Monday, June 29, 2009

My Urban Homesteading Knowledge Pantry

I love books, educational books to be exact...I'm not one that likes to waste time on Romance Novels and such. I try to read whenever I can, to learn as much as I can about living a self-sustainable life. Our generation grew up not knowing how to really take care of ourselves. Everything is automated for us. Everthing is pre-packaged and ready to pop into the microwave. Sure we're tech savvy, but is that really going to keep us alive if the grocery stores and restaurants went empty one day? Our grandparents knew so much more in terms of taking care of themselves. They grew their own food, or hunted/gathered, preserved it, and made their own garments/bedding, and took care of their livestock. We've lost all of that amazing knowledge in just 2 generations. It's very sad, and books/internet are pretty much all that we will have soon to "re"learn all this.
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Harvest Updates

A day's harvest: Japanese and Armenian Cucumbers, green and royal purple beans, and strawberries(1 is the wild one)
A Red Harvest: Redleaf lettuce, purple beans and Red Potatoes
extra Beans just finished blanching, pat dry then pack them in ziplocks and off to the freezer for winter eats

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yummy Updates

Asian Pear fruitlet getting big!
Thai watermelon looking good!
Red bulb onion fattening up
Bell Pepper started from seed finally bearing fruits
Royal Purple bush beans heavy with growing beanlets. BTW, these beans are sweeter than the green variety from our experience

sad state of pumpkin

Before(ravished by powdery mildew)
after removal...we'll be planting our herbs in the front half and maybe beans in the back half of this large bed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More Harvest Updates

We have decided to harvest the Kabocha Pumpkins, since the foliage was smothered by powdery mildew. Only 8 large enough pumpkins. For that large amount of space(approx 15x15') food/sq ft. production is very poor. Next time we'll spray the Potassium Bicarbonate mixure earlier to prevent the spread of the disease and perhaps trellis the plants too.
A day's pickin's: beans, fig, strawberry, and baby pumpkins

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Harvest Update

First Japanese Cucumber of the Season. It looks like a snake...
Just 2 days worth of beans from the garden
first fig of the season!
Preserving what we can't eat, into the freezer it goes!

Garden Updates

Eggplant and Tomato bed in front, Beans in middle & Melons and Cukes in back
another angle: Left, melons/cukes. Middle:beans. Right, tomatoes/eggplants
Petit Gris Melons coming along. Unfortunately our mild weather has wreaked havoc on the curcurbits with powdery mildew. The pumpkins are covered, but are almost ready for harvest so we're not treating them. But the melons and cukes are just beginning, so I made a concoction of Potassium bicarbonate, orange oil, garlic tea and biodegradable soap to fight the powdery mildew. For now it's stopped the mildew from spreading, but the damage is apparent.
Another watermelon growing, so far just 2! lol! This one is about 5" long.
Kyohou grapes starting to blush
Black Beauty Eggplant blossoms. They're definitely beauties.
Tomatoes starting to get the glossiness. Once this occurs, it won't be long until they start blushing red.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Garden Updates

Tiny watermelon coming along...
Royal Purple bean blossoms are pretty!
Tomatoes (volunteer plant from the compost, so I have no idea what it's called)
Millionaire Eggplant

Our Messes

I thought you migh t enjoy our messy pictures as much as our "pretty" pictures. Photography can be deceiving because we can frame what we want to capture and "hide" the ugly parts. Well, here's our ugly parts! We are constantly doing something to the plot of land we have, and we always have a mound or two of dirt, leaves, compost and yes, cats. We have a very large BBQ party coming up in July that will be held in the backyard concrete area. Right now, there's no way we can hold a party!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Homemade Food

I made a vegan "quiche"with lots of homegrown ingredients. Homegrown onion, garlic, spinach, baby pumpkin, basil, thyme and neighbor's lemon!
Here's the finished product

Harvest Updates

First harvest of beans!
We loooove garlic
New Zealand Spinach & a bit of strawberries
baby Kabocha pumpkins (we use them like zucchinis)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Garden Updates

It actually rained today and the day before! That is RARE here in SoCal.

Strawberries still coming!(everbearing)
A view from the east side of the veggie patch: In front is a dwarf Mango. The left bed has Tomatoes and Eggplants(Roma, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Millionaire eggplant), the middle bed has bushbeans(Green and Royal Purple that are acting like pole beans) and the right bed has the melons and cucumbers(Petit Gris musk melon, Thai watermelon, Armenian Cukes, and Japanese Cukes)
Kabocha Pumpkins, the leaves are startling to get the typical powdery mildew already
Redleaf lettuce
The tomato and eggplant bed closeup
Bean bed upclose
Melon/Cuke bed
Asian Pears coming along
Thornless blackberry on left, lots of wild strawberries in the ground along with violets.
Broccoli and one of the remaing Kale
 New Zealand Spinach with Japanese Myoga: