plant a lot more sunflowers, harvest onions in the rain, move a lot of water into storage, and start a new bed for the corn–oh, yes, and I planted some beans.

Scything would not be learned that day, not with a scythe so cheap it was already breaking.Instead, I returned the scythe to the store. I’d have to get a better scythe to even attempt learning this. So, I used the cheap blade to essentially rip out the grass threatening to take over the potatoes. I’d find a solution a few days later.

But let’s start a few days earlier, when I planted these sunflowers. Pepper enjoyed the sun while I made my way through the many seedlings waiting for me. These should have gone in the ground before the vacation but I ran out of time.

I had started seeds for three kinds of sunflowers: the classic Helianthus annuus that grows to 2 meters tall, a shorter red-orange variety called “Velvet Queen” that only gets to my height, and a medium variety called “Tamino” that is grown by florists for the pretty heads. We’ll see. Here, I was planting the short red ones between the regular ones I planted all over the garden.

I started on some weeding, but… Another party at the soccer field…

So, I fled home with my first two onions, and weighed them to get an idea of what onions weigh. Annoyed by people, I spent the day with Pepper and my husband on the couch.

I’d bought this scythe on sale at the hardware store. This was a mistake. Supposedly ready to mow, the blade was far from sharp, the screws kept loosening.

This thing was nothing but a dangerous piece of trash. At first, I thought I was just too uneducated to put it together. But no. This wasn’t me.

Despite the bad tool, I’d managed to make some progress. I am so glad I got a better scythe, though. For now, I was content to be able to walk around the greenhouse and potato beds.

The next day brought another heavy rainstorm and what I believe is a White Wagtail.

It’s a very ugly day today but the onions need to come out so I’m just gonna pull them real quick, we’re gonna move some water around into storage and then we’re gonna get groceries because this isn’t nice weather for gardening.

Now that I’d realized my garlic scapes had been onion flowers, the onions needed to come out urgently. The weird weather confused them into finalizing their usually two-year life cycle early.

Pulling the onions freed up some bed space between the garlic. I planted some beans that had been yelling at me to plant them from the balcony.

I went through the bed again for a quick weeding and to check if I’d missed any onions that had flowered. This would have been much easier had I not harvested the “garlic scapes” off these.

They were delicious in a quick pasta lunch a few days earlier, though.

Another storm was bringing more rain, so I decided to get really wet, and move some water around. The pump can’t be operated in rain, so I carried some watering cans around instead.

This plot is off-grid, so water management will be essential in the coming months. It has been raining way more than usual over the past 18 months, but the drought weeks of summer will come.

Thinking about summer drought while getting thoroughly wet is part of gardening. Rain is a resource. I’m sure you’ll get to hear my rant about global water shortages and concrete deserts at some point.

But let’s stick with this story, shall we?

Once there was plenty of room in the first sunken rain barrel, I switched to the other side. I’d recently found a decent-enough spot for the barrels. I would have preferred the second hut gone.

The rain barrels are getting fuller and fuller. Two of these blue ones are full, the third is getting there. Only one green one was completely empty at this point.

The onions needed sorting, but first I had to empty the canner. I’d canned some beans the night before. Canning beans is very easy, but so much better than the mush from the store.

When the sun came out, I ignored the onions, and headed to the garden to continue the beds. I pulled the weeds and grass around the tomatoes, and began creating an edge for the bed.

I am slightly digging in boards and branches. I know this will rot in a few months to years. That’s okay. It will work for this season at least. Grass spreads very quickly here. Knowing where it needs to stop helps a lot. It also looks a lot neater now–you’ll see soon.

I am very glad this bed was mulched heavily when I planted the tomatoes. Mulching really is a lazy gardener’s best friend–and I need a lot more of it.

The path-side compost piles were growing, but the beds were looking more and more like beds.

Whenever I start a new bed, I feel like I will never get it done. The start is always hardest to weed. A good gardening fork has helped a lot. But lawn to garden bed is still hard work. In this part of the garden, we have rhizomatous grass that spreads through underground root systems.

Every garden bed now brings a harvest of fresh potatoes. There are volunteer potatoes all over the garden.

I only weeded enough to make room for the corn plants. They needed to be planted. I told you everything was a rescue mission after the vacation.

Most of our black corn sprouted, but only two or three of the green corn and none of the Peruvian corn. I guess the seed library seeds had been too old.

The black corn I’d bought from a small farm in Italy had sprouted almost entirely. Hopefully, these will grow fast. It was close to the summer solstice, after all.

The entire garden was weeks behind. The hand injury and the hiking trip had delayed everything. Slowly, I was catching up. Technically, these should have more than enough time

Already in lounge wear, I weighed the potatoes I’d harvested from the corn bed. I won’t weigh everything I harvest but I wanted an idea of how much this was. 1.3 kilograms of potatoes I never planted. Not bad.

So long, and thanks for being here.