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, 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. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Harvest Monday

Some of the collards
 A little late getting this out. Hooking up with Dave and the Harvest Monday gang. Lots of collards, kale and chard this week.

squash, Marketmoore and Armenian cucumber and a melon
squash of different kinds

green beans
The squash harvest is down, I've lost several plants due to wilting but the survivors are rebounding. The first patch of green beans is winding down, only 2 pounds this week, but the new patch is blooming. The old patch will come out and I will cover the bed with compost and try to get some baby mustard greens. Then in late September or early October I'll plant the garlic.  There were also some cherry tomatoes, but again, yields are down. 

herbs for chickens
I don't think I've mentioned before, my harvest weights don't include things I pick for the chickens (or my snacking while working). I picked a big bucket of herbs for the chickens the other day; all kinds of basil, catnip, parsley, sage, white horehound, rosemary. They are all good for the chickens.

new duck eggs
Some of the young ducks have begun laying. Their eggs size up pretty quick, the little egg is probably the first one laid, the bigger eggs are probably 2nd or 3rd eggs.

very first duck egg from the 2017 girls
The very first egg I found wasn't as big as most of my silkie eggs.

Northern New Mexico melon
There are a couple of Northern New Mexico melons getting big, can't wait for them to get ripe, they are huge.

Black Copper Marans pullet, April 2017 hatch
Not the best pic but I'm keeping an eye on this Black Copper Marans pullet. Hard to see in the picture but she is getting some copper on her neck.

Capt Hook

baby brother
Tinkerbell (aka mama kitty) had 2 boys in her first litter, a grey striped named Peter Pan and this black and white one named Capt Hook. In her second litter she has 3 tiger striped (2 boys and a girl) and this little black twin of Capt Hook.

my fortune on Thursday
Every Thursday mom gets her hair done and then we go eat buffet at China Taste. Sometimes my fortunes are thought provoking.

Harvest totals.  Week of August 14-20
Aug 15
Scarlet kale. 1#. 3 oz
Carrots.        1#  8 oz
Aug 17
Green beans. 2#. 0 oz
Scarlet kale   3#  0oz
Squash.         3#  14 oz
Marketmoore 2#. 4 oz
Armenian.     3#.  14oz
Lancinata kale 2#. 12oz
Aug 18
Italian basil. 6oz
Sage.            1 oz 
Lemon basil. 2 oz
Rosemary.      .5 oz
Cherry tomatoes 2#. 5 oz
Collards.       4# 0 oz
Squash.        18#.  0 oz
Week Totals
Kale.  6# 15oz
Carrots 1# 8oz
Beans.  2# 0 oz
Squash. 20# 14 oz
Cukes.   6# 2 oz
Herbs.   9.5 oz
Tomatoes.   2# 5oz
Collards.  4# 0oz
TOTAL.  44# 5oz

Friday, August 18, 2017

Farmer Friday & #eatwhatyougrow

cleaning up a bed in the back garden
I cleaned up a bed in the back garden this week where a few puny beets were left. I cleared off the weeds, loosened the soil with my digging fork and added about 3 inches of fresh compost.
I planted out some Georgia Collards. Some were totally decimated by slugs and cabbage worms but I planted the little green sticks anyway. I know that now they are in good soil they will grow quickly.

a couple of pounds of green beans
There were some green beans but not as many as there have been.

some squash, cucumbers
There have been some squash and cucumbers. And even a cantaloupe. 

The young ducks are beginning to lay
The Ducks that hatched this spring have begun to lay this week. 

Capt. Hook's little brother; almost twins
Captain Hook

roasted beets and potatoes with fresh herbs
#eatwhatyougrow I discovered a couple of volunteer potatoes in the bed and roasted them with the beets and fresh chopped herbs for dinner one night.

Honeyboat Delicata

The Delicata squash in the front yard wilted badly and just went crispy so I picked all the squash and brought them in. I picked out the ripest looking one and cooked it in the microwave since I was in a hurry that day. It wasn't that sweet so I am thinking they need to sit and ripen up some more. I'll leave them for awhile and try again.

Black Locust seedling?
I discovered a volunteer along the path to the chicken house. I'm pretty sure it's a Black Locust seedling. I'd rather not have a thorny plant that close to the pathway but it's doing so well I really don't want to bother it. In this picture it's about 3 feet tall but it's taller now. At least it's thorns are smaller than the giant Honey Locust in my front yard, that tree has wicked thorns 3-4 inches long and sharp as needles. Locust trees are pioneer species and can host nitrogen fixing bacteria on their roots.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Harvest Monday

lots of yellow pear and a few others kinds

Hooking up with Dave for Harvest Monday. I missed last week so again this is a two week post.Last week there were some cherry tomatoes. 

half of the beans
Almost 10 pounds of green beans. 

Armenian and Marketmoore cucumbers
Some Marketmoore and Armenian cucumbers. 

yellow patty pans were good again

Of course there were a lot of squash.   There was a good amount of kale, chard and collards but I didn't take new pics. I picked flowers and herbs on Saturday morning but flat didn't have time to take pictures.  I wish I had. I had some nice sunflowers and dahlias and the bouquets sold fast

Thatched cottage bird house

small red poppy birdhouse

Arizona sunset birdhouse

Sunflower birdhouse

Pink roses birdhouse

I painted some of the gourds I grew last year and made birdhouses. They really drew a lot of attention to my booth. The red poppy one has sold already.

This past week was not such a good one around the farm. After our cool rainy weeks it turned really hot and dry. Something, either a rat or squirrel chewed through a sprinkler hose. I lost a couple of squash plants and the rest looked really bad so there were only a few squash.

Then somehow the valve on the drip line to the beans was turned part way off and they didn't get enough water so there were only a couple of pounds of beans. Lost a few plants there too.

I did get a couple of watermelon and a lovely cantaloupe. There were the usual kale, collards and chard to pick, along with herbs.

In another lack of water even the Honey Boat Delicata squash in the front yard bed croaked and I picked all the squash. I tried one, cooked in the microwave and was not impressed so I didn't take it to market. I don't know if it was too green and needs to sit and sweeten up or if it was the microwave cooking. I'll wait awhile and try it again, cooked in the oven next time.

RIP Bacon boy
And in sad news I lost my best (and oldest) Buff Orpington cockbird probably a heart issue with the sudden heat wave after the cooler weather. RIP

Harvests week of July 31-Aug 6
July 31
Marketmoore cucumber 1# 8oz
Aug 3
Chard  1# 10 oz
Scarlet kale  3# 9 oz
lancinata kale 1# 10 oz
collards   2# 9 oz
Aug 4
cherry tomatoes  3# 4oz
green beans 9# 11 oz
squash 81# 8oz
Armenian cucumber 13# 1oz
Marketmoore cuke 6# 10 oz

Harvest week of Aug 6-13
Aug 9
Scarlet kale 1# 3oz
Aug 10
Armenian cuke 2#
Black Tail Mt. Watermelon 6#
Marketmoore cukes 4# 14oz
green beans 1# 0oz
Honey Boat Delicata 9# 12 oz
squash 3# 14oz
chard 1# 11oz
scarlet kale 2# 10oz
Aug 11
Beans 3# 6oz
cherry tomatoes 2# 14oz
Marketmoore cukes 2# 11 oz
Armenian cukes 8# 2oz
squash 26# 8oz
sage 1 oz
rosemary 3oz
flat parsley 9 oz
curly parsley 6 oz
cantaloupe 2# 12 oz
squash 3# 8oz
Aug 13
beets without tops 1# 3oz
volunteer potato 7oz

Two week total
Marketmoore cukes 15# 12oz
Armenian                 23# 3oz
greens                       14# 10oz
cherry tomatoes          6# 2oz
green beans               14# 1oz
squash                      111# 12oz
watermelon                6#
cantaloupe                  2# 12oz
herbs                           1# 3oz
beets                            1# 3oz
potato                               7oz
Delicata                       9# 12oz

206# 14oz

Friday, August 11, 2017

Farmer Friday

Boy this week has gone by fast! Can't believe it's almost the middle of August already! Our weather went from cloudy and almost cool back to blazing hot and dry. A rat ate through one of my sprinkler hoses and I lost some squash plants before I got that situated. Then lost some bean plants because their drip line valve was turned part way off. I have no idea how or when that happened.

sprinkler hose ziptied to fence
I actually got the idea to raise up the sprinkler hose from a really old garden book from the '50s, something about growing roses I think. They raised a sprinkler hose like this up on their fence behind their rose garden. I zip tied this one to the chicken wire around the squash garden and adjusted it to spray down and across the garden. It goes all the way around the fence so the whole area gets good coverage.

a dozen cockerels in their new pen
I did finish the cockerel pen and moved 12 cockerels over to start working compost. They seem to be doing OK so far. They don't have a lot of compost material to with yet, but I'm hoping to be able to haul more manure this coming week.

beans and cucumbers
The cucumbers are trickling in. Despite some of the plants getting crispy there were some beans to pick on Thursday.
Scarlet Kale

Rainbow Chard
 there were greens to pick; Scarlet Kale, Rainbow Chard and Georgia Collards (not pictured). I didn't pick any of the Lancinato Kale (aka Dinosaur) because it's looking a bit puny and some of the plants are anemic. I'm not sure if that bed still has nematodes or some other issue. I will probably spray them with fish and seaweed mix as soon as the weather cools back down. I may also add some blood meal and Dr. Iron and put down some new compost. Those plants aren't that old and kale produces for a long time so I'd like to revive them if I can.

The whole squash harvest
There were cherry tomatoes but I didn't take a picture.  Of course the squash harvest was down,especially in the smaller sizes. This was the harvest.
oops, except this one I found later
Oops except for this one that I found later. 

Hales best cantaloupe, ripe and smells wonderful
And one stray cantaloupe. Perfectly ripe and perfuming the air.  All ready to go to our farmers market in the morning.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

cucumber July 2009
In July of 2009 I had quite a garden going. Cucumbers, squash, tomatoes,

squash on the patio
I had a lot of things growing on my patio in pots. Squash, tomatoes, eggplant, beans, herbs.

squash on the compost pile
I experimented with growing winter squashes on the compost pile. This idea worked well until the pile began to shrink dramatically and couldn't seem to hold enough water.