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, June 23, 2017

Farmer Friday

Today was a long day!  Pulled some pretty baby leeks today. 
Dug a rainbow of potatoes, blue, red, yellow, purple. 
Took forever to pick enough cherry tomatoes to fill all my prepaid orders in Superior. Sorry Globe, there aren't any left!  Maybe next week. They are just really slow to ripen this year. 
Lots of kale and some chard this week. I didn't take a picture today but I picked about 80 pounds of squash.   

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cherry Tomatoes

This years cherry tomatoes are off to a slow start but have begun trickling in. This is Gold Rush. 

Black Cherry
 Principe Borhgesi
Snow White
 Chocolate Pear
Blue Cream
Red Currant

I'm still waiting for the first ripe Yellow Pear. 


Gosling hatched 6-19-17
I just uploaded an app that allows me to make blog posts from my phone. So maybe now I'll post more often. 

Look at that baby!  A little Toulouse gosling hatched yesterday. A friend asked me to hatch some eggs for her. Only one was viable. Hatching geese in an incubator is more complicated than duck or chicken eggs so I was holding my breath that it would make it. I'm so glad it did. 

When I realized only one egg was developing I added 3 duck eggs to keep it company. They should hatch next weekend so it won't be alone for long. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Farmer Friday

Princepe Borghesi
The cherry tomatoes are beginning to trickle in. The plants are loaded with green fruit but they are taking their own sweet time getting ripe. I think perhaps the fact that our night temperatures cooled off a bit the past couple of weeks has something to do with that.

Elephant Garlic
Elephant garlic is botanically a leek. But it looks and tastes just like a giant garlic. I cleared out an empty bed where some volunteered from a previous crop. A couple of them truly were the biggest I have ever seen, weighing over a pound each. These big plants had a little more space than I normally plant them in, so this fall I will plant my starts as much as 12 inches apart to see if I can grow them all that big. Altogether I pulled 26 pounds of Elephant garlic.

Zinnias and Marigolds
I try to plant different kinds of flowers around the gardens to feed bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, ladybugs and other helpful creatures. I also sell small bouquets at our farmers market.

interesting lizard
 I have a lot of lizards. I don't know all the kinds but have been noticing some pretty colorful ones lately. This picture isn't so good but this guy had a lot of orange on him
Black Tail Mountain Watermelon
While I did trap and relocate one of the squirrels that has been stealing all the green tomatoes, now there is one stealing all the cantaloupes and even eating the vines, So far tho it's left the watermelons alone.

a variety of squash
Last weeks haul of squash was 125 pounds, this week more like 36. Keeping them picked at small sizes helps keep the plants producing.

Image may contain: plant and food
Black from Tula, a heritage Russian tomato
FINALLY a big tomato! Black from Tula. Was totally delicious!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Avocados at 3300 feet?

Seedling Avocados
For me gardening is an adventure and a constant experiment. For example avocados are not supposed to grow here. But with warmer winter temperatures it might become possible.

When I read about the Arivipa avocado I thought what the heck. The Arivipa avocado is an avocado tree on a ranch in Arivipa, Arizona. The tree is about 150 years old and about 50 feet high and wide. It withstands temperatures of over 110 F in the summer and down to 10 F in the winter. I _can_ go buy an Arivipa avocado, but really don't have the funds right now.

So last year I planted 3 avocado seeds in an old chest freezer come planter on my patio. This is the warmest winter spot I have. The seeds sprouted right up and were off to a good start. Then BAM! some rodent came and clipped them all off just above the soil line. I figured oh well so much for that idea. I had some flowers in that planter so continued to water it. Lo and behold they came back. So far so good. the BAM! the rodents struck again! I figured they were goners for sure, especially with winter coming.

We had an unusually mild winter, it barely froze most nights and sometimes didn't get below 38 F. We also got a fair amount of rain. Basically I ignored the planter box, thinking they were dead. Then a couple of months ago I happened to glance over there and noticed some pretty big leaves. All three seedlings made it and are growing very well. I'm just watering them about once a week since they are in a small chest freezer they have a good amount of soil for the time being. I'll probably drop a little chicken manure and worm castings in there when I have a minute.

They may never fruit. They may fruit and taste nasty. Or they may be awesome Only time will tell. So I encourage everyone to take chances and experiment with whatever strikes your fancy. Maybe you will have an avocado growing at 3300 feet.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Farmer Friday

Rainbow Beets
Been a long week with lots of work done and still a ton of things on my to do list!  I pulled all the beets from the main bed because the irrigation is not giving it enough water. So will be working on that this week before I replant the bed. So a lot of small golden beets this week.

baby watermelon
new potatoes
First tomatoes of 2017; Red Currant
Red Currant tomatoes are a prolific and tasty tomato, although small. It is believed that these are some of the original tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes should be in full swing in the next couple of weeks. However I despair of having any large tomatoes this year. A stinking squirrel has been stealing all the big green tomatoes.
fresh herbs
lots of squash

Lots of other things going on around here, maybe I can get a few more posts in later in the week.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Farmer Friday; Potatoes, Pak Choi and More

New Potatoes; White Creamers & All Blue
More potatoes this week, mostly White Creamers and All Blue. The main planting is fairly protected, inside a weld wire fence which is inside an electric fence. But some were planted in the front yard where the old pallet fence was falling down. And of course the dang javalina found their way in.
javalina destroy part of the potatoes
pallet fence in the works
So working on replacing the fence became a priority; there is still more to do, but I closed up the main gap the javalina were coming through.
that *was* about 30 lettuces just 2 weeks from cutting
So then the next day I discovered a squirrel  had eaten the next lettuce patch. To the ground. Barely even a stump left. I was not happy to say the least. And I have been watching for it to come back.
squirrel eaten tomato
To add insult to injury it also took off with the biggest green tomatoes.
baby beets
beets & potatoes for dinner!
The beets are starting to come in and they are so sweet and delicious! Roasted with a little olive oil and seasoning they are as sweet as candy. And all the colors are so pretty together.

Baby Pak Choi
The baby Pak Choi was starting to bolt, so pulled it all, 3 pounds from a small patch and all spoken for as soon as I let the word out.

time for the peas to be gone
The peas have given less and less the past couple of weeks. We've had some cooler weather so they aren't too sad looking yet, but they aren't producing enough to be worth the water. So out they are coming, to be replaced by cucumbers.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Farmer Friday: Potatoes & Squash

New Potatoes; White Creamers
All Blue potato

Yukon Gold

New Potatoes; almost 5 pounds
I love growing potatoes. They are a pretty easy crop, just remember that the new potatoes will grow above the piece that you planted. I try to plant mine about 9 inches deep and 9-12 inches apart depending on how big the plants will get. I have also grown potatoes in 5 gallon buckets. To do that I just put potting soil in the bottom third of the bucket and plant the seed potato. When it sprouts I add more soil, a little at a time, until the bucket is full. Keep it watered and when the plant dies back dump it out and pick up the potatoes. I usually get about 1-2 pounds from each bucket.

This year I didn't plant any buckets, I planted about 200 square feet of growing beds in potatoes. I planted All Red, All Blue, Yukon Gold, Belinda and White Creamers. Some take longer to finish than others, so I'll be digging potatoes for quite a while.

Biggest onion ever~ 1 # 8 oz
I grew a small bed of onions. In the past I haven't had the best luck with them since our soil is not the best. I was really impressed with the Barbossa and Granex varieties. I will plant a lot more this fall.

Baby Squash
Picked the first squash today; Gold Rush, Bennings Green Tint patty pan, yellow straight neck, Grey zucchini. Just a few were ready, but soon there will be a flood.

Flat & Curly Parsley, Lavender
Nanking cherries
I grew 9 Nanking cherry bushes from seed. They are 3 years old and fruiting. I'll be planting a lot more! They are a sweet / tart cherry and juicy, but not very big.

gopher snake getting a drink
close up gopher snake
I had something amazing happen one hot afternoon last week. I went to move the hose that was trickling on the squash plants and discovered this gopher snake getting a drink. Yep, it was actually drinking water right from the hose!

lambs quarters
A lot of lambs quarters are growing all over. Some people call them weeds, but they are actually good to  eat like spinach. And I feed a lot of them to the chickens.

Yep, as long as I have my garden!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Farmer Friday

yep there is a chicken on my back
One of the oldest chicks this year jumps up on my back any time I squat down in their pen. Buff Orpingtons, especially the male chicks are extra friendly. The girl chicks are more standoffish until they reach point of lay, then I am practically tripping over them whenever I go out to the pens.

Fresh cut herbs, flat and curly parsley, lavender, oregano
Getting ready for market tomorrow. Cut some bunches of herbs, flat Italian parsley, curly parsley, lavender and oregano.

new white potatoes
I poked around in the potato patch and found a few white potatoes to dig. This is the earliest I've ever had potatoes. The yellows, reds, blues and purples are not ready yet, but what fun when they are.

wild four o'clocks with tansy in front
The wild four o'clocks are really pretty; here they are almost over taking the bed of tansy.
The tomatoes are coming
first squash blossom
I should have zucchini for market by next week; earliest ever!

Sadly there is no lettuce this week. Any big enough to pick was too bitter because it's trying to go to seed. And the next succession planting was eaten by a rodent. There was a little chard and kale. I have more kale planted. More lettuce and more spinach this fall.

If the pack rats and rabbits hadn't eaten the plants I"d have cauliflower and broccoli.Maybe next year. But man will I have squash and potatoes!