Monday, July 6, 2009

Green and Red Harvest

I think this is the first time I have grown broccoli in my garden. It turned out beautiful. I picked all the flowers today from 6 plants. They only weighed 2 pounds. I hope the plants grown new flowers.

The other harvesting I did was cherries. There are still more to be picked. Like I predicted, it was a good cherry year.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

This is my Super Gourmet Salad Mix patch. This has been the best lettuce patch I have ever grown. I have eaten many fine meals from this patch. This year I had beautiful nasturtiums to add to the lettuce. Those little peat pots starts that I had doubts about surviving have now bloomed into lush, hardy plants. The best nasturtiums I have ever grown.

Friday, June 19, 2009

June Peas

"The summer crowd is here and it is well along in June and the sailboats are out on the lake. Mrs. Brubaker has already sent out invitations for her Fourth of July dance. The farmers' fields are green; some crops have even been harvested, while you were still dreaming of spring. You pass trucks on the highway bulging with freshly picked pea vines and reach out in passing to help yourself, popping the lovely raw peas into your mouth from the pods, while the driver, expecting this ritual of early summer, grins a greeting."

I remember reading Edward Harris Heth's description of summer's beginning for the first time many years ago. It is when I fell in love with his cookbook, "The Country Kitchen Cook Book." He paints a memorable and charming picture of every season before sharing recipes using the seasonal ingredient that makes each month of the year unique. Without realizing it, he has greatly shaped my approach to cooking. He succeeded in creating a delight in preparing food and relishing food as it comes through out the year. I wonder if Barbara Kingsolver read Heth as a young woman? Unfortunately, Heth doesn't offer any creative idea for using the abundance of peas I find myself blessed with. Eating them raw off the vine is good and creating stir fry with some is yummy, but I need a way to use up more. I wonder if I could make pea pesto?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

No more worms

I have never sprayed a fruit tree with a pesticide before, but a few weeks ago I was in the Grange Coop where I was told how to do it. I bought an organic spray called Monterey Garden Insect Spray with spinosad in it. The best time to give a tree its first spray of the season is when the blossoms are 90% gone. I may have missed the ideal time by a few days. I would say the blossoms are 97% gone, but today was the first chance I had to do i,t so I did it. At first I tried to used the pump sprayer. Ha! I got more spray on me and the thing was difficult to use. I ended up pouring the spray into a spray bottle and doing the job with it. I had to use a ladder to reach the upper part of the tree. I used about 3/4 of a gallon of spray for four trees. If the spray works, we should have a good crop of apples this fall. The two Golden Delicious apple trees in the yard are loaded. They are the ones I did the most though job pruning. The two Red Delicious trees in the garden have fewer but they do have some apples forming. The Gravenstein apple tree has no apples forming. I gave it a quick mist but left it mostly untreated. I am suppose to spray the trees 5 more times before harvest. I hope I remember to do so. It will be the first time to grow apples without sharing them with the worms.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Let Us Harvest

I am eating my second harvest of lettuce. I can not post a picture of these beautiful greens because I can not find my camera. I thinned the thickly sprouted rows of Super Gourmet Salad Mix by Territorial Seed Company. The lettuce plants are big enough to make a colorful bouquet of green and purplish red leaves. There are enough lettuce starts to provide me with baby greens every day for the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Only the strong survive

I remember how excited I was when the seeds sprouted in the peat pots, but when I saw how thin and scraggly they grew, I feared they would not fare well when transplanted. Indeed, that was the case. The chard transplants I planted last Saturday in the garden are holding on by their toenails. The Nasturtium starts in the garden area are all but dead.
The combination of cold nights and blaring sun were too much for these delicate starts. The ones I transplanted in the gooseberry pot look better and may survive and the few I transplanted in the flowerbed by the house will most likely survive, though all are still quite fragile and subject to perishing if severe weather manifests itself.
The weather is no problem this week-end. It has been a dreary week-end with heavy rain. I found a few dry minutes to run a shovel over the garden and remove a few weeds, but for the most part I stayed in a warm, dry house and let the earth rejoice in the wetness. This weather may be the best chance for the remaining transplants to survive.
I think the peas are dancing.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sprouting report

Tanya helped me sow seed March 18. Now 5 and 1/2 weeks later I am happy to report the lettuce, onions, and spinach all came up successfully, but the 2004 and 2005 carrot seeds were not so lucky. Very few carrots germinated. This proves the point about using good seed. Old seed is for those who can't buy new seed.

The surprise in all this is the fact that the spinach seeds I planted early, before Justin tilled the garden, also came up. I now have a very random patch of spinach and a random patch of pole peas and bush peas. The peas I planted, before Justin tilled, also came up in the general vicinity of where I planted them but with a wild and free look to their placement. I should get enough peas to feed everyone I know and then some.

Neat rows needing to be thinned.

Random spinach results of tilling after planting

Neat rows of peas

The random, wildly tillled peas.