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.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Harvest Monday

Welcome to Harvest Monday, hosted by Daphne's Dandelions. This great blog hop lets you see what others are harvesting around the world.

My apologies for not getting around and commenting on every one else's posts last week. It was a really crazy week at work plus our county fair week.

I didn't get a  lot of pictures of fresh harvests, although I did pick small tomatoes, squash and snap beans.

I also got eggs. Several days last week I got really small eggs like the one on the left in the picture. I'm not positive yet if this is from one of the banties that has been molting and so not laying for awhile or if it's from one of my Buff Orpington pullets. The egg in the middle is one of the normal size banty eggs. The big egg on the right is from one of the Welsummers  that I just picked up a  couple of weeks ago.

Buttercup squash
I did pretty good at the county fair, most of my veggies placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd.

German Butterball potatoes

green chili, Joe E. Parker
green onion, Tokyo long white

Princepe Borghese
Snow White

Spaghetti Squash
Yukon Gold potatoes

Pencil Pod Yellow Wax

Buff Orpington pullet

My Buff Orpington pullet was 2nd in her class. She and her sisters should start laying any time between now and Halloween.

My young Welsh Harlequin drake took a blue ribbon. My two Muscovy drakes and the two Muscovy ducks all were given red ribbons. I just didn't get good pictures of them this afternoon.

Harley takes a bath

Harley was especially happy to be home and to be able to take a bath!  He's the ring leader of his group of ducks (the others are WH crossed with runner duck, but they were all hatched and raised together). I wish I'd had my camera out when I first put Harley back out in the pen. One of the other ducks from his group came up to him making soft noises and stood rubbing the top of their head under his chin, like, where have you been? I was so worried about you, glad you are home. It was really cute.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Getting Ready; County Fair

Most of the collection of vegetables
Our county fair is this week and I'm scrambling to get my veggies ready to take to the fairgrounds, having to juggle some crazy work stuff along with that.

Besides some single veggie entries I'm also entering the vegetable collection. This first pic is most of them, the other one are things that would wilt quickly so they are waiting in a jar of water until I take off.

the rest of the veggie collection
There are 23 things in my veggie collection:









I'm also entering some of the same veggies in their individual classes and have them sorted and labeled to make it easier when I get to the fair grounds.

winter squash
That Tromboncino weighs in at 12 pounds as near as I can figure (I had to use the bathroom scale!)

tomatoes, potatoes, chili, beans

Monday, September 17, 2012

Harvest Monday


Welcome, once again, to Harvest Monday! This is an awesome blog hop sponsored by Daphne. Hop on over and say Hi and see what other gardeners around the world are harvesting from their gardens!

It was a really crazy week at work so I did not get many pictures of the harvest this week.

squash and tomatoes

Besides the eggplant, squash and tomatoes shown here, I did harvest more yellow wax beans, Kentucky Wonders, some of the Baby Blue Hubbard and Buttercup winter squash, along with some really nice bell peppers.

I also harvested a couple Amish Paste and Italian Heirloom tomatoes. While I am overrun with squash of all sorts, I have yet to experience a tomato glut. In fact, aside from the small salad tomatoes I haven't gotten enough to eat my fill fresh, let alone have any to can.

Sunday was a beautiful fall day, crisp and delicious in the morning, with an almost too warm afternoon. I spent most of the day working 'out back'.

outback before
outback before

I am working to tear down an old pallet fence, pull out the weed trees, patch the stone wall where I can or pull it out where it's too far gone, all to run some chainlink.

I will say the pallets have lasted well, considering that they were just wired together and have been sitting on the ground all this time. Besides that, the pallets in this area were also part of the compost bins.

There are still several good sized weed trees to pull out of here, but it was getting late and I was getting tired. Since I"m on call while the boss is on vacation and our county fair is next week I doubt I will get back to this project for awhile. Once I can get the piece of fence done, I'll work on cutting up all the old pallets for stove wood, especially as many of them are oak. That should greatly condense the mess back here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Squash and other happenings


Well the Tromboncino squash continue to amaze me. Not only are the squash huge, so are the vines, easily running 30+ feet. The only other thing here that is that big is the Spaghetti Squash.

Squash and morning glory head for the roof
It is getting harder and harder to get the tangle of vines pushed up out of the way to open the greenhouse door. Now some Heavenly Blue Morning glories have joined the fray. I love the blue morning glory flowers with the yellow squash blossoms!

more Tromboncino

I only planted two Tromboncino in the greenhouse bed. So far I have counted 16 maturing squash on the two vines, not including what I have picked as young green squash. And I haven't climbed up on the roof in awhile to see what's up there!

Northern New Mexico Melon

I am pretty sure now that the melons in the greenhouse bed are Northern New Mexico, which I first obtained from Bountiful Gardens. (I didn't see it in their catalog when I looked right now though) This is an heirloom from Northern New Mexico, as the name suggests. The first melon from this vine weighed in at 11 POUNDS and can be seen here. The next couple of melons split and rotted after a long dry spell  was followed by a lot of rain. I'm hoping that this one makes it, even if it doesn't get as big as the first one.

purple bean, Trionfo Violetto

The first Trionfo Violetto, an Italian snap bean are showing.

With some rain, humidity and warm days combined to give the squash mildew. Since we are nearing the end of the season I've not done anything about it, as I need the space for some fall and winter crops. If it was earlier in the summer I might have tried spraying milk or compost tea on them, suggested organic remedies to keep it at bay.

So far the worst case is the spaghetti squash, followed by the Italian Rond de Nice and the yellow Zuchinni. At the moment I don't see any on the Tromboncino or the Buttercups.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Harvest Monday

tender young squash
Welcome to Harvest Monday! I look forward to this blog hop so much it actually makes Monday bearable! Sponsored by our lovely friend and master gardener, Daphne! Go take a look and join in the fun with gardeners from around the world!

This has been a good harvest week, although there weren't any eggplants and only a few of the larger tomatoes, of which I don't seem to have a picture.

There were some lovely young squash, a yellow zucchini, white patty pan and a baby tromboncino

Pencil Pod Yellow Wax beans
There were almost 3 pounds of yellow wax beans. I really only have a small area of these, maybe about 24-28 square feet and they have been very productive. I planted Black Valentine at the same time, in the same area and only one plant germinated. In fact I had significant germination issues with beans this year. Since I also lost a lot of tomato plants to what looks like fusarium wilt, I'm thinking that is also the problem with the beans. But the yellow wax have done wonderfully.

Kentucky Wonder pole beans

There were a few Kentucky Wonder pole beans. I only have one teepee of these, about a dozen plants. I will not do teepees again, unless I can put the over the path to walk under them; it's too hard to find the beans on the inside when I don't want to walk on the bed.

I also picked lots of small tomatoes and am watching the tromboncino squash grow at an amazing rate. I have no idea how much the large ones are going to weigh but I"m sure they will top 10 pounds each.

A few months ago I was gifted some apples going bad, so I made some apple cider vinegar. I strained it out and there was just a little over a gallon. I will leave it for 6 months or so to clear, then siphon it off into smaller jars. I wrote a little about how to make vinegar on another blog I write, Cottage Economy. Someday I'll get around to writing a better, more detailed version of the instructions.

Apple butter and apple sauce

I bought some cooking apples at our Farmer's Market Saturday. The folks didn't know the name of them, but they were lovely, sweet-tart, crisp and juicy. So Saturday evening I made a large pot of apple sauce and canned 8 pints, then cooked down what was left some more and make 9 half pints of apple butter.

Have any of you tried these squatty half pints from Ball? I'm not really thrilled with them because they do not stack well. The jar bottoms are bigger than the lids and when stacked they are not very stable, the slightest jostle and they are falling over. Besides they cost more than regular jelly jars. So I think I"m going to stick with the regular ones from now on.  Most of the apple butter will probably go in as Christmas gifts.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Harvest Monday

Path into the front yard
Well I don't have any pictures of stuff harvested this past week! Both of my camera batteries were dead and I couldn't find my charger for several days. Talk about being blind, it was of course right where I last left it, under my nose!

Welcome to Harvest Monday though, I'll still be hooking up with our lovely host Daphne for the blog hop. In the meantime I will recycle pictures of past produce that are representative of this weeks harvest.

Here's a shot of the front yard path. Beginning to look a bit sad out there, the grape vine is suffering from the skelatonizers which I didn't see early enough to head off before there was a lot of damage. It's ok, no grapes this year anyway.

On the arch there is my first and perhaps only luffa for the year. The soil in this area is not the best so it hasn't grown nearly as much as the other squashes I have. And a bright cheery sunflower, soon to be chicken food.

This week I did harvest about another ounce of ground cherries.

A few more large fruited tomatoes

Some more beans


A pile of green chilies bigger than this one

Add caption

Some squash and eggplant. I also picked a lot of the small tomatoes. I've been trying to get some fall crops started but it has been really hot and while over the hill got some good rain I have had almost none.