Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blue, baby blue

Diana is laying again, adding a pale bluish greenish egg to the mix. With the longer days of sunlight we are back to three or four eggs a day. I need to share.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Creepy Yummy

Today, against all odds, we had yet another warm, sunny day. Not even a breeze, so every speck of sunshine warmed the garden. I used the day to pull out all the winter annual weeds that had filled parts of the beds, and to loosen the soil beneath.

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.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Citrus pasta, yum

What do you do with 20 pounds of orangequats? Everything you can think of! Here is pasta with olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, spinach and...orangequats! I adapted a Giada De Laurentis recipe (spaghetti with lemon, basil and salmon) substituting my fresh citrus for the lemon juice and zest, increasing the quantities of both, and chopping the whole rind and pulp since orangequats rinds are sweet and the juice, though tart, is milder than lemon. It was an amazing lunch, served with local Spanish mackerel.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Citrus and Fungus

My Nippon Orangequat has a bumper crop this year. I have been enjoying the golfball+ sized fruits in both hot and cold drinks, with water and honey. The pulp and juice are like lemons, the pith and skin are edible and sweet, with a little citrus bite. The freeze coming tonight means I must pick the lot today. I'll have to make marmalade!

I had to remove all the broccoli plants and residue from the garden, as a nasty fungus was rotting the stems. See the rotting gray area on the stem, and the white fluffy dots of fungal fruiting bodies emerging? That disease easily could overwinter in any stem, leaf it other tissues left on the soil, so I cleaned it out completely (I hope). I harvested a dozen side shoots first, so nothing was lost.