Garden Journal: Week of 9/26

Hello everyone!

Fall is certainly settled in now with a few chilly days, rainy times, and bits of sunshine dispersed throughout the week. After last week’s big changes to the garden, there was more maintenance work to be done and seeds to harvest.

Rachael and Chelsea were out of town and Lily C. was sick, so it was just Lily F-B and me this past Saturday. There are plenty of pictures to be shared this week, though some aren’t the best quality because Lily and I took them on our phones.

I noticed with delight that the nasturtium to which I have become so attached has bloomed! There is one beautiful orange blossom that brightens up the garden as it nears colder times.

How exciting it is to see a bright spot of color amongst the verdant green!

Lily and Rachael were busy this past week setting up for the dye workshop. During our workday Saturday, Lotta came by to pick some sumac leaves and discuss other details to prepare for the class.

We are so glad to have Lotta teach us more about dyeing.

Lily also worked on deadheading the calendula, which needed the attention. She shared an interesting fact with me while doing so. The name calendula can trace its origin to the word “calendar;” as it was a plant known to be extremely accurate for the time of month it bloomed, it could be used as reference. She is also going to try making some calendula salve from its flowers to share with school children who will be visiting soon.

The flowers that will soon be utilized as calendula salve.

An unpleasant surprise was discovering a new inhabitant: this caterpillar. With research I found this to be common with few remedies aside from picking them up and placing them elsewhere. The leaves and inside of the flower are a favorite for thistle butterflies or painted lady caterpillars to feed on.

Friend or foe?

I spent my time collecting flax seeds so we can use them next year to start our garden anew.

The tiny black seeds are obtained by picking little brown pods off of their browning stems and breaking them open. Some contained no seeds but most had one or two.

A close-up view of the elusive seeds.

Above, you can see what flax seeds look like once the tiny pods are broken open. We will be collecting more with other work days, but this will be good to start.

The plant is very abundant with more seeds than we could pick in a day.

More harvesting of our garden’s bounty came in the form of the pleurisy root, which has the softest feeling when picked.

It's certainly not the texture I would expect from a plant.

Also, I have a follow up to my cotton exploration! I recorded the cotton we were able to harvest for the dye workshop and other uses.

Section Bolls harvested Saturday, 9/24 Bolls harvested Saturday, 10/1
1 34 1
2 48 2
3 27 2

We harvested cotton on two Saturdays in a row and I was surprised that by the second week more weren’t ready. I was saddened to see the stinkbugs had done much more damage to bolls that are now opening up; their effects are definitely long-lasting and now rampantly apparent. It was interesting that Section Two yielded much bigger, nicer bolls of cotton than the others. Hopefully with a bit more time a few more will open up.

As temperatures drop and the garden always changes, we will continue to delight in whatever the season brings to the TJDG!

~Emily

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