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, January 26, 2018

Farmer Friday

Meet Edda, an Anatolian Shepherd, which is another livestock guardian breed. Edda is a master at escaping so my friend gave her to me to see if I could have better luck with her. Edda is a sweet girl and so far very timid. We are taking it slow and easy, but she's the reason I put hot wire on the inside of the duck pen.

another terrace
This week I worked on another terrace in the new garden. This pic is taken from the uphill side, you can see the top of the rock retaining wall here. While I hauled the rocks for the bottom part of the wall out of the creek, the rocks in the top part are right from the garden.

a nest of rocks
I think this is a rock breeding ground. I keep turning up whole nests of them!

The terrace
I loosened up the soil on the new terrace, hauled out a lot of rock, leveled it out roughly and gave it a good watering. I also got the hoops bent for the new bed, but ran out of time to finish. Maybe on Sunday.

eggs are looking up
Egg production is slowly increasing. Some of the oldest girls are back to business while some of the young pullets have also begun to lay.

baby pak choi
Some of the pak choi is trying to bloom so I cut most of it. Good news is that the whole plant is edible, flowers included. I also picked some red mustard. I didn't get a pic today, but I cleared a row of mustard and planted out 3 trays of pak choi. This week I also planted 120 tomato seeds of 6 varieties and a couple of trays of carnations. Running out of room under the lights already! Sunday I'll try and finish up the new bed so I can plant out lettuce and beets and make room to seed more spring veggies.

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Farmer Friday

putting in a ground rod
This week I put electric fence on the *inside* of this 20x20 pen.... Why? That's a secret! Find out in my next post!

blurry sunset
 We've had some cold, cloudy, windy days but no rain yet. But a few pretty sunsets.

low tunnel with fava beans on the left and red mustard 

red mustard
I picked red mustard for market but I pick even more for the chickens. They love it!

low tunnel with baby pak choi on the left, spinach sprouts on the right

baby pak choi
It's so warm the pak choi is trying to flower; they are good though, fresh, green, crispy, juicy.

eggs from the youngest black Ameraucana pullets
Several young pullets have begun to lay and some of the older girls also. By March everyone should be in full swing.

more pak choi ready to go to the garden
I have 4 trays each of pak choi, beets and lettuce ready to go to the garden. This week I also seeded 4 trays of leeks.

me and my .22
I lost about 5 chickens at my house in the big wooden coop in a week. I've never had anything get in there before. It was a skunk, which I trapped and dispatched. Peeee  eeeeeeeeeeeew! I'll be watching for signs it wasn't alone. For now things seem to be OK. for those that don't know, skunks are related to weasels and will eat eggs and chickens. They tend to just eat the heads and necks.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Harvet Monday

baby pak choi
Well I have finished my totals for 2017. I am going to try and be more organized on all fronts this year. Doing it all at once is a pain but now that the forms are set up in the computer it should be easier to keep up. I was actually surprised to discover how much I grew. The following does not include spoiled produce, with bug bites, bird pecks, ect. It also does not include a lot of herbs that I cut and fed to the chicken.

crop 2017
 pak choi 7.3125
apples 19.2500
beets 35.8125
broccoli 6.1250
carrots 25.1875
cauliflower 3.8750
chard 57.9375
collards 50.5625
cucumber, Armenian 67.3750
cucumber, Market More 47.3125
elephant garlic 26.8750
green beans, bush 24.1250
green garlic
herb, basil, Italian 3.6875
herb, Basil, lemon 0.1250
herb, basil, thai 0.7500
herb, chives, Chinese 1.0000
herb, cilantro 5.5000
herb, dill 0.5625
herb, lavender 0.1250
herb, lovage 0.6875
herb, parsley curly 4.1250
herb, parsley,  flat 3.8125
herb, rosemary 0.3125
herb. Oregano 0.3750
herb. Sage 0.6875
kale 20.6875
kale, lancinato 37.5625
kale, red russian 29.6250
kale, scarlet 66.5625
leek 14.5625
lettuce bibb 13.2500
lettuce leaf mix 24.0000
melon, hales 46.8750
melon, Northern NM 34.8125
mustard, red giant 19.0625
mustard, red mizuna 7.0000
onion bulb 27.7500
onion, green 4.6250
potato white creamer 23.0625
potato, all blue 20.2375
potato, all red 17.3750
potato, Belinda 62.3750
potato, chieftan 5.5625
potato, yukon nugget 4.7500
potatoes 5.8000
pumpkin, Jack Be Little 3.3750
pumpkin, volunteer 43.1875
radish 6.1250
snap peas 49.6025
snap peas sweet magnolia 6.1875
spinach 7.5625
squash, Honey Boat Delicata 12.2500
squash, red kuri 30.1250
squash, spaghetti 99.2500
tomato, cherry mix 51.6250
tomato, large mix 13.6875
turnip greens 17.3750
turnips 23.1875
watermelon, Black Tail Mt. 69.8125
watermelon, Hopi Yellow 36.7500
zucchini & summer squash mix 747.1875
total for year 1724.5775

So I'm hooking up with Harvest Monday, a fun blog hop where you can show off your harvests. Of course I forgot to write down what I harvested this week. But it wasn't very much. A lot of things are looking a bit sad with the dry cold. 2018 goal; double the poundage ;-)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Farmer Friday

pea shoot
Yay it's Farmer Friday. We are having very much unseasonably warm weather here, bright and sunny and no rain in sight. That does not bode well for the future. In the meantime things are going along. The peas are beginning to sprout.
Extra Dwarf Baby Pak Choi
I picked some baby Pak Choi this morning. This has been a big hit with my customers and there never seems to be enough. I think I will start planting 4 trays of starts instead of just 2 at a time.

Fava beans and red Mustard
Under the row covers things are doing pretty well. Here's a couple of rows of fava beans and some Giant Red mustard. But I pick the mustard when it's small. Mustard is a hardy, fast growing green. Spicy raw, it has a totally different flavor when cooked.

red and green cabbage
One low tunnel was covered with old row cover which was beginning to disintegrate. So I pulled it off and replaced it with new cover. The red and green cabbages are doing well and just beginning to head up. I'm not sure how long it will be before they are ready to pick, maybe a month or two.

Some cilantro, finally! Because it's been so warm and dry it has not been growing very well. It is a winter weed and likes it cool and damp. But I have a little bit for market tomorrow. I planted a few cilantro seeds between the cabbages when I set them out.

green cabbage just beginning to head
A peek into the green cabbage. You can see the new leaves are just beginning to curl up on themselves.

red mustard and cabbages
You can see more red mustard and the cabbages here, before I took off the row cover. I plant a lot of red mustard even though I don't sell a lot of it, because the chickens really like it. After pulling enough for a couple of bags for market I pull some more to feed to the chickens. If I was only growing for myself I would just pick the outside leaves and leave the rest of the plant to grow. It will keep going for several months that way.

scarlet kale
The kale is looking quit sad these days, I'm not sure if the plants are just too old or they haven't been getting enough water. I do have some replacements started and will plant some more. In the meantime I'll try to get them some more water and see if they perk up.

I"m making some progress on the newish garden area. I'm almost done putting the hoops up, but had to quit first because the battery needed to charge on the driver and because I need to go pick things for market.

hatchery birds
The hatchery birds I bought this fall are doing well, tho a wee bit crowded. The cockerels are beginning to bother some of the pullets, so eggs won't be too far behind.  Those boys will be going to freezer camp pretty soon. As soon as I get done with this new garden space and get things planted out, I'll go back to work on the pen these birds need to move into. When I move them I will probably leave the boys where they are, then they will all have more room.