Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Even when a garden season, like this fall for me, is a bit of a bust, there are still wonderful things to harvest here and there and excitement about NEXT season!
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
So, the garden. I left the broccoli plants that had been topped by little dog, hoping they would send out side shoots. Well, they did. She surgically removes each tiny head when it reaches about the size if a golf ball. Sigh. So much for that bed. Carrots do look nice, and broccoli in another bed have gone unnoticed so far. I am late on garlic, but may plant some today. It is beautiful out, and who can be unhappy about a less than perfect garden when the tangerines are ripening and the maple is putting in a show?
Friday, September 27, 2013
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
So, why am I distraught? Jo, the smaller of my two dogs: you know, the one who loves vegetables? She ate the top out of every plant. Every. Single. One.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
My best timing in a good while: I saw a forecast of possible rain last night, and got some broccoli, cabbage, collard, and spinach plants in the ground. Overnight it poured, and they are very happy new transplants this morning. I am really pushing the date with the spinach, it is too early and too hot, but I have high hopes for the others. Today I will plant some carrot seeds; they should already be in the ground and popping up.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Last year at this time I told you about hot pepper fig jam, made one jar at a time in my bread machine. This year I seem to be working with tomatoes, always just a few from 4 or 5 different plants. Luckily they are easy to save.
I bring a pot of water to a boil, and drop the tomatoes in a few at a time, leave them for only a minute, then scoop them out into a bowl. When they have cooled a bit the skins slip right off. I then cut out the core and slice them in half lengthwise, squeeze the seeds into the scrap bowl with the skins and cores, and drop the halves into a jar.
In about 10 minutes I go from a cutting board covered in mixed tomatoes to a jar filled with jewel toned tomato flesh. I will keep this in the fridge now for up to a week, and pull it out when I want salsa, or pasta sauce, or soup. I have saved many a tomato from compost this way, and love having small batches of good, fresh food ready in the fridge.
You know what? I think I will add a big pile of fresh chopped garlic and minced fresh parsley to this jar. Whenever I am ready it will be perfect cold or warm on pasta.
The scrap bowl went to the chickens. They almost hurt themselves scrambling to get to those tomato skins.
Monday, August 5, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Otherwise things are slowing down. The early warm nights means few tomato blossoms setting fruit, and the beans never recovered from the virus that hit them early on. I have an Italian edible gourd plant going wild though.
You eat the buds and young leaves!
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
I welcome them, as it has not been a very good garden for me this spring. The littler dog ate the tops off the pea plants daily, so I didn't bother to react to an aphid infestation that led to their final demise. Despite a strong start, my beans puckered and yellowed, it looks like a virus, and stopped producing after the first few tasty harvests. They have new flowers now, so we will see.
Some seasons are just better than others. I have high hopes for the remaining items I will tend this summer, and for the bounty I will buy at county farms.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
I lost a small part of 3 different garlic heads to a soft rot. When peeling the remainder of the cloves in each (to keep in the fridge till used) it seemed those heads, though huge, may not have been quite mature. Two other heads have tiny insect holes; I placed them outside and plan to explore that later.
I need to remember to save the heads with the nicest big cloves to plant this fall for next years crop.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Friday, May 31, 2013
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The good leaves made a trip to the kitchen. The stems, flower buds and any damaged leaves made it into the coop. All were delicious and enjoyed!
Now the bed has 6 tomato plants and one mega chard. The chard is 4 feet tall and wild looking, and I have not yet been able to let it go. Soon though, so the tomato roots are not damaged by it's removal.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
But, these flowers are in bloom in my front yard, and I ate strawberry shortcake for dinner. I'll hang on to these bits of spring and hope that soon we will see sunshine and will even be able to push open the north east facing back door!
Sunday, April 28, 2013
In the meantime, the potatoes and garlic look amazing! The garlic is huge. I hope the bulbs below ground look as good as the greens above.
Finally, tiny blueberries forming, and farm stand purchased spring onions, steamed in the microwave for 3 minutes and then grilled. Oh my.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Sunday, April 7, 2013
It has been almost painful waiting for spring to get here. I don't want to be cold any longer. Now I know those of you further north may have no patience with my complaints about weather in the 50s, but I am weak, and I want to go out in the boat.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Sunday, March 31, 2013
My potatoes and peas are peeking out as well, so that confirms it: chilly or not, spring is well underway. I truly hope for rain today so I don't have to water the vegetable beds, but not until after I have cleaned the chicken coop. I sound a bit demanding weather wise, don't I?
Hope you all have a lovely spring day too!
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
I was able to get lettuces, arugula, and peas planted just before dark this evening. I hope it rains tomorrow, as forecast! If it does, these new plantings will be jump started, and those potatoes from last week may pop through the soil even sooner.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
I cut the potatoes into chunks two days ago, making sure each piece had at least one eye, where new plant growth will begin. The cut piece in this photo has two visible eyes: one is the huge, obvious one where growth has started in ernest, the other is tiny, just beside the cut edge down near the bottom of the photo. Seethe little bumps, just lightly green, just above the tear in the skin? It would have been fine even if only the tiny eye had been present, it just would have taken a bit longer before the new plant emerged.
Here you see the three slightly trenched rows I dug in the bed for the potatoes. The rows are about two feet apart, and the seed potatoes were placed about 10 inches apart within each row. In the photo they were placed just for spacing, when I went back and buried each (about 3 inches deep at the bottom of the trench; I will then cover them with more soil as they grow), I made sure that the cut side was down and the skin side, and eyes, were facing up.
I also planted two types of lettuce, buttercrunch and a nice red leaf lettuce, plus spinach transplants. They are in the bed with one of the remaining lactino kale plants and one chard plant. It wasn't until I looked at this photo that I realized the kale is preparing to bolt ( go to seed). See the tiny flower head forming in the very center at the top? It will have to come out soon, leaving room for a second planting of lettuces.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Monday, January 21, 2013
As I worked the soil with my fingers I began to notice white grubs. Every handful of soil held at least one. These larvae of beetles eat plant roots, and a large infestation can weaken plants. So, I fished them out and found the perfect use for them: the ladies were happy to turn the pile grubs into eggs.