My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Farmer Friday & #eatwhatyougrow

cleaning up a bed in the back garden
I cleaned up a bed in the back garden this week where a few puny beets were left. I cleared off the weeds, loosened the soil with my digging fork and added about 3 inches of fresh compost.
I planted out some Georgia Collards. Some were totally decimated by slugs and cabbage worms but I planted the little green sticks anyway. I know that now they are in good soil they will grow quickly.

a couple of pounds of green beans
There were some green beans but not as many as there have been.

some squash, cucumbers
There have been some squash and cucumbers. And even a cantaloupe. 

The young ducks are beginning to lay
The Ducks that hatched this spring have begun to lay this week. 

Capt. Hook's little brother; almost twins
Captain Hook

roasted beets and potatoes with fresh herbs
#eatwhatyougrow I discovered a couple of volunteer potatoes in the bed and roasted them with the beets and fresh chopped herbs for dinner one night.

Honeyboat Delicata

The Delicata squash in the front yard wilted badly and just went crispy so I picked all the squash and brought them in. I picked out the ripest looking one and cooked it in the microwave since I was in a hurry that day. It wasn't that sweet so I am thinking they need to sit and ripen up some more. I'll leave them for awhile and try again.

Black Locust seedling?
I discovered a volunteer along the path to the chicken house. I'm pretty sure it's a Black Locust seedling. I'd rather not have a thorny plant that close to the pathway but it's doing so well I really don't want to bother it. In this picture it's about 3 feet tall but it's taller now. At least it's thorns are smaller than the giant Honey Locust in my front yard, that tree has wicked thorns 3-4 inches long and sharp as needles. Locust trees are pioneer species and can host nitrogen fixing bacteria on their roots.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Harvest Monday

lots of yellow pear and a few others kinds

Hooking up with Dave for Harvest Monday. I missed last week so again this is a two week post.Last week there were some cherry tomatoes. 

half of the beans
Almost 10 pounds of green beans. 

Armenian and Marketmoore cucumbers
Some Marketmoore and Armenian cucumbers. 

yellow patty pans were good again

Of course there were a lot of squash.   There was a good amount of kale, chard and collards but I didn't take new pics. I picked flowers and herbs on Saturday morning but flat didn't have time to take pictures.  I wish I had. I had some nice sunflowers and dahlias and the bouquets sold fast

Thatched cottage bird house

small red poppy birdhouse

Arizona sunset birdhouse

Sunflower birdhouse

Pink roses birdhouse

I painted some of the gourds I grew last year and made birdhouses. They really drew a lot of attention to my booth. The red poppy one has sold already.

This past week was not such a good one around the farm. After our cool rainy weeks it turned really hot and dry. Something, either a rat or squirrel chewed through a sprinkler hose. I lost a couple of squash plants and the rest looked really bad so there were only a few squash.

Then somehow the valve on the drip line to the beans was turned part way off and they didn't get enough water so there were only a couple of pounds of beans. Lost a few plants there too.

I did get a couple of watermelon and a lovely cantaloupe. There were the usual kale, collards and chard to pick, along with herbs.

In another lack of water even the Honey Boat Delicata squash in the front yard bed croaked and I picked all the squash. I tried one, cooked in the microwave and was not impressed so I didn't take it to market. I don't know if it was too green and needs to sit and sweeten up or if it was the microwave cooking. I'll wait awhile and try it again, cooked in the oven next time.

RIP Bacon boy
And in sad news I lost my best (and oldest) Buff Orpington cockbird probably a heart issue with the sudden heat wave after the cooler weather. RIP

Harvests week of July 31-Aug 6
July 31
Marketmoore cucumber 1# 8oz
Aug 3
Chard  1# 10 oz
Scarlet kale  3# 9 oz
lancinata kale 1# 10 oz
collards   2# 9 oz
Aug 4
cherry tomatoes  3# 4oz
green beans 9# 11 oz
squash 81# 8oz
Armenian cucumber 13# 1oz
Marketmoore cuke 6# 10 oz

Harvest week of Aug 6-13
Aug 9
Scarlet kale 1# 3oz
Aug 10
Armenian cuke 2#
Black Tail Mt. Watermelon 6#
Marketmoore cukes 4# 14oz
green beans 1# 0oz
Honey Boat Delicata 9# 12 oz
squash 3# 14oz
chard 1# 11oz
scarlet kale 2# 10oz
Aug 11
Beans 3# 6oz
cherry tomatoes 2# 14oz
Marketmoore cukes 2# 11 oz
Armenian cukes 8# 2oz
squash 26# 8oz
sage 1 oz
rosemary 3oz
flat parsley 9 oz
curly parsley 6 oz
cantaloupe 2# 12 oz
squash 3# 8oz
Aug 13
beets without tops 1# 3oz
volunteer potato 7oz

Two week total
Marketmoore cukes 15# 12oz
Armenian                 23# 3oz
greens                       14# 10oz
cherry tomatoes          6# 2oz
green beans               14# 1oz
squash                      111# 12oz
watermelon                6#
cantaloupe                  2# 12oz
herbs                           1# 3oz
beets                            1# 3oz
potato                               7oz
Delicata                       9# 12oz

206# 14oz

Friday, August 11, 2017

Farmer Friday

Boy this week has gone by fast! Can't believe it's almost the middle of August already! Our weather went from cloudy and almost cool back to blazing hot and dry. A rat ate through one of my sprinkler hoses and I lost some squash plants before I got that situated. Then lost some bean plants because their drip line valve was turned part way off. I have no idea how or when that happened.

sprinkler hose ziptied to fence
I actually got the idea to raise up the sprinkler hose from a really old garden book from the '50s, something about growing roses I think. They raised a sprinkler hose like this up on their fence behind their rose garden. I zip tied this one to the chicken wire around the squash garden and adjusted it to spray down and across the garden. It goes all the way around the fence so the whole area gets good coverage.

a dozen cockerels in their new pen
I did finish the cockerel pen and moved 12 cockerels over to start working compost. They seem to be doing OK so far. They don't have a lot of compost material to with yet, but I'm hoping to be able to haul more manure this coming week.

beans and cucumbers
The cucumbers are trickling in. Despite some of the plants getting crispy there were some beans to pick on Thursday.
Scarlet Kale

Rainbow Chard
 there were greens to pick; Scarlet Kale, Rainbow Chard and Georgia Collards (not pictured). I didn't pick any of the Lancinato Kale (aka Dinosaur) because it's looking a bit puny and some of the plants are anemic. I'm not sure if that bed still has nematodes or some other issue. I will probably spray them with fish and seaweed mix as soon as the weather cools back down. I may also add some blood meal and Dr. Iron and put down some new compost. Those plants aren't that old and kale produces for a long time so I'd like to revive them if I can.

The whole squash harvest
There were cherry tomatoes but I didn't take a picture.  Of course the squash harvest was down,especially in the smaller sizes. This was the harvest.
oops, except this one I found later
Oops except for this one that I found later. 

Hales best cantaloupe, ripe and smells wonderful
And one stray cantaloupe. Perfectly ripe and perfuming the air.  All ready to go to our farmers market in the morning.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

cucumber July 2009
In July of 2009 I had quite a garden going. Cucumbers, squash, tomatoes,

squash on the patio
I had a lot of things growing on my patio in pots. Squash, tomatoes, eggplant, beans, herbs.

squash on the compost pile
I experimented with growing winter squashes on the compost pile. This idea worked well until the pile began to shrink dramatically and couldn't seem to hold enough water. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Farmer Friday

almost 2 pounds of basil

Farmer Friday! A little late getting this done, I've had a ton of stuff to do this week and today. The other day I picked a bunch of basil and made pesto.

cherry tomatoes
More cherry tomatoes, still a lot of splits and rots from the rain. Not as many as before, and some of the plants seem to have a blight or something. I'll be cutting them out this week as soon as I have time.
trying to get in the garden gate!
Wild asters, lambsquarters, volunteer tomatoes and a giant squash vine are clogging up the access to the new garden, but I did manage to get in to pick beans.
picking beans
part of the bean harvest

I was worried that I wouldn't have enough beans to fill my pre-paid orders, but there were plenty, almost 10 pounds!

squash, lots of gold patty pan
More squash of course. this week there were a lot of gold patty pans, with a few of each of the other kinds.
Armenian and Market Moore cucumbers
A good amount of both kinds of cucumbers. I also picked some greens, kale, chard and collards, but I figure you've already seen them. I didn't have time today to pick herbs and flowers, so I'll do that in the morning before I go to market.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Wednesday Wanderings.... a Little of This and That

little goose
Well little goose went to it's home on Tues. It will grow up with another goose, some ducks and a chicken. I was worried the adult goose would be an issue adding the baby to the flock, but it was the chicken that tried to jump him. Hopefully everyone will settle in and be fine.

over a pound of basil
I picked over a pound of basil from the driveway bed.

yummy pesto
I made some yummy pesto. I put some in the freezer and kept a jar out to use right away.

time to clean up the fence line
mostly done
The rains have kicked plant growth into high gear, so I spent some time cleaning up under the electric fence line.
a rainbow early Monday morning
a pretty daylilly
I have started a youtube channel and have been making a virtual garden tour for you. I'm up to part 3 but it will take several more parts to cover everything.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Harvest Monday and #eatwhatyougrow

a mess of green beans
Harvest Monday once again, hooking up with Dave over at Our Happy Acres. I got over 3 pounds of green beans this week from the older patch. The new bed of bush beans is up and off to a great start with the rain.

more squash
There was a good amount of squash this week and I only had one left over after market on Saturday so that is always a plus.
Hales cantaloupe and Black Tail Mt. watermelon
I got some more watermelons and cantaloupes. They have been pretty good tasting.

Georgia collards
I made the first picking on the new bed of collard greens. They have really started growing fast since the rains have come.

Armenian cucumber
Market More cucumber

I picked one Armenian and a couple of Market More cucumbers. The Market More have had the slightest tinge of bitterness to the skin. I think probably because sometimes they still don't get enough water. but they are still tasty, they just have to be peeled.
I cleaned up an almost empty bed of carrots and also found some volunteer new potatoes. 

cucumber & yogurt salad
#eatwhatyougrow Besides having cucumber in regular salad I've been making a cucumber salad with yogurt and chopped fresh herbs.

omelet in the making

ready to eat

I used up another dozen silkie eggs in an omelet for lunch on Sunday. Along with a couple of collard leaves and some parsley. I also added a lot of Monterrey Jack cheese. Mom says there is no such thing as too much cheese.

Harvest for week of July 24-30
July 24
 large tomatoes      1#  1oz

July 26
Scarlet Kale     1# 12oz
Lancinato kale 1# 8oz
Collards           2# 0oz
New potatoes        12oz
carrots                   3oz
Armenian cuke  1# 12oz

July 27
watermelon   11# 0oz
cantaloupe    5#  7oz

July 28
Cherry tomato 5# 3oz
cucumber        12oz
green beans 3# 12oz
squash       28# 3oz
basil 2oz
sage 2 oz
oregano2 oz
curly parsley 3oz
flat parsley 3oz
rosemary 1oz

July 29
basil 6oz
sage 2oz
curly parsley 4oz
flat parsley 4oz

large tomatos 1# 8oz

TOTALS for the week
large tomato  2# 9oz
kale                3# 4oz
collards         2#  0oz
new potatoes      12 oz
Armenian cuke 1#12oz
watermelon    11# 0oz
cantaloupe      5#  7oz
cherry tomato 5# 3oz
cucumber        12oz
green beans 3# 12oz
squash        28# 3oz
fresh herbs  1# 11oz