It seems like I got lost this summer.
My job in the market economy pushed me hard, no lunch breaks, working extra days because we were short handed, all the normal market economy things.
I furthered my circular economy goals bit by bit. I added Oregon Grape (Mahonia repens) last year and 2 of 3 survived. I grabbed a few seeds in the spring and one sprouted. I will plant it near the other two in early spring; it is 6 inches tall now. Like bearberry, it is a major wildlife food.
My free trees from The National Arbor Day Foundation are doing well in large pots. I planted a couple on the hill, but it was so crazy in the market economy I haven’t gone to see if they survived. The crabapples are especially nice in large pots because they stay small. I do have one red maple and am looking for a good spot for it.
I bought 4 more Elderberries (Sambucus neomexicana) since last year’s bush is doing well. They are in big pots and will get planted soon. They all bloomed well and I got berries from all of them. The birds got most of them, but my share will increase as they get larger. Their flowers are gorgeous.
I also got blackberries and raspberries. I will put strawberries in my raised bed with the Top Hat blueberries. These are about 2 feet tall. I have a pollinizer in a big pot, but can’t remember the variety off hand. None of them like my alkaline tap water, so I add a bit of vinegar to push it to neutral. I had a lot of rain this year and that kept them happy.
My prickly pear are adding pads, yay! Stephanie said she will send seeds, sweet. I did not scrounge more pads this summer, but would like a prickly pear barrier on my 300 foot frontage road. Maybe seeds will cover that area.
I prefer perennials even though their lead time is longer. Work can be demanding and perennials thrive on neglect better than annuals. As I get older, neglect happens more often.
My 4 Golden Chain Trees from seed are doing well and will stay in my window until spring.
Nevertheless, I had more tomatoes this year because I only grew cherry style. I came close to having enough to share. I kept them in pots all summer. They were 2 feet tall in the kitchen window before I planted them out, so bigger than last year.
Onions, potatoes, asparagus, peppers, and zucchini rounded it out a bit. Every year sees additional richness.
My girls are good layers. I did give away eggs this year! I put the worm bin in with them for warmth. Oops. No visible worms this month, so I dumped the castings and soil in my raised. Perhaps eggs will hatch.
My iris grew well this year but no blooms yet. I look forward to them in the spring. I collected seed from a gorgeous purple penstemon this year, seeds are out! I planted them close to the house to attract hummingbirds. They eat endless bugs and I need their free (to me) labor. I had scarlet penstemons come up from prior seeding, beautiful.
As I said, work was a big demand this year and getting just before dark did not leave much time. Still, I did pretty well and ate enough of my own produce to make a dent in my corporate food consumption. I am committed to growing more food even in this harsh climate.