Wednesday, October 31, 2012

roasted celery soup kinda blows

My roasted celery soup was less than magnificent. It's just that I had a lot of celery sitting in the fridge (because you can't buy just one stick of celery for, say, making pot pies or some other casserole concoction that only requires a little bit of celery -- no, you have to buy the whole bunch), and being the frugal person that I am, I know that soup is usually a good way to use up extra veggies. However, while French onion soup is a fabulous way to use up onions and is no way overpowering with all the onion-y-ness, too much celery is all bad.

Jay and I both choked half a bowl down, but the rest of it went in the trash (I can't compost it because of the dairy and fat contents, and I have no livestock yet that would happily take it). However, my slaw and homemade bagels with honey butter at least provided us with some needed calories and nutrition.

That's about a 1/2 yard of compost that I put dow a few weeks ago. You can't
see it from this angle, but Taco was pretty loaded down with the other cubic
yard I had in her yet to be put down.

We got all fancy with the laser level a while back and marked out the first of my on-contour garden beds. So far, I've dumped 1.5 cubic yards of mushroom compost on this one bed at about 6" deep, and I estimate that I'll need another yard or so to finish it off. I'd like to have two more beds of the same length for springtime planting, so I'll likely need a total of 7.5 cubic yards of material.

At $30.00 per cubic yard, that's $225.00 for all three long beds, which is a little pricey, but I'm hoping that this initial investment will pay off in the long run.

I probably would have gotten away with not using the rotting logs to hold up the bottom half of the beds (you can see we're on a slope), but it satisfies my inner OCD to have it there anyway so that I don't have to continually scoop up compost that shifts down the hill. I might end up covering the beds with some sort of plastic or other material to keep the nutrients from draining away. 

This was obviously before I shoveled compost and got it all in my hair.


  1. I was going to ask for your soup recipe in your previous post, but maybe not now! I've always like cream of celery soup, but I've resolved to not eat condensed canned soup anymore, so I need to find a good recipe.

    Is that just plain old cardboard you laid down for your beds? I'm planning to make a few more garden beds in my yard and I've been reading up on sheet mulching. I'm wondering how long it takes for it to decompose. I was thinking of using either cardboard or newspaper for the garden beds I'm planning.

    1. I think it would have been better if I had followed the recipe more closely and used more potatoes (I only had one on hand, but it called for three), but even then, I'm just not much of a cooked celery fan to begin with so I probably would have been better off making a vinaigrette celery salad or something.

      We ended up with about 30 very large boxes from our move, so those are what I'm using for the kill mulch on the grass (all the same size so the beds can be of uniform width). I used newspaper and a thick layer of grass clippings for a kill mulch on a different bed adjacent to the front porch, and weeds are already popping up through it, so I'm definitely not sold on newspaper. From what I understand, cardboard is great because it facilitates mycelium/mycorrhiza growth (I could be making this up, so don't hold me to it), which is essential for plant growth. I would use cardboard if you have it available to you, but maybe I just didn't layer my newspaper thickly enough!

  2. New kill mulches --- how exciting! I was just weeding the everbearing raspberries this afternoon and thinking, "I need to tell Sarah I'll have starts for her this winter if she wants them and kill mulches a spot for them now"... :-)

    1. Oooooo, I'd definitely love to take some off your hands! Raspberries are a big fave. I'll have to pick your brain about where they should go!