Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Composting tool and vegetables

In the following pictures I'm demonstrating my new composting aerator tool. It consists of handles with a long metal rod which has horizontal folding rods on the bottom, designed to puncture down into the different layers of decomposing material, loosen, mix, and as a result help decompose faster by providing oxygen deep inside. Prior to having this tool I couldn't get my husband to turn the pile...well it was work...and hard on the back. I felt bad asking him to do it ...that's why it got done only once this season;however, with this new tool...I couldn't get him to give it back to me. He said he was helping me...but I couldn't get him to help "before tool." My analysis was that he really liked it. Here I am in the picture...but of course he already worked on the pile for about 5minutes.
The bottom half of the tool....and I almost bought a pitchfork instead. Whew...I don't think a pitchfork would have been as easy as this this tool was only 19.99 compared to what a new pitchfork goes for... about$50-60 dollars. So now my favorite compost bin is this black one. The green tumbler is still nice but smaller...this black one is much bigger and the pile has been running hot. One thing I don't like about the tumbler is that if you don't have the right amount of browns to greens(3to1) you can end up with lots of compost "balls".
These onions I harvested today are the product of the onion end piece I had thrown into the compost and I found sprouting and so I ended up planting them in the box. I had a picture of these growing in the snow on a previous entry. Aren't they pretty. I harvested them because the onion stalks had fallen over...and I had read that that is when you harvest them...but I found out from a farmer at the farmers market that once the stalk fall over you can keep them in the ground longer and that is when they gain size. She much prefers them this size because they are sweeter. I can't wait to try them.

Peas in the pod. Sweet as can be. They don't usually make it to the house. They get eaten right on the the garden.

We had this swiss chard for dinner. We loved it. Compared to kale, swiss chard is tender and has a mild flavor. I will plant more of this in the fall.

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