Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gardening therapy

Click me for slightly bigger imageWe've been having some seriously crappy weather the last month or so and I've been so totally unmotivated to work out in the garden. But, last night I went out and finally planted my potatoes and weeded my pumpkin patch, which is coming along nicely.

Last fall I put two rotten sugar pie pumpkins on the lawn and let them disintegrate as an experiment of sorts. A few months ago, I covered the pile of seeds that was all that remained with an inch or two of compost. I then bordered the area with some crappy metal fencing to keep it from getting mowed over and now I'm looking at a ton of little pumpkin plants that I hope will take over the yard soon. I probably will need to thin them soon, but in the meantime, I'll let them get a little more hardy.

Speaking of hardy, I've been putting my tomato plants outside for two hours every day to harden them off. I'm hoping to plant them in the next few weeks and send them off on their own. I've been totally negligent with all the rest of our plantings, mostly because we'll be gone for a chunk of the summer and I didn't get my motivator working.

I'm not too sure how my apple trees are doing since they are post-fertilization but pre-fruiting as far as I can tell. They may need to sit a year out after being manhandled last summer. However, my olive tree is going nuts and I'm expecting a ton of fruit this year. Assuming it doesn't keel over in our absence.

In any case, I went out in the yard in a funk, but came back in feeling much more happier and such. Do you use gardening as therapy or does it feel like more of a chore or is it both?

15 comments:

LatigoLiz said...

I have been a seriously cranky bitch lately...that happens when I can;t ride and also happens when I can't be outside in the garden (flower or veggie). Just ask my hubby. Or better yet don't. ;) I LOVED the few days we had a week or so ago, but so not feeling the love with this rain. The only saving grace is that at least it's warmed up a little bit. I spent WAY too much moolah at the nursery on one of the nice days last week, but I got some good new stuff and didn't have to do the seed starting myself back in February or March. Bought some more seeds today. Definitely not going the "sustainable" route this year. Mostly organic seeds and plants this year when I have been purchasing. The nursery economy is getting a big boost from me this spring.

Robj98168 said...

Depends on what mood I go out to garden in. If I am in a shitty mood it's work I gotta do. If I am in a great mood Then it is a privilege to go out and do some garden work. Lately I find if I am in a shitty mood, it gets better, even if all I accomplish is dodging rain drops. And just like LatigoLiz I made a trip to the nursery (Furneys) and found some tomato starts that I failed at. Heirlooms at the Nursery-- Who Knew.
Good job on your pumpkins. My aunt Shirley used to do that same thing with her "Syrian" Squash. I tried but am afraid it is not going to be very successful.

mudnessa said...

I love spending time outside and spending time tending to a garden makes me happy too. Unfortunately I have a tiny patio but I am slowly filling it with plants. Last weekend I bought a hanging strawberry plant, tomato, jalapeno, banana pepper, red bell, cucumber and lavender.

I planted seeds for herbs and have had ZERO luck with those but I planted some more and hopefully they'll grow this time.
I don't have much room but I am trying to fill it with what I can.
I also planted some loofah, not sure how that will do in a container and in regards to not taking over my whole patio since it is quite viney, same with the cucumbers. Not sure how viney the type I bought gets, we will see.

Blue Fish said...

What are you going to do with your olives? (I have visions of making olive oil, but not sure how one would do that....)

Meg said...

It makes me happy and I always feel better. Never enough time though. We have bad aphids this year that are making me a bit pissy.
I broke down and planted my tomatoes, peppers & basil this week... they were getting way, way, way too big to be living inside any longer.
I need to get to some weeding (which I like when it isn't just hanging over me) but have been working on the chicken coop area. The kids need to move outside... the basement smells like a barn and looks like a dust bowl.

Oldnovice said...

My garden totally sucks this year, so I officially gave up yesterday. This doesn't mean that I won't get out there this morning to plant the FEW heirloom tomatoes that FINALLY got large enough to plant outside along with a few more of the tomatoes I had to buy at Home Depot because my seeds just molded this year. The rest, though, I'll just let die and the weeds can fill the spaces in the garden until I try again in the fall. Weather here is already so hot that by 9am it's too late to get outside except to go to the pool.

Also have a new (first) granddaughter this year who spends three days/week for several hours here and then when mom comes to get her we all go for a long walk so that she can drop the baby fat and I can drop the old lady fat. So, my passion is more in that than the gardening this year.

Sandy said...

Here on the East Coast, the gardening year has been pretty good; cooler than usual until this week, but with adequate (not excessive) moisture and sun. My garden greens are doing well, and though the tomatos and peppers aren't growing tall, they're growing strong. My container garden is doing great! I love being outside in the garden, but since I milk goats for an Ag. Ed. Center every day after i teach, I'm pretty beat by 6 or so when I finish, so I haven't had the hands-in-soil time I desire for awhile. Weekends and summer ROCK!

Molly said...

My husband and I are trying to live out of our garden in August (no grocery shopping for us) and we are off to a crappy start. I dropped my starters in my cold frame a month ago and we got one last freeze- it took them all out! Than a few weeks later I planted about a half a dozen different variety of vegetables. Only about 1/2 of them came up....I'm going to be very hungry in August.

Deb(bie Debbie Doo) said...

I hear ya on the crabby weather moond - isn't any better here in T-Town :(

An hour ago I was outside weeding on my way to taking the garbage out and ended up staying out there half an hour cause it felt so good to be working in Earth - but came in all muddy :) NEED.SUNSHINE!

Jenette said...

I am in a garden funk. Round one of all 20+ of my tomato plants didn't sprout :( and only one carrot ... time to break out the seeds and try again ... hopefully the weather cooperates. At least the strawberries are doing well.

Jennie said...

100% therapy. Even times spent wielding a hoe or rake or shovel, there's a rhythm and peace to working a piece of land and growing good things on it.

Colleen said...

I'm kind of an emotionally and socially dysfunctional person. When I bought my first house at age 30, I found gardening. It is the only thing I've ever found in my life that makes me feel so good, that I can get completely wrapped up in, besides time with my children. Since time with my children has taken over time with my gardening, I miss it, but cherish the little bit of time I do get now and then. It's hard to articulate all the ways it benefits me, but it is an overall feeling of well-being. I'm so glad to have found it, even if I'm not that good at it, and I live to retire and spend half my time gardening, half my time with grandkids, and half my time reading.

Dana @ MFCK said...

Just being outdoors in general is a stress relief for me. I'm not a gardener, but Maria's Farm Country Kitchen is a great resource for gardening questions and organic gardening tips!

www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.

Good luck with the plants, hopefully you'll be able to travel without too much damage!

Laura said...

Oooh I like that leave the pumpkin to rot as a planting method thing. That's my kind of gardening!
I definitely enjoy working in the garden. But I love the lazy man's methods of getting stuff done. I enjoy planting things that don't require a ton of my attention but give me food gifts anyway. Blueberries, potatoes, lettuce, strawberries.

Ah, garden therapy. It's like going to the spa! ...But you come home dirty, instead of clean. And it costs a lot less. And you work your ass off instead of sitting around reading mags. ... Ok, it's not like the spa but you do sleep like a baby after a good shower!

Aside: Robj, you look great on toast.

greengirl512 said...

I love gardening...wish I had more time for it. I plant stuff and water it, but for the past couple of years I've been so busy I've been leaving them to fend for themselves till harvestime.

Digging beds is more stress than anything else, though, in our red clay soil. Gotta make room for tomatoes soon.

Also, this is completely off-topic, but anybody who's on Facebook might be interested in this: Autonation has a promotion where they are promising to plant trees in Haiti, Brazil, India and the Philippines if you like their Facebook page for the Nissan Leaf. They're going for 50,000 but they only have 53 so far. A little help?

Here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/autonation?v=app_118253374876582&ref=mf

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