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.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

7/19/18 throwback Thursday

Where I cut back brush the other day. Going to put some steps here to make it easier to get up the hill.

Bachelor buttons

Nope not a straight line but admiring my progress. 

The view from up here. 

My 6' iron bar I use to start post holes. Who needs a gym when you're a farmer girl?

#throwbackthursday From 2009 cherry tomatoes in pots on the patio. That's what started me selling at our Globe-Miami Farmers Market

July 2012 some little ducklings. Pretty sure those came from Karen Donaldson. I still have some of their decendents

Had lunch and went to see mom. She was even more disconnected today than usual, wandered off after a few minutes saying she was going to go find her mother. (Granny died about 1985) so did chores at mom's and came to my house. It was 102 degrees with 33% humidity. I know that's nothing compared to some places but I was way too hot. And of course the water line to the cooler had sprung a leak. 

Worked on the pen door and actually got it put together. 

Recycled some old hinges. The door isn't quite square and neither is the opening it goes into sooo #justonemorething  I'll look at it tomorrow if I have time and see if I can make it work. 

In the meantime a big hunderstorm started rolling in. Looking west as I left my place. 

And looking east / northeast

And a Sleeping Beauty sunset. My daughter came to visit so a little dinner then off to bed. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

7/18/18 Wednesday

The cucumbers are finally coming. 

Back on fence this morning. Got the big rock out of the hole and the post set. These are 8' posts and I'm barely 5'2" so I have to slide the pounder on before I set the post upright. Then I have to stand on the uphill side to pound it in. 

Grasshoppers have been really bad the last couple of years. I ordered this from Arbico organic down by Tucson. It is a disease that will only kill grasshoppers and crickets. And once in the population it will spread. Hopefully next year I won't loose so many seedlings to them. 

It got terribly hot and humid so worked in the shade.  Made some more potting soil with the last of the peatmoss and vermiculite will have to pick up some more later. 

I also worked on the gate for the new pen. These are 1x2" furring strips.  I'm making two frames the same size. Then I will sandwich hardware cloth between them. 

Sweating like a racehorse I headed back for lunch and a shower. Mean rooster is not long for this world!  Went to see sis, she was out of bed eating jello. Might get to go home today. Then a short visit with mom. We have a storm coming in, sure is making me sleepy.  Sis got to come. Some regular chores and now off to bed. Goodnight world. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

7/17/18 Tuesday

The native and domestic bees are enjoying the fresh pumpkin flowers. 

Working on fence before the sun comes over the hill. 12 inches down the ground is as dry and hard as ever. Just as I was going to set and pound the post hit a big rock. Poured in a gallon of water to help soften things up. Will try again tomorrow. 

I need to put some steps in right on the other side of this brush so got out pruners and cut it back. 

Lemon balm in front, pineapple mint behind. I like to make ice tea with all my herbs and lemon balm is supposed to be good for shingles. So today's tea flavor is lemon balm, pineapple mint, spearmint and a little lavender hyssop. They say hyssop tastes like licorice but it reminds me of old fashioned root beer. 

I cut the herbs into a stainless steel colander and set that inside a big stainless steel bowl. I put a little sugar and 3 regular tea bags in the tea jar and just enough boiling water in to dissolve the sugar. Pour enough boiling water over the herbs to cover. Let set until cool. Drain the herbs and pour into the tea jug and fill with cold water. 

Well that's amazing. This morning this duck couldn't stand and walk. I expected her to be dead or need to be put down this afternoon but there she is up walking around. On a sadder note one of the little Nankin hens has been missing since yesterday. No trace of her anywhere. 

This patch of zinnias has really taken off in the past two weeks.  

Wow baby spaghetti squash already. 

Unlike some of the other chicks this little cutie hops out for me to pick him up whenever I open the door. Well not a whole lot accomplished today with a visit to mom and several visits to check on my sister. She probably just has pancreatitis but that is pretty painful and means nothing by mouth. Not even ice chips. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

7/16/18 Steamy Monday

Back on fence today. Got one post done then the sun came out. It's not that hot but it's very humid. 10:30 and I'm on my 4th bottle of water already. Sweat running in my eyes and just dripping off my nose and chin. Whew. Don't know how much stuff I'll get done today. (Edit. At 11:30 it was 93, so hotter than I thought)

All the chicks are getting big. There are 7 groups altogether with most of the chicks in each group being only about 10 days apart. I try to give everybody some greens every day but with it being so dry this year it's been hard to do. 

Planting out beets and collecting rocks. Maybe I should start weighing and adding them to my harvest record. 

I watered the beets in and payed some screens over them to keep the birds and cats out. Thought I took a picture but can't find it- I found a few potatoes while working this bed. 
I also planted a couple of trays of kale: Nero de Toscano. A kind of dinosaur kale. I think it has the best taste of several varieties. Went to moms for lunch and ended up taking my sis to the ER with chest and back pain. Her blood pressure was sky high but probably not a heart issue. They are keeping her overnight for observation as she may have pancreatitis.  So not much got done this afternoon beyond regular chores. 

Meet butthead. AKA Mr. A-hole. He's in the time out box because he jumps me every time I go in that pen. I have done all my tricks, carry him around, hang upside down, pin him to the ground on his back. Nothing works. I was trying to hold out until fall because I didn't get any chicks from his brother (who is very polite and well behaved). But I don't know if I can put up with his crap that long. Any way at some point he will be mean rooster soup!

Our local hospital has some great art and photography in the halls. 

This flower wa outside the hospital. I'll have to look it up. Very pretty. 

Well dogs are fed. I'm fed. Off to bed. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

7/15/18 Lazy Sunday

Good morning ducks.  Yes I know breakfast is late. I stayed up way past my bedtime last night and slept in until 5:30. Sure heard about being late to feed!  

Mmmmm moved a nest box to discover the mice have totally destroyed the bottom of it. 

Got .3" of rain overnight. Not hardly enough to settle the dust but better than nothing. At least it's cooled off some. 

I had a whole bucket these. They are the little bulbs on the elephant garlic. I tossed them in an empty bed, sprinkled some compost over them and some straw mulch. It will take them about 3 years to become full size bulbs. 

Do you know this plant?  Some call it red root pigweed. I've had them grow 6 feet tall. It is an amaranth and it is edible. The leaves are eaten raw or cooked like spinach and the stems steamed like asparagus. The leaves are very high in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, calcium, magnesium and potassium. It also has appreciable amounts of other vitamins and minerals. The leaf stems are a bit chewy but it tastes a lot like spinach when cooked. The chickens love it too. 

Pigweed and lambsquarters are generally abundant when we have rain and I often cut them at ground level so they will regrow. They make good greens for the chickens. 

 I had to bail water off the tarps again and refasten a tarp that was coming loose. It was drizzling some more so I went back to mom's early for lunch. 

Did a little housekeeping, scrambled up some old eggs to feed back to the chickens. Went to see mom for a bit. Then back to work. Made a batch of prickly pear jelly. 

I goofed off on the internet a bit. Did chores. Went to my house to do chores. First tarantula of the year. The rain seems to bring them out. 

Then back to mom's to eat, feed dogs and go to bed. Dinner was more tomato salad, this time with some pesto I froze last year.  And now off to bed. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

7/14/18 Market Saturday

Last nights sunset was striking. 

Some of the cosmos are coming back after getting really dried out. 

It was a nice cool cloudy day at market. Then I went home and had lunch. A big salad with homegrown tomatoes, radish and eggs on store romaine with mozzarella. 

I managed to squeeze in some laundry and process some more prickly pear. We are out of jelly already. 

Untangled some pumpkin vines that were trying to run over the okra and sunflowers.  Did regular chores. 

Cleaned up and went to Miusic in the Park down in Miami. The band Neto  and Imagine played with a light drizzle coming down. People danced any way.