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.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year

Sleeping Beauty Mountain Jan 7, 2016
Happy New Year. I thought I'd do a little review of 2016. A lot of things went wrong but some things went right and there were a few surprises along the way.

We had some snow in January.

hawk Jan 9, 2016
snow on the Pinal Mts. Jan 10, 2016

A hawk was hanging around but didn't get any chickens.

and more snow.

Sunset Feb 2016
February brought longer days and pretty sunsets.

apple blossom March 15, 2016
Cecile Brunner rose March 15, 2016

Creek side garden March 15, 2016
By March the apple trees and roses were blooming. In the creekside garden the garlic was trying to grow and the peas were coming along. This year should be a much better harvest as I've worked on digging the beds deeper, replacing rocks, caliche, ashes and junk with compost.

AZ pistache tree
Iris blooming March 24, 2016

The old purple and white bearded irises are dependable spring bloomers. This patch is along the driveway where they don't get any water but the rain. I planted quite a few young trees too.

tomato seedlings April 10, 2016

tomato seedlings April 10, 2016

By April the tomato seedlings, started under lights in the house were ready to come outside into bigger pots.

Sweet Magnolia snap peas April 10, 2016

back garden April 10, 2016

Also by April I was picking green and purple snap peas. The back garden, which became the main tomato garden was still full of weeds and junk.

Salad May 4, 2016
Iris May 4, 2016
compost material 
back garden May 2016
By May I was hauling compost material and working on the main tomato garden. The late iris were blooming and we were eating lovely salads.

new potatoes June 2016
yellow zucchini June 2016
By June I was digging new potatoes and picking zucchini. Our local farmer's market had started up too.

erosion control July 2016
rainbow carrots July 2016

rainbow beets July 2016
peppers and tomatoes July 2016

In July I was up on top of the hill doing some erosion control, The garden was doing fairly well, carrots, beets, bell peppers, tomatoes and other things coming in.

Trombonccino Aug 2016
deep digging a bed Aug 2016

compost chickens
carrot with root knot nematodes

By August the squash vines were almost to the roof of the house and the Trombonccino were really going to town. I ripped out a bed of beans that never grew well and dug it out 18 inches deep. I discovered the problem. Besides the caliche and rocks there were ashes and junk buried under there. I put the caliche and rocks into the pathways and filled the bed with compost. August also saw the beginnings of the compost chicken project along with the discovery of root knot nematodes in a couple of beds.

Pregnant Tinkerbell Sep 2016
Swiss Chard Sep 2016

squash 2016
Tithonia Sep 2016

In September Tinkerbell had kittens. The garden was doing fairly well, with greens and squash coming in along with some flowers.

cole crops 2016

Also in September I finished up the old bean bed and planted kale, cauliflower and broccoli seedlings.

They have done amazingly well and there are still a couple of heads of cauliflower and some broccoli shoots to pick.

Superior Farmer's Market
Superior Farmer's Market

end of tomato season
Time to pick squash!

Apparently there are no pictures for October or the computer has hidden them somewhere I can't find them. In November I started going to a little market in the next town over, Superior, Arizona. While small it has been fun and the people there have been very nice. When a hard freeze finally threatened (a month later than normal) I picked all the Trombonccino, 259 pounds worth, not counting what I had picked before.

eggs Dec 2016
cleaning up the greenhouse Dec 2016

homegrown broccoli Dec 2016

Homegrown cauliflower Dec 2016

seed order, ready for spring!
seedlings, I plant something almost every week
In December I've been picking beets, carrots, greens, broccoli and cauliflower. I've been planting lots of greens, hauling manure and making compost.

The compost chickens have done a good job and the new garden space is ready. The chickens will move to a new area this coming week.

I'm working on getting more organized with seed starting and have a big calendar already marked with starting dates for the whole year.

A great thing about starting seedlings in the house under lights is that it gets them off to a good start before they have to contend with birds and bugs outdoors. It also helps me get more from the garden as the last crop can be finishing up while the seedlings are sprouting and growing. I can gain up to a month that way.

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