Monday, October 11, 2010

Nuts for nuts

After spending a whole week on chestnut overdose, I still have many chestnuts left at home.
I stored some in the garage in drawers, but quickly realized it gets too warm in there to store fruits and veggies/nuts until it's REALLY cold outside. This is where maybe having a basement would be advantageous. Although my parents have one, and it's always kinda humid in there, which would also lead to spoilage.
Man! This storing stuff isn't all that easy.

On Saturday we dug up the sweet potatoes. In the spring, I had found a place online that sells sweet potato slips. Apparently, you could eat the leaves as well as the sweet potatoes, so that sounded like an awesome plan. Plus I've always wanted to grow the Korean sweet potatoes that were purple and had yellow flesh. They are so sweet and so good! Turns out grocery stores spray sprouting inhibitors on their sweet potatoes, so they last longer on the shelves, but maybe also so you don't grow your own at home ;)

The kids were excited, as were the hubby, and even my mother in law. It was like finding gold. We dug up some foot long potatoes, and some fingerlings. In hindsight, I need to grow this in some light/easy to dig soil, not the hard clay soil of chicagoland. The potatoes snap right in half if we try to yank them out of this thick soil! The answer may be pots. I grew some in a big "party cooler" tub, and although they weren't that big, all I had to do was flip the tub over and rife through the dirt. We'll see... the ones in the ground were way bigger, and I'm pretty sure there are some that I just can't find and will stay in the dirt forever. Also need someone to tell me how to dig these up without inadvertently slicing them with the shovel.

I have some chestnut seedlings, and after reading about them online (what would I do without the internet), I've decided to plant them at my parent's house. Simply put, They have more land than I do. One day I'll claim that house and have a minifarm there, so they can grow there in the meanwhile. Too bad their house has tons of deer and rabbits with no fence...

Instead, for my 1/10th of an acre suburban duplex lot, I've decided to keep Allegheny chinkapins (which look like mini chestnuts) or hazelnuts. Those nut trees only grow to about 15' and my neighbors will appreciate that, as would I.
I paid $30 for 5 hazelnut trees from the Vitory Garden Initiative.

Don't know much about them aside from hey, they have hazel nut trees for sale, and darn close to my house :)

I was reading in this "Self sufficiency" book that not only veggies, but fruit and nut trees are all a part of a well balanced lifestyle. Well tru.dat, I may as well get some free fruit and nuts! Trees are practically "Set it and forget it", as are the fruit bushes. Wish my veggies were that way...

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