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, July 31, 2017

Harvest Monday and #eatwhatyougrow

a mess of green beans
Harvest Monday once again, hooking up with Dave over at Our Happy Acres. I got over 3 pounds of green beans this week from the older patch. The new bed of bush beans is up and off to a great start with the rain.

more squash
There was a good amount of squash this week and I only had one left over after market on Saturday so that is always a plus.
Hales cantaloupe and Black Tail Mt. watermelon
I got some more watermelons and cantaloupes. They have been pretty good tasting.

Georgia collards
I made the first picking on the new bed of collard greens. They have really started growing fast since the rains have come.

Armenian cucumber
Market More cucumber

I picked one Armenian and a couple of Market More cucumbers. The Market More have had the slightest tinge of bitterness to the skin. I think probably because sometimes they still don't get enough water. but they are still tasty, they just have to be peeled.
I cleaned up an almost empty bed of carrots and also found some volunteer new potatoes. 

cucumber & yogurt salad
#eatwhatyougrow Besides having cucumber in regular salad I've been making a cucumber salad with yogurt and chopped fresh herbs.

omelet in the making

ready to eat

I used up another dozen silkie eggs in an omelet for lunch on Sunday. Along with a couple of collard leaves and some parsley. I also added a lot of Monterrey Jack cheese. Mom says there is no such thing as too much cheese.

Harvest for week of July 24-30
July 24
 large tomatoes      1#  1oz

July 26
Scarlet Kale     1# 12oz
Lancinato kale 1# 8oz
Collards           2# 0oz
New potatoes        12oz
carrots                   3oz
Armenian cuke  1# 12oz

July 27
watermelon   11# 0oz
cantaloupe    5#  7oz

July 28
Cherry tomato 5# 3oz
cucumber        12oz
green beans 3# 12oz
squash       28# 3oz
basil 2oz
sage 2 oz
oregano2 oz
curly parsley 3oz
flat parsley 3oz
rosemary 1oz

July 29
basil 6oz
sage 2oz
curly parsley 4oz
flat parsley 4oz

large tomatos 1# 8oz

TOTALS for the week
large tomato  2# 9oz
kale                3# 4oz
collards         2#  0oz
new potatoes      12 oz
Armenian cuke 1#12oz
watermelon    11# 0oz
cantaloupe      5#  7oz
cherry tomato 5# 3oz
cucumber        12oz
green beans 3# 12oz
squash        28# 3oz
fresh herbs  1# 11oz


Friday, July 28, 2017

Farmer Friday

Georgia Collards
I picked a couple of bunches of collards this week, the first of the new planting.

Armenian cucumber
I found one large Armenian cucumber. There are a lot of small ones out there, so maybe next week there will be a bunch. Did you know that Armenian cukes are not true cucumbers? They are actually a kind of melon that tastes like cucumber. That is why they are burpless.

Black Tail Mt watermelon and Hales cantaloupes
I found some more ripe melons. One of the cantaloupes was splitting so I had it for breakfast. It was pretty tasty.

miscellany of veggies
There were a handful of carrots and some volunteer potatoes from a bed I was cleaning up, along with a Market Moore cuke and some large tomatoes.

bush beans
a mess of beans

I picked a mess of green beans. There were a few yellow wax in there too. I do believe that some of the Kentucky Wonder pole bean seed got mixed up in with the Provider bush beans when I saved them last year tho. Some of the bean plants are running like crazy.

assorted squash
Of course there was a box of squash. Lots of the yellow Gold Rush zucchini this week. It's funny how each week there is a different variety that makes up the bulk of the pick. I also picked cherry tomatoes, but forgot to take a picture. Of course I've posted plenty already.

cucumber salad
#eatwhatyougrow And for some eat what you grow ideas. I chopped about half the Armenian cuke into bits, chopped a handful of curly parsley and some basil, along with a small slicing tomato. I mixed it up with some plain yogurt and salt and pepper. It made a tasty and refreshing salad for lunch.

eggs, parsley, chard
For dinner I used up about a dozen little silkie eggs, a handful of chard and parsley and made an omelet. I used some shredded mozzarella for the cheese. I didn't think to take a pic of the finished product.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

RIP Stanley
I've been wanting to do some Throwback Thursday posts but all my old pictures are on the computer at my house and I don't think about it when I'm there usually. But it's drizzly today so I'll make up some drafts to post later.

In 2009 we had some rex rabbits. My grand daughter named the buck Stanley. Stanley lived a long time and was a good buck.

In 2009 I grew a lot of plants in pots and tubs on the patio. These tubs are made up as self watering containers after a design from Australia. You drill a 1/4 inch hole in one side, about 2-3 inches up from the bottom of the pot. You put in a pipe with an elbow on the bottom at the opposite end and put in drainage material like closed water bottles in the bottom. Cover the drainage material with potting soil and plant. You fill the bottom with water through the pipe and any excess drains out the little hole. The plants grow very well and rarely dry out. I even grew cauliflower in them. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Harvest Monday

7 out of 10 varieties of squash
I missed Harvest Monday last week so I will combine things this week. This is a really fun blog hop with participants from around the world. My daughter was visiting from Florida, plus 3 of my grand daughters came to stay and visit with her. Squash production last week was down to just around 20 pounds because the plants had gotten too dry. In fact I've lost about 3 of them. This week we were back up to about 50 pounds with a lot of tiny fruits coming on. The monsoon season has begun and the rain and cooler cloudy days have really revived a lot of plants.

Scarlet Kale

The Scarlet and Lancinato kale have really been producing. I average 5 or more pounds of kale a week. Most weeks I sell all of it, occasionally there will be one bag left over.

Hales cantaloupe
I did finally get some cantaloupe. They were totally ripe, but watery and not very sweet. I blame the rains, they took up too much water.

More Hales
On Sunday I picked more cantaloupe. I ate the smaller two for breakfast and they were much better than the first ones.

a bowl of herbs
I picked a lot of herbs both weeks. The rains are really helping the basil and parsley. Some of the parsley is trying to go to seed but I keep cutting the flower heads out, hoping to keep it going.  

Black Beauty and Black from Tula

Cherry tomatoes were down this week, there were a lot of splits and rots from the rain. Also I think the cooler cloudy days slowed down ripening. I did get some big tomatoes but of course never enough. I'm thinking I need about 100 plants of large tomatoes to satisfy the demand but can't figure out where to plant them all where they would be at least somewhat protected from birds and squirrels and without crowding out some other crops.

Market Moore cucumber
I got a couple of cucumbers. I hope there are a lot next week for the farmers market, people have been asking for them.
new potatoes and herbs

home grown chicken

#eatwhatyougrow  On Sunday I used the last of the new potatoes and some fresh herbs left over from market to go with a roast chicken which I cooked way too long. It was good any way. I used a bunch each of flat parsley, curly parsley, Thai basil and some garlic.

7-13 carrots 1#  0 oz
        squash 3#   2 oz
        Scarlet kale 4#  4oz
cherry tomatoes 5# 6oz
large tomatoes   3#  0oz
squash                19#  8oz
TOTAL FOR WEEK JULY 10-16  36# 4oz

cantaloupe  4# 8oz
cucumber         4oz
Scarlet kale   4# 4oz
lancinato kale 2#8oz
chard               2# 4oz
cherry tomatoes 2# 13oz
squash              6#  13oz
squash             51# 8oz
cherry tomatoes  2# 5oz
carrots               1#
beans                0#    1oz
cucumber                8oz
cantaloupe          9#  9oz


Friday, July 21, 2017

Farmer Friday

Cantaloupes! Finally!
Well I finally got to pick some cantaloupes. They were on the small side and a bit watery. I think because our rains have started. But they were ripe and still good eating.

more kale seedlings potted up
I potted up some more kale and chard seedlings. They are growing fine, but the grasshoppers and Japanese beetles are trying to eat them up. I really need a screened in place to start seedlings in the summer.

hot compost
I turned the compost piles and started a new one. These piles are mostly chicken litter from the pens at moms house. They are basically sawdust with some straw and shavings along with the manure. I add a little manure/alfalfa mix from my friends sheep and goat pens and whatever green waste I don't give to the birds. Because they are very fine textured they will not need sifting before I use them when they cool off.
semi wild garden

I planted more wild flower, pasture mix and a bee and butterfly flower mix in this area. I tossed seeds right over the wood chip mulch then covered with a thin layer of manure. The live oak trees I planted a couple of years ago are finally beginning to really put on some growth.

Can you find the fig tree?

Can you even find the fig tree in here?  I tromped the grass and wild asters down and put a little chicken litter around it. 

There is is
There it is.  This one is a Mission fig I planted last summer. 

building soil with chicken litter
I spread some more chicken litter around the old chicken yard.  To build up the soil here I'm just cleaning the coop to the outside. (The birds in this coop cannot come outside because there is not enough predator protection).  Eventually this space will be full of trees, herbs and shrubs and when the plants grow up I'll let the chickens out sometimes. 
Would love a tractor with a shovel and bucket!
I hauled sand and rocks from the creek to fill in a berm above the new garden where the rain washed it out. Shovel and bucket are slow going. 

assorted squash
More squash this week. 
Black Beauty and Black from Tula tomatoes
A few big tomatoes. 
bush beans
Green beans soon. 
bean flowers
Bean flowers are pretty
more bush beans sprouting
About a week ago I planted 100 sq ft in green and yellow beans. They are already sprouting. 
volunteer acorn squash is taking over
This is a monster volunteer squash. It seems to be an acorn squash. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Monsoon Starts and Summer Planting

rain at Top of the World
Well our monsoon rains seem to have started in earnest. Normally it rains all around my place in early July and my garden doesn't see any appreciable amount until about the 3rd week of the month, but this year it has come a little early. On Monday the 10th I got a good amount, probably about .5 to .75. (remember when the javalina tore up the potato bed? They broke my rain gauge. I just got a new one which I will put up today) On Friday when I was driving back from Superior it rained some at Top of the World.

downpour on the Pinals
It was dry coming into Miami, but I could see the rain on the Pinals.

I stopped at my house to collect eggs and close the gates. Then the rain hit and I was stuck in the chicken coop for a bit. A lot of wind and some hard rain, but I'm not sure how much. Amazingly we are in for 30-80% chance of rain almost every day for the next 10. Of course just because they are predicting it, doesn't mean we will actually get it. I just hope it doesn't come down too hard and fast and run off.

In the mean time temperatures have moderated a bit. With higher humidity things aren't drying out as fast so less watering is needed. Also the rain has kicked things into gear. I predict a good squash pick this week again, as well as a decent amount of greens.

bed prep
So I have added some composted manure to the top of the potato bed. Since the rains started I have planted the whole 100 sq ft to green and yellow bush beans and covered the bed with bird netting. This bed was the last of the compost piles I made last winter and is still pretty coarse with a lot of wood chips still, beans don't normally need the nitrogen in the manure, but the wood chips will take up a lot of it while they are breaking down.

planting seeds
In the creekside garden I planted an empty bed. A row of rainbow carrots sprinkled with radish, a row of turnips, the last row with mustard and dill. I covered the bed with old window screens to keep out the birds and I hope, the grasshoppers. The turnips and mustard were up in about 3 days.

turning compost
I spent some time turning compost. The older pile was still chugging along at about 130 degrees. After turning it dropped below 100 then came back up to about 120. It is almost finished. Probably one more turn and it will cool off enough to use.

Hot compost!
The day after turning the new pile it went almost to 140. These piles are mostly chicken litter from the barn at mom's house which is mostly sawdust with some straw and wood shavings. I also add a little ruminant manure with alfalfa from my friends pile and whatever green waste I don't give to the chickens, like potato plants and horse nettle. Because of the fine texture of the materials it won't need to be sifted before use and will be perfect as a planting medium once it cools down.