Monday, October 12, 2009

Waste to wonderful

Although a bit late, I was able to thin my kale and arugula plants this weekend. I pulled out all the extra plants so that there was just one plant every 6 inches or so. The small, leggy plants that I had removed didn't look like much. Here you see them, freshly rinsed, piled in a pan where I had sauteed garlic and red peppers in olive oil. The next photo is the final result: whole grain pasta with sauteed baby greens. Oh my, yes. These thinning did not have enough volume to make a vegetable dish on their own, but that didn't stop them from being the center of an amazing fall meal.

After thinning, I watered the remaining plants with a mixture of rain water and worm castings. I hope this will both help them recover from any root damage caused by the thinning, and will give them a boost. Because I was late in thinning these plants, the remaining ones are leggy and weak, and could not hold themselves upright. Lets see what a few days and some worm juice will do for them!

The hens are so happy that the weather has cooled. For a change, none of the four are moulting right now, and we are occasionally getting four eggs a day, although it is usually only two. I am feeding the ladies all the older, damages leaves from the now huge broccoli, collards, and cabbage plants, and they are thrilled. (My new favorite natural control for cabbage worms on the garden crops: small lizards that have moved into the garden!)