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, June 28, 2012

New Additions

Well by happy circumstance my poultry flock has nearly doubled in size over night. A new friend had too many ducklings and so gave me these four, hatched this past weekend. They are cute, but oh so messy with their water! See all the specks on the sides of the box? That's food and water they have slung around!

Karen also gave me these four poults. They are either Welsummer or Welsummer X Dorking. We'll know for sure when they get their adult feathers. These guys are about 5-6 weeks old and were hatched by their mamma, so they are pretty wild. They are in a cage in the living room for the time being, while I get them a little tamer. Besides which they are only half the size of my Buff Orpington pullets so I will have to make a separate place for them. Maybe I can get that done this weekend.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Harvest Monday

Tokyo Long White onions
Welcome to Harvest Monday, a blog hop brought to you by Daphne's Dandelions. Hop on over and visit with other gardeners from around the world.

This was a great week in the garden. Besides loads of greens, which I didn't photograph, since you've all seen them before, there were these nice green onions.

Rainbow Carrots
More Rainbow Carrots

First Eggplant

The first eggplant, small but yummy in a stir fry with the onions and carrots.

salad tomatoes
Over four pounds of tomatoes, most of which I sold Sat. morning at the farmer's market. In the very center you can see a few Red Currant, the yellow/cream ones are Snow White and the red ones are Princepe Borghese.

new potatoes

These yellow potatoes are probably Yukon Gold, but I'm not sure. They were sprouting in the kitchen and I planted them in 2 gallon pots. This batch weighed a half a pound.

peaches with squirrel marks and complete with ants

I opened the door Sun. afternoon to catch a squirrel in the act of running off with one of my peaches, that one in the lower left. I thought the tree looked a bit funny this morning. So I picked these that were left on it. Some had ant damage but not much needed to be cut out. I peeled and cut them up for my yogurt, some went in the freezer and some in the fridge.


After the squirrel thing I went and shook down the plum tree, some bird pecks and some wrinkles, but no ants. I might make some plum butter and then again I might just eat them all up.

More Rainbow Carrots

 On Sunday evening I went ahead and cleared up the rest of the Rainbow Carrots and the potatoes from a bed out front. I have about 6 artichoke plants that will go in that bed now, with perhaps some bush beans between them since they are small.

Russet potatoes

 These potatoes were from some grocery store spuds that sprouted in the kitchen.

 You can check out yesterdays post for a garden tour and preview of  some up coming harvests.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Around the Garden

the back garden
The back garden is becoming quite a jungle. In the front is the Red Burgundy Amaranth, with chard and bolting lettuce. Behind that is the corn and bolting carrots along with random volunteer hollyhocks.

 On the other side of the corn patch is this hollyhock. For whatever reason my camera, which usually takes great pics, cannot seem to get the true color of this flower. I've adjusted it some here, but it is really more a purple color than this shows.

corn silks

This patch of corn is doing well as you can see above. The ears and silks are showing on some of the plants now, so fresh sweet corn is not too far away. This is Golden Bantam Improved, from the Seed Savers Exchange.

bush bean seedlings

The bush beans are sprouting right up in the heat. Here on the upper right you can see some parsnip flowers bending over to get in the pic and on the lower left the stems from a new planting of red amaranth with is in the corner of the bean bed.

squash plants on greenhouse

Here you can see the buttercup and tromboncinno squash plants running on the greenhouse frame.

squash plants from inside the greenhouse

Here are the plants from inside the greenhouse.


Also growing in the greenhouse beds are some cantaloupe, and look at this beauty, can't wait for it to get ripe.

Eggplant #2

Out on the patio eggplant #2 is growing. This is a white one.

Baby Blue Hubbard

Here's that compost pile out front with the Baby Blue Hubbard squash. Three of the four plants are doing fine after I sprayed them with liquid iron a few weeks ago, but the fourth one is even more yellow now. It's way too hot to do any foiliar feeding now, so I poured the rest of the liquid iron from the sprayer directly around the plant. Since you spray a more dilute mixture than you pour on the soil I don't think this will burn it but it should help it out a little. If we get a couple of cloudy days where the temps are down a bit I could spray, but it's way to hot right now.

carrots and potatoes

This is a small bed where I've been pulling the rainbow carrots from. It's also a lesson in checking the records before planting. Apparently in Jan. I planted some sprouting russet potatoes in this bed and then a couple of months later I planted the carrots. Got a big surprise when the potatoes came up. But those potatoes are done and need dug, so I will not be able to wait for all of the carrots to size up; I need to get them out of the way so I can get the potatoes out of there.  (If I leave them too long they will resprout and the crop will be spoiled).

corn & more

In early May I planted this small bed of corn. At the same time I planted some lettuce seed all over and put on a thin row cover. The row cover as well as the partly shady location really helped keep the soil moist and I've been able to pick a good bit of lettuce from it. Later I also planted some squash plants down the middle. The squash are beginning to spread out and the lettuce is almost down. The yellow flowers are a wild sunflower that I think must have come in some wild flower mixture. The seeds are tiny and the little finches really like them, but they put off a lot of pollen and make me sneeze so they will be coming out.

corn, beans, lettuce
This bed has a bit of corn at one end, a teepee of Kentucky Wonder pole beans, a couple of Aunt Molly's ground cherries, some kabocha squash and under the window screen in the middle of the teepee is a little bit of lettuce.

The rabbit pen

Back in April I planted this bed inside my rabbit compound, with a little fig tree, comfrey and kobocha squash. A month ago the squash plants barely had a few leaves on them (seen here), now look at them!

The rabbit pen from the inside

Here's a shot from the other side of the fence. The lemon mint, also called bee balm is blooming. I don't know why they call it lemon mint; to me it smells more like oregano. The little fig tree is growing a few figs, but they aren't very big yet.

The patio

Along the patio the weed trees are making a comeback, so I''ve been trying to whack a few when I get the chance. The tomatoes are doing well and the tromboncinno squash are running and blooming.

Tromboncinno in the old washer liner

tromboncinno in a tub

Monday, June 18, 2012

Harvest Monday

Zucchini, Rond di Nice
 Thanks to Daphne's Dandelions for hooking up gardeners all over the world for Harvest Monday!

Another first this week, the Italian zucchini Rond di Nice (round from Nice). This one weighed in at 1 lb, 2 oz, the next one was 2 lbs, 6 oz. I ate the first as a salad, chopped with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of balsam vinegar. The second I sold at the farmer's market.

Red Pontiac and Mountain Rose
I dug all the Red Pontiac potatoes left and grubbed gently around some of the other varieties. The others aren't really ready yet but I found a few Mt. Rose. They are the bright red ones. I don't know if they will hold onto that bright color as they get more mature but if they do then I will probably switch to them for a large planting next year. They will probably sell better at the market than the lighter colored Pontiacs.

Princepe Borhgese & Snow White tomatoes

I picked over 4 lbs of small tomatoes, mostly the Princepe Borghese, with a few Snow White and Red Currants. I sold most of them at the farmers market; no one else has any tomatoes yet. But people are looking for slicers so next year I will try and get my big tomatoes planted much earlier and try and have tomatoes in early June.

I forgot again to take my camera to the market so no pic of my table. I didn't sell any chard or greens this week but two other venders also had greens. I did sell a couple of herb plants and will try and get some more cuttings taken and potted up, especially of my different mints.

The broken branch from the peach tree that I put in a jug of water in the kitchen softened up all it's peaches, there were 28 altogether.

strawberries and plum

A few strawberries trickled in and a few plums with bird pecks were blown off the tree in the wind.

Rainbow carrots

A few small rainbow carrots. These are Lunar White, Amarillo Yellow and Purple Dragon. I love the look of the Dragon's when you slice them, bright orange insides with red/purple outsides.

And YAY! we finally got some rain. Our last rain was March 18. Sat. afternoon a huge storm rolled in and we got .2". This morning the air smells so good and fresh. I love it when it rains. That storm was a total surprise tho, it wasn't on our forecast! and totally unexpected. I'm hoping for more very soon, that would be a big boon to the garden and really help with the water bill!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Around the Garden

first eggplant
While we still haven't had any rain (since March 18!) the garden is growing well. The first eggplant of the season is a pretty bright purple.


This hollyhock is actually more purplish than the pink in the picture.

Back garden looking SW

The back garden really is becoming a jungle. The corn is tasseling and I've spotted the beginnings of some ears. Hollyhocks are blooming, the carrots and parsnips are still blooming and setting seed, in the lower left you can see the red burgundy amaranth.

Amish Paste Tomatoes
The Amish Paste tomatoes are filling in their cages and beginning to set some fruit. I need to check up on the flower clusters and make sure they are all setting in this heat. If not I'll try and find something to shade them a bit in the heat of the afternoon.


The plums are almost ready; a few had bird pecks and fell off already, can't wait for the rest to ripen!

summer apples

The summer apples are coming along really well. Best crop this tree has ever had!

Baby Blue Hubbard

The Baby Blue Hubbard squash on the compost pile are growing well (along with the cantaloupes planted with them) but it looks like they need a shot of iron supplement.

my cheap gazing ball

Under the peach tree is my cheap gazing ball; an old light globe sitting on a copper carafe stand.


The waterlily is blooming some more.


The peaches on the tree are still quite firm, but really getting some color to them.

broken branch of peaches
The broken branch which I saved by sticking it in a jug of water in the kitchen is doing pretty well. These peaches are getting soft and sweet and falling off one or two a day. While not the best peaches I ever ate they aren't the worst either. At least they are soft and sweet, unlike the green balls at the grocery store.

I counted and there were actually 28 peaches on this branch. I definitely need to do a better job of thinning!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Harvest Monday

Purple Dragon Carrot blossom-white
Boy what a week, so glad that's over! In addition to working my 40 hours I promised a friend to help with their vacation bible school because they were doing a weaving and dyeing unit and I know how to do those things. So all my evenings were taken up with that; I had to get up at 4am to water things.

So I didn't really get any pictures of my harvests this week, although I did harvest tomatoes, chard, amaranth, sorrel, some herbs and more of the Red Pontiac potatoes. Love this Harvest Monday blog hop sponsored by Daphne's Dandelions!

pink carrot blossom
The Purple Dragon carrots and really blooming up a storm. And I spotted an unusual blossom; this one is pink instead of white. I'll tag the stem and save those seeds separately just to see if it's passed on to the offspring.


The Golden Bantam corn seems to have taken off overnight. It is now taller than the blooming carrots (on the left of the bed) and showing signs of tasseling, although I don't see any ears or silks yet.

Hale's Best
The Hale's Best Jumbo melon that I planted in the cold frame has a good sized fruit. Something is digging under the plants tho, either a rat or a ground squirrel and I have a rabbit nibbling on the outer edges of the vine. The digging killed some of the vines and a couple of the bean plants. But I don't see any hole in the ground around the frame where I could easily set a trap.

Bonanza Dwarf Peach tree

I came home on Friday to find a large branch had broken off my little peach tree (seen here under some nylon net to foil the birds). The leaves weren't very wilted so I took it in the kitchen and stuck it in a jug of water. The leaves revived and I'm hoping that at least the peaches will soften up enough to eat. It's my own fault; I didn't thin it nearly enough, there are probably 30 peaches on that branch!

Italian Heirloom Tomato
The Italian Heirloom Tomatoes out front are setting fruit.

Tomato Alley

The tomatoes on the patio are going like gangbusters, especially the Princepe Borghese. You can also see that the Tromboncinno squash have grown past the roof line and been guided sideways.

plum tree with bird netting

I put bird netting over the plum tree. Maybe I will actually get a few really ripe plums for me this year!

Eggplants in pots

The eggplants are doing well and beginning to bloom

pepper plants

I did manage to amend the bed where the peas had been and planted out the peppers that were in 1 gallon pots. Some of them are beginning to bloom.

I didn't get any pictures but I did take some chard, mixed greens, tomatoes and potatoes and sold most of it at the farmer's market on Sat. The tomatoes were snatched up quick. In fact most vendors were out of produce in about 45 minutes! Hopefully this week will be a little less crazy and I'll get a chance to take more pictures this week.