Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Moving the Blog to Facebook

Hi fellow gardeners and do-it-yourselfers! It's been a LOOOOONG while since I've posted!
I have decided to move my thoughts onto a Facebook page since I have maxed out the photo space limit on this blog.

I do hope you will follow me there!

Happy summer, and keep on growing, learning and sharing!

-Janice

Friday, May 25, 2012

Backyard Garden Update

Scarlet Runner Beans in their full glory
Self seeded Nappa Cabbage sprouting like crazy!
Patty Pan squash growing in the cradle of vetch, mums beginning to bloom

Trying my hand at growing water chestnuts. I started with grocery store packaged water chestnuts. Only 2 survived. It probably had to do with the winter weather. Let's hope these thrive over the summer and produce some corms! On the right is Oxalis Tuberosum, edible oca. It looks just like clovers, doesn't it? The tubers are edible, although I've only had a few tubers so I haven't eaten any yet.
Chard towering over us ready to set seed! The right side are Elephant Head Amaranth (we eat the leaves), Shiso(perilla) and in the backdrop large leaves of edible Burdock we're hoping to let seed.
Salmon colored Alstroemeria
In the foreground, right side burdock, left side edible canna
Mexican Primose on left, Dioscorea Batata on the right in it's second year.
Fennel about to flower
Kabocha pumpkin: literally in nearly finished compost (the black frame is the compost bin)
The new raised bed waiting to be dug in. On the right, we have Peppers and Potatoes
Planted most of the Tomatoes...we have 22 plants in all this year. On the right, Lettuces going to seed, sweet potatoes planted and starting to gear up it's vine growth.  Fennel also flowering to set seed.
Delicate cilantro blooms, hoping to get some seeds.
Beautiful Epiphyllum flower

This is NOT our garden, it's the next door neighbor's dead, neglected, termite infested tree. We found termites in our house beams. We need to get rid of them, but unless our neighbor gets rid of this tree, we're going to have the same problem over and over.

Harvest Updates, Tues. May 24th

I didn't take many pictures this month, there's just so much to do!
Here's just a bit:
Braided Garlic and Fava Beans
Garlic for eating, Celery and Carrots, Strawberries, and Loquats. Finally cabbages!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Garden Updates: May 10th, 2012

Our Tomato seedlings have matured and are almost ready to transplant to the beds.
A little late, but since I was out of town, I didn't get to start the Cucurbits until this week.
This year we are growing "Kabocha" pumpkins, "Black Eel" zucchini, an unknown cantelope (seed saved from the farmer's market), "Thai Catchai" watermelon, "Japanese pickling" cucumbers, "Double Yield"cukes, Bitter Melon, yellow and green Pattypan squashes, Luffa, and Butternut Squash.
 Here on the left, we have the "British Wonder" shelling peas coming to the end of it's season. On the right, we have "Japanese Nappa/Hakusai" cabbage going to seed. Most of it were eaten by the birds. (Share with nature!) but we save some under a veil and hope that next year's crop is a good one.
We are saving lots of seeds.
 These are parsley seeds forming
 Chayote starting to grow very vigorously
 bulb onions after I've harvested all the carrots. There's one Lettuce left (front). These onions seemed to be doing nothing so far in terms of bulbing...sigh. The garlics are done and out they came out the next bed.
This year we have 3 varieties of sweet potatoes. The typical "Garnet Yam", the "Okinawan purple"(pictured here on the left), and a mysterious purple sweet potato with purple leaves which we just got from the swap this past Sunday. The purple one just "perked" up today. Sweet potato slips amaze me at their hardiness. I just planted it 3 days ago. It had no roots, and it was wilted when I planted it. Now it's not droopy anymore. The Okinawan was planted 5 days ago and it's already started growing!
 The path that encircles the back of our fig tree. Here you see the cloud of orange Calendulas, some common sage, "African Blue" basil and in the foreground some camomile.
 The fig tree has started growing it's fruit-buds. This is the normal cycle, but we've had some "out of season" fruiting these past 2 years.
 These are the "out of season" figs. At this rate, they may mature by June. Normally, our figs ripen in August.
 "Russian Black Plum Paste" tomatoes are growing!
 In the "pond" area, Amaranth has decidedly won out in the competition between it and sesame. The sesame seedlings were voraciously eaten by snails. We thin out the Amaranth and eat them.
 Next to the Amaranth we have Gobo(Edible Burdock). We're hoping to collect seeds this year.
 Canna Edulis/Achira
 Only one graft was successful on the peach tree in the back.
The "Goldmine" nectarine graft is growing well.
  It turns out, the peach tree in the back is actually a nectarine tree. This is the fruit of the parent tree.
These loquats are pretty big! 
 Our mania. Rooting cuttings
 This is our "Hugelkultur" test bed. We piled in lots of old rotting logs, layering them with manure, and covering it with soil and seeded it with vetch. We will try growing corn here first.
 We're covering our Cabbage crop in the heat so they don't bolt
The peppers have flowers! The leaves are a bit yellow, and I did add some extra compost and worm tea, but maybe it needs something else?
 Onto the front garden: The Haas avocados are growing steady
 Lupini beans under the rosebush
 "Alauria" our front yard peach tree has fruits!!!
 "Kyohou" grapes are forming


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Flowers of Late Spring

Pineapple Guava blossoms, the petals are edible, and very tasty
 African Blue Basil. The honey bees go crazy over these blooms
 Mexican Primrose
 Pelargoniums and Alstroemeria. The foreground leaves are Lemongrass. 
 Geraniums
 Kalanchoes
Alstroemeria (salmon pink)
 Day lily (these are edible too)
 Elephant Head Amaranth
 Periwinkle
 Alstroemeria
 Mango only had one flower cluster this year. :(
 Blackberry blossoms, can't wait for juicy berries!

 Amaryllis
 Not sure what this flower is, but the bees go nuts over it too.
 a bouquet of amaryllis
 Pelargoniums
 Mom's pelargonium collection
 Cosmos, Blue Basil and Purple Orach under the avocado tree
 Fuji's apple blossoms. We trimmed both trees, but Akane is still pouting and hasn't really woken up yet, so let's see if Fuji will set fruit without a partner in bloom
 Fever few
Cosmos
 Cream California Poppies
 The obscure persimmon flower. Our Fuyu perimmon has a lot of flowers this year. We hope we'll have more than last year, (which was 1 fruit!)
 Tiny Thyme flowers
 Reaching for the sky!
Scarlet Runner Bean gifted from a friend,
is already needing more room near the top of the pole!