Saturday, November 1, 2008

CSA's, composting and other things

Here it is the start of November and I realize just how lax I have been in keeping everyone up-to-date with life in San Diego. 

I have recently joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) after hearing about them on Planet Green. 

What is a CSA? In my case it was trying a 4-week trial plan to see if I would like to be a supporter of a local farming co-op and share in the seasonal crops that they produce. When you go pick up your weekly “SHARE” it is like Christmas and opening a present. You don’t know what you are going to be getting but you know it will be fresh, seasonal and organic. I am into the second week of the trail and I will probably not continuing with it. In theory it is a great program, in reality I have gotten a lot of vegetables and fruits that I wouldn’t normally buy. I have had the opportunity to try things that haven’t been in my personal menu before and I doubt that they will make it in the future. 

Some of the things that I have enjoyed are the organic apples and pears. It is surprising to find the different that an apple has when it hasn’t been polished and waxed to shipping to a store. The radishes have been great and the various greens have been an adventure into the salad world. 

On the other side of the coin, the avocados, while very tasty, all seemed to “ripen” on the same day and what do you due when your bounty is over-flowing. My co-workers have reaped those benefits. I am working with a large group of vegan and semi-vegans so that does give me an outlet for unwanted or over-abundance items. Fresh dates and collard greens were a big hit, with the group. Pomegranate was also received well. 

Will all of this new vegetable scraps have come a renewed interest in composting. My ultimate goal would to get a solar powered self rotating compost drum but as of right now I am using an old 55 gallon storage bin or directly burying the scrap into the garden. 

I use a recycled zipper type storage bag and keep the “extras” from trimming veggies in the freezer. Once a week I will run them through the blender to break the pieces up to speed up the breakdown. I also strain the blended mix and use the resulting liquid as a “tonic” for my various potted patio plants. On occasion I will bury the pulp mixture into one corner of my raised bed as a treat for every diligent earthworms, you know you have to keep these little buggers happy. 

 This was a rebuilding year for the garden. I removed a wooden walkway and replaced it with concrete pavers. It is much easier to maintain and I done have to worry about water issues and termites. I have also replaced my raised bed. I am working on enriching my soil so that I can get my garden to be a useful addition to the “homestead”. 

The last thing to mention was the change from a 2001 Toyota Tundra pickup that got a normal 12-14 mpg to a 2008 Honda Fit that gets an average 23 mpg. Short trips and a hill between home and work account for the low mpg rating but I feel so much better. I do occasionally miss having a pickup for getting large items but I can carry 8 foot 2X4 and 2X6 lumber in the car with no trouble. The big items that don’t fit are just things that I guess I really don’t need. 

Well, I will end for now but will try to be better at updates in the future. Reduce, reuse and recycle and have a great day.

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