Powdery Mildew

So, as of Friday, I was convinced that I was losing ALL of my squash – my cucumbers had already all but died, and my zucchini were on there way out with all my winter squash (acorn, butternut, pumpkin, spaghetti), not far behind them. Then I googled around and figured out it must be powdery mildew. Sounds right – my cucumbers fruited, then got it. The same pattern was developing with my zucchini, and winter squashes. So googled some more for treatments. Lots of stuff about pesticides, fungicides, herbacides, etc… But I just really don’t want to use that stuff. I love that my whole garden is 100% organic, and I would really, really like to keep it that way. But I want to eat some of the stuff in it! You know?

And then, I found a post about using a milk & water solution (1:9 ration of milk:water, minimum). And it just sounded too good. I had to try it. So I did…. and I swear to you, 2 days later, my plants are looking WAY better! Almost all the mildewy stuff on the tops of there leaves is gone, and they just look more “perky” for lack of a better word. I’m SO excited! Even the last 2 or 3 cucumbers which were on there death beds are looking better. Which is absolutely incredible. I just might get some more zucchini and squashes afterall! Hurray!!

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Food, food and more food!

So, today was co-op pickup day, which is always a long, but fun day for me. I’m not sure what everyone there really thinks of me though – every single month I show up with a McDonald’s coffee ;). But anyhow, the truck was late (by an hour+) this month, so we all got to stand around and chat for an hour, which was actually pretty fun and interesting. We got 5# of organic grass-fed ground beef from one of the families, and are now planning on trying some local goat meat from another!

My garden is growing pretty good, though a lot of my squash seem to have some sort of a disease. They’re all still growing and looking pretty good, they just have, “stuff” – it looks like mold, almost – on some of their leaves, and others are yellowing and such. And most of my cucumbers are definetly dead now đŸ˜¦ Though there are still 1 or 2 that are just barely hanging on. I’m so dissapointed! I was really looking forward to making lots of my own pickles!!

Otherwise though, most stuff looks pretty good – we’re going to be up to our ears in green beans here soon, and hopefully tomatoes too. We had our first ripe tomato on the 12th, though we haven’t had any more since then. As many plants as I have, there really aren’t that many green tomatoes yet, nor am I seeing many new buds, but hopefully theres more than I think and I end up with enough to do some serious canning.

I’ve recently discovered GroupRecipes.com and have uploaded several of my favorite recipes to there. Its a pretty cool site – basicly a social network with a focus on cooking. You can upload recipes, pictures, and the like and join groups, add friends etc. Plus you can rate and review other peoples recipes and post yours for others to do the same. So far it seems pretty cool!

Reiffen’s Choice

I have just finished reading Reiffen’s Choice by S.C. Butler and cannot recommend it enough. It is an enthralling book, of magic and Dwarves, of children and men and animals who can change their shape – from bear to bat to man and back to bear.

A story both dark and bright – of the light and the darkness. Few books have made me think and dream as much of late. In some places it is reminicent of Tolkien as in the Abyss at the bottom of the world in the real of the Dwarves. In others of C.S. Lewis as in animals who speak. But, page after page, it urges you to go on. To turn the page and read the next line. To find out about the Brydd and the Bryydin, about what happend to the other Shapers annd where exactly the Wizards are from. But we are left, in the end with more questions than answers – how old is this world? How were Bryyds and Areft and the others killed? They were (are?), gods it would seem, and yet they were defeated. How? Why? Can the same tactics used on Areft work again on the Wizards?

I cannot wait to read the sequel – Queen Ferris. And I am sure the final volume as well, whenever it comes out. 5 stars for S.C. Butler for story superbly imagined and wonderfully put to the page. This is a book worth reading.