Monday, August 26, 2013

Garden Update: Late Summer and a Raw Foods Update

Carrot.
 
Summer is coming to a close, and I must say that I'm really not sorry this time.  It has been a crazy and emotional summer for my family, and the weather has just made no sense at all.  The plants are definitely feeling it!  I'm happy to say, though, that we are finally seeing some growth in our little garden where we really thought we might not have any. 
 
The beets didn't make it this season.  They just did not get very big, and they suffered a particularly severe leaf spot issue (I'm not sure which kind) that rendered them not edible.  We may or may not plant again in the fall.  I think it depends on what (if any) beds are available.  Currently, all of our beds are full.
 
Up top, you see carrot flowers.  Our carrots, which took two or three plantings to take this year, are now doing really, really well. We are seeding the plant pictured above. These carrots are beautiful!  They are purple on the outside, but when you cut them open, you get just a rainbow of colors!  Greens, oranges, some red/purple.  These are not as sweet as the orange carrots I'm used to, but they are very flavorful!  We will have a lot of them!
 
Kale, mostly.
 
Here, we have Kale and collards and chard along the fence, and Kohlrabi to the right.  The greens are doing very well, as you can see.  The kohlrabi seem a little slower to grow this year, and I don't think they are as sweet as last year's, but they are good.  I'm very happy about the kale, because I love it.  We have concluded that our previous location was just bad.  Previously, the kale was planted in a corner, between two brick walls, and it was destroyed by white flies.  I think that corner just traps too much moisture and gets too warm, so we probably won't be planting in that corner any more and will be using that area for storage instead.  This kale sure is happy!
 
Finally, some tomatoes!
  
We are finally getting some tomatoes! Early this month, the plants had a healthy growth spurt, and I finally started seeing fruit last week.   It doesn't look like we will have a lot of them, but we should get a good enough amount for the two of us.  My mom has a plant that we gave her a year or two ago, and her fruits have been very small and very sweet, so I am expecting similar results from ours.  Either way, I'm loving the smell of the tomato plants, and I look forward to those fruits!
 
My raw foods experiment is coming along. I'm still not "cooking" any fancy raw recipes.  Mostly, I'm just eating more raw fruits and vegetables, but I have added raw crackers, raw snack bars, and raw cereal to my diet.  None of these products have chemicals or preservatives or are processed, and they all taste pretty good.  I'd say that I'm to the point where, most days, my diet is 1/3 - 1/2 raw.  I haven't noticed any huge changes in how I feel or in my health, but I still feel very good on the days that I am eating raw, and my base energy level is up and has been for some time now.  As time goes on, I'll become more consistent in my raw eating, and come January, when I'm due to have some blood work done, I imagine I'll see if it is making a difference in my health on a clinical level.  I have no doubt that it is.  I still have a ways to go with this. It would be nice to have maybe one raw meal every day, but I don't know if I will achieve that.  Most days, my only 100% raw meal is breakfast.  Either way, trying new ways of eating is always fun and interesting, and I learn a lot.