Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Harvest & Another Garden Update

Few pitiful radishes. I thought radishes were easy to grow... Not for me it would seem.
Found a couple of dried bean pods I had missed. Maybe I'll try growing them.

Pulled up the rest of the yellow pear tomatoes. Hopefully they will ripen on the counter.
Cucmbers - I think I have a pollination issue.

In addition I had another handful of long beans but forgot to put them in a picture. I lost a bunch of my lettuce to some bugs this week. They made nests (?) right in the middle of the plant and it killed them. Most of the oak leaf lettuce survived but at the moment that is all the lettuce I have. Got a ton of work done in the garden this weekend, thank you husband, and it looks so much better.

The entire middle and right side of the garden was turned. We then added compost and chicken manure, leveled it out, and watered it in well. Just happened to get my seed order in and was then able to plant my cover crop of buckwheat. It has only been a couple of days, but so far, the birds haven't tried to get to any of the seeds. I'm hopeful they will come up without problem. To turn the whole area I had to pull up my onions and parsley. I potted them and they seem to be doing ok so far.


Snipped a couple of cuttings from the yellow pear. Figure this will give me a head start over my seeds. I also took some from my patio princess tomatoes because they don't seem to be doing to well where they are and if these root I'll move them to a more sunny location. Last but no least a few rosemary cuttings in the hope I can root them this time. Last time they just died in the cups of water.


Side view of my yard.

Starting left is my newly trimmed/repotted rosemary plant. I'm attempting to train it into a spherical topiary. Ha! We'll have to wait and see about this. Small red pot is my miniature rose. The large pot with the green bar going across is my new fig tree. I'm attempting to train it to lay horizontally and then allow all the vertical shoots to grow. It is a Japanese training method that uses little space but gets a decent harvest. Hope to have some figs this year. Figs are my all time favorite fruit. We had a fig tree in SC and I still miss it. Hopefully this will hold me over for a while. The clay pot is actually a blueberry plant. Though it looks dead it is starting to come back to life. I repotted it, treated the leaf rust, and moved it to a sunnier location. We will have to wait and see on this one too. The two twin pots to the right are our new asparagus patches!! We transferred a bunch (maybe a few to many) a couple days ago and they are doing great.
Moon flowers are really taking off. About time to hang them up.
The three seed trays. I removed all the covers today. Hard to believe how fast these germinated. So excited for all the pepper!
So a friend took pity on us for our non producing pineapple plant and gave us one of theirs. This little guy is half the size our plant was and already has an adorable baby pineapple fruit!
My papaya is finally taking off. Hopefully we will see some fruit on it soon.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pizza with Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day

Seriously delicious and fast. I really love having dough ready to go and just waiting in he fridge. We tried using the Boule Master Recipe but found it to be a bit tough as pizza. So we tried the Olive Oil Dough and it was perfect for pizza (as recommended in the book). We used it towards the end of the recommended fridge life, 12 days, but I'm pretty sure it was a little older. I'm not saying how much older, but it turned out awesome!


Weekly Harvest & Garden Update

So last week was a lot of the same things everyday, but at least I was getting stuff. Slowed down this week.

Saddest strawberries ever but they were great in my oatmeal.

I'm sad to report that the cherry tomato plants finally needed to be pulled up. I think the yellow pear only has a little bit of time left too. I did something bad in the garden and now I'll be paying for it for a while. I didn't rotate my crops, add enough compost, and really didn't fertilize much. Now I have a crazy amount of root knot nematodes. I think that is what ended my cherry tomato plant. When we pulled it up the roots were really strange looking, damn nematodes, damn birds and nematodes... So I will be adding a good bit of compost and chicken manure, growing a cover crop to turn under (buckwheat) and a whole bunch of marigolds. Good thing I went crazy with pots. I have a few plants growing in pots, pretty much wherever I can fit a pot. I've got zucchini, patty pan & yellow squash, tomatoes: honey delight/supersweet 100/purple Cherokee/San Marzano, jalapeño & Tabasco peppers. I also started some scarlet runner beans, asparagus, and sweet pea. That is just the stuff I started outside.

Back to front: honey delight tomato, yellow squash, supersweet 100, purple tomatillo

Asparagus baby!

Prettiest flower I've grown from seed so far. No idea what kind it is, anyone know?
I found this amazing thing at the garden store and I ended up getting three of them over the weekend.

Oh yes, I planted a little over 200 new seeds. I'm pretty sure I have a new addiction. One whole flat is dedicated to growing two types of (Queen Sophia & Lemondrop) marigolds. Another is mostly lettuce with couple of empty spots. The other one is a mix of flowers (zinnias, morning glory, marigolds, nasturtium), peppers (tequila sunrise, poinsettia, jalapeño red, sweet banana, cayenne), basil (cinnamon, red Ruben), chives (common and garlic), fennel, papaya, and a couple of lemon seed that I doubt will germinate. Good thing I'm giving away as many as I can. I like to grow from seed verses buying from a nursery because it is a heck of a lot cheaper and the selection is so much greater. Seems like I'm lucky to find two different types of basil at a nursery where if I buy seeds there are too many to try, or at least to many to try in a single year.


Saturday, April 12, 2014


So today's (above) haul is a little light compared to yesterday's.

Yesterday's haul from the garden. I still have no idea on most of the lettuce, but at least most of it tastes good. So I planted a couple of long beans last summer-ish (?) and they seemed so foreign that we chickened out on eating them and just kind of let them go. They got huge, like three feet long and with huge beans, super scary. Ended up just pulling them; figured that was that and moved on. Well, the beans had other ideas, they are determined little guys and just kept coming up. Normally I just pull them when I notice them but these guys snuck in with a few other beans that I planted so I didn't notice them until they started putting out flowers. They have some of the prettiest flowers I've seen in my garden so far.

Didn't have the heart to pull them so I figured we would give them one more try. Holy cow, we have been missing out; they taste great. Now I may actually plant some more.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Daily Harvest

So I really don't know much about lettuce. I would love some help identifying what kind these are.

  1. Oak leaf?
  2. Spinach?
  3. ?
  4. ?
  5. ?
  6. ?
  7. ?

Had to go crazy and pick pretty much anything with an orange hue because of a flock of those tomato eaters were hovering in the tree behind my yard. Just waiting for me to go inside.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Daily Harvest

So I'm going to try to post pictures of what I harvest kind of on a daily basis. We will see. This morning I harvested some yellow pear and cherry tomatoes, one mystery tomatoe (turns out they are not German Green), and a couple of awesome surprise strawberries. You may be wondering why I didn't let the red tomatoes ripen up all the way and the answer is simple. The damn birds will get to them before I can. They don't mess with the yellow ones so I'm trying out some Honey Delight Tomatoes next. I also harvested some salad greens; two days in a row!

As you can see in the last picture I didn't check on my tomatoes soon enough and look at what those assholes did! Mystery tomatoes and one more cherry.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

First Quarter Goal Update

So far this is how I'm doing:

  1. Logged 75 miles on the treadmill. To my credit, my treadmill was down from February 18 - March 11. First repair I've had to make to my machine in 9 years.
  2. Logged 149 miles on the bike.
  3. Read 4 books so far. The first three are a trilogy by Hugh Howey: Wool, Shift, and Dust. The other one is by Forrest Pritchard: Gaining Ground. Really like all four books and highly recommend Gaining Ground to anyone interested in farming or self sufficiency.
  4. Hmmm, should I count this post towards my goal of 24 blog posts?
  5. So I'm thinking abou giving up the violin. Maybe try out the viola or just take a break from music for now.
  6. Working through my music collection is going well. I listen to music everyday so it isn't hard to make time for it. Already cleaned out a few hundred songs I don't like.
  7. Sorting and tagging my photos isn't coming along as fast as the music. But I have done some.

Overall I'm not quite where I should be, but I am actually doing better than I though I would be.


Garden Expansion

So to increase our growing space I decided to try some container gardening. Kinda went overboard...

Built these handy platforms to keep the containers from getting flooded and when it downpours and to hopefully limit the amount of slugs and snails that can get to them.


German Green Tomato

Sweet Potato



First flowers grown from seed!

Long bean flower

Thai Basil


Spur of the moment trellis for Snow peas

Cat Grass - she hasn't noticed it yet

She prefers the carrots, mostly to sleep in :(

So turns out I have been hoarding seeds for a few years. Some were from the 2008 season... So, I am attempting to clean up my collection my testing most of the seeds in water overnight. A lot of them are dead.