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, December 8, 2017


Red Kuri squash
There are a few Red Kuri squash left. I will have to plant more next year.  They have been very popular at market. 

I got the plastic on the little hoop house and moved the silkie babies in from the indoor brooder. 

 We didn't get any rain but had a beautiful sunset. The last rain my garden had was September 10th when it got .8"

The collards are doing well but the kale is slowing down a bit. 

Lancinata kale has been popular at market. 

Mom and I have lunch at a Chinese buffet every Thursday after her hair appointment. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Farmer Friday

cabbage and mustard seedlings in a low tunnel
The weather has been really crazy this year. While I don't think our hottest summer day beat the 115 degrees we had in June last year I think we have had a lot more days that were 95+ this year. 20 years ago we would have had a killing frost by Halloween and possibly seen some snow by Thanksgiving. Here it is November 30 and it hasn't even frosted. At all. Nada. Not even close. I still have somewhat productive zucchini and a few straggling cherry tomatoes. Hard to keep to my planting schedule when plants aren't coming out on time. I do have 2 low tunnels covered with frost cloth. In one are red and green cabbages, red mustard and I just took out the little patch of baby pak choi. I replaced it with rainbow beets.

Fava beans and red mustard
The other low tunnel is mostly fava beans and more mustard. I don't sell a lot of mustard greens but the chickens, especially the young ones love their greens. Mustard is hardy, grows year round and is easy to grow. tucked in between other things in both tunnels is cilantro. both of these pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago, so the plants are a lot bigger now.

funny looking pumpkins
I haven't been selling many of my funny looking pumpkins so I started feeding them to the chickens, who enjoy them tremendously. First they fight over the seeds and then they eat the meat, leaving a paper thin bit of rind.

baby turnips and greens
The turnips are growing well. But they are not the best sellers so I will not plant so many of them next time. But the chickens do like them, roots, greens and all.

spinach seedlings
It has finally cooled off enough that the spinach is finally sprouting. But it's still been too hot for the lettuce.

I pulled the rest of the turnips this morning. Some had gotten quite large. 

It's hard to believe there are still cherry tomatoes. These were late volunteers so maybe next year I'll plant some late on purpose. 

There are still a few Red Kuri squash to pick. These have been very popular with my customers. 

This is an avocado seedling. It is over a year old and has lived through one winter already. If it makes it through this winter I will put it in its own pot. There are two more in there but they aren't very big yet. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Catching Up

Just a little catch up post. The weather has been so crazy. We have still had some 80° days here and not even a light frost.  I still have zucchini producing albeit slowly and it's almost December. 

The baby pak choi has been a big hit with customers.  I will have to plant double the amounts to keep up with them. 

Egg production has slowed down dramatically because the old girls are molting and taking a break.  But the new girls are starting to lay. 

The silkie babies are getting big   I need to get them out of the brooder and into a coop. I just haven't had time to set one up where I can use a heat lamp since they aren't feathered out all the way. 

I went to another chicken show in November and my Black Copper Marans pullet won Champion Continental. Very happy with that. I think that speckled egg in the middle is her first one. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Going to a Chicken Show

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The show hall
Over the weekend I attended a fun chicken show. It was a double show put on by the Apache County and Four Corners poultry clubs. It's a lot of work getting the birds ready for a show, they have to be bathed and checked over, nails and beaks trimmed. We oil their legs and combs to make them shinier and to bring their color out.

Black Silkie hen
When you go to a double show you pay double entry fees, but you save on hotel bills and travel expenses. This show is very nice and has some nice awards, which darn I didn't take any pictures of.

One of my black Silkie hens was Best of Breed in one show and Reserve of Breed in the other. Since there were quite a few Silkies entered that was pretty good. One of my blue hens was Best Variety in one show and 3rd place in the other.

Buff Ameraucana cockerel
My buff Ameraucana cockerel was Reserve Breed in one show and Reserve Variety in the other. There were only about 5 Ameraucana entered in total but still not bad. He does have a large number of faults that I'll be working on going forward.

Buff Ameraucan hen
My buff Ameraucana hen was 2nd place in both shows, but her competition won the class, AOSB (Any Other Standard Breed)

Me and some of my chicken buddies, Marcia and Suze
I didn't get any more pics of my chickens, silly me. I was too tired by the afternoon. A couple of my Welsh Harlequin drakes traded off being Best Light Duck and Reserve Light Duck. they didn't have a lot of competition though. 

If you've never been to a chicken show it is a lot of fun and pretty amazing to see all the different breeds. Next time I'll try to take more pictures.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

New Pullet Eggs and Meat Chicks

I know I haven't been around much lately. Loosing my brother and his son just 3 weeks apart really took the wind out of my sails. But I have been working the garden and have a lot of things to be grateful for. The new pullets are laying. 

I'm really pleased with the color of the brown layers and olive eggers this year. 

The farmers market in Globe is finished and now we are in Superior 9-12 every Saturday morning. 

2 does came to visit one day. I'm glad they didn't get into the gardens. 

The kittens are getting big.  

And so are the chicks. 

The meaties were getting big so we processed them on Monday. These guys don't look that big but the biggest ones dressed out over 4 pounds without feet, necks or giblets!  There were 21 of them, nearly 80 pounds of meat. Wowza. We had to cut them up to get them all in the freezer.   Next up soup stock from the carcasses. Lots of work but certainly worth it to know where your food comes from. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

What a Terrible Windstorm

We had a terrible windstorm right at dusk yesterday evening. I woke up to the Ducks shade looking like this. 

The roof was blown off this little coop and Harmony's Nankins were loose.  My buff Ameraucana pair also got loose and were chasing the Nankins which ran and hid in another open coop. So I just shut the door until I can fix their coop and move them back. 

Then I went to my house to discover the 10 foot tall archway is bent.  I will have to wait until frost to take it down since the Red Kuri squash are climbing on it. 

Then I discovered a dead raptor in my front yard. Nothing left but feather and bone so it's been there awhile. Not sure what kind but maybe a Cooper's hawk. I thought it was a chicken at first but couldn't tell because the feathers were so faded and matted. I didn't find any tail or legs. Just wings, head and body. Just another day on the farm!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Harvest Monday

8 pound Northern New Mexico Melon
Hales cantaloupe and Marketmoore cukes
Once again I missed Harvest Monday last week and I'm late this week. Go visit other gardeners around the world and see what they are picking, planting and eating.
N. NM Melon, Armenian and Marketmoore cukes

assorted squash
There have been cucumbers, squashes and melons to pick. the Northern New Mexico melon is an heirloom from the Pueblos. It was sweet and tasty.
Hales, Armenian and Marketmoore
Black Copper Marans cockerel

Olive egger cockerel

Black Copper Marans pullet

tree seedlings
The formatting is all whacky today and I can't seem to fix this page how I want it to display. Oh well, not wasting any more time.  My phone app already lost this whole post and then the PC needed a malware scan and had over 1,000 things. No wonder it's been funky.

I did plant red mustard and turnips in the bed recently vacated by the beans. While prepping the bed for replanting I discovered some tree seedlings. At least a couple are honey locust and so far no thorns. The others have similar but slightly different leaves so I'm no sure what they are. They are now in 1 gallon pots while I wait and see.

So totals for 2 weeks
Harvest for Aug 21-27
cantaloupe    5# 6 oz
squash          9#  6 oz
Big tomatoes   11oz
squash          2#  11oz
Armenian cuke 2# 8oz
beans         1# 8oz
flat parsley      4oz
rosemary         negligible
sage                1oz
Armenian     5# 9oz
Marketmoore  5# 0oz
Honey Boat delicata  2# 8oz
squash 30#
Scarlet kale    2# 9oz
Lancinato      1#  8oz
chard              1# 6 oz
Marketmoore 10# 8oz
9-1 (I can't believe it's Sept!)
squash 30#  0oz
cantaloupe 1# 13oz
N. NM melon  8# 2oz
cherry tomatoes  2# 4oz
Armenian   17# 9oz
Marketmoore   2# 4oz

TOTALS for 2 weeks
melons       15# 5oz
squash        72# 1oz
big tomatoes 11oz
cucumbers   43# 5 oz
beans        1# 8oz
herbs              5oz
delicata      2# 8oz
kale            3# 1oz
chard             1# 6oz
cherry tomatoes 2# 4 oz

TOTAL     141# 14oz

Friday, August 25, 2017

Farmer Friday

cucumbers and melons
This has been a hard sad week with the sudden and unexpected death of my little brother last Friday. So I have spent a lot of time staring off into space, forgetting what I was going to do next and sometimes just crying. That said the garden grows and life goes on.  The chickens and garden gave me something to focus on this week. There were squash,  cucumbers and cantaloupe. 
Tomatoes and squash
There were even four big tomatoes. 

Spaghetti squash, almost ready

There will be an abundance of spaghetti squash. 

Black Copper Marans eggs
One of my oldest Black Copper Marans hens is laying again so all of her eggs are going in the incubator for now. For what it's worth the egg on the right is about the right color; the other two are washed out in the pic.

eclipse picture
I watched the eclipse like everyone else although I couldn't really see anything. 
Red Kuri winter squash
There are some Red Kuri squash finally. This is a new one for me and taking its time to put on fruits. 
bean stem

empty bed, all done

I cut down the old bean plants and stripped off the few good pods. Some of the stems were really thick. I left the roots, hopefully covered with nitrogen fixing bacteria, to rot in place. Later this week I'll pull up the drip lines, tidy the edges with the rake and pile on some more compost. I think I'll have time for some salad turnips and baby mustard greens before it's time to plant garlic. 

The cucumber and melon arches in the creek side garden are made of scrap fencing and are not up to the weight this year. I will have to use cattle panels next time since these are collapsing.