Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Saturday Morning Breakfast

A typical breakfast for me includes farmer's market eggs, homemade yogurt(from unsweetened soymilk), homebaked gluten free toast, and some fruits. This morning, it was eggs nested in some sauteed HG New Zealand Spinach with organic Turkey Bacon, Yogurt with HG Strawberries, Toast and half of a HG Navel Orange. Yum!!
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Today's Harvest

New Zealand Spinach for my breakfast eggs.
Blue Basil, Oregano, Cilantro and Rosemary for our roasted chicken dinner
our daily strawberries

Our poor Fig Tree is sick

We love our fig tree, but this year we discovered it is very diseased. It has both the Mosaic Virus and Root Knot Nematodes. I'm so sad...it's always been a very productive tree. It was here when my family first bought the property. It was moved twice since we've had it, yet it still thrived and gave us loads of fruit. So, we will try to do our best to take care of it. We're thinking of buying "Dragonfire -CPP Natural Nematicide" It is supposed to be an oil made from from wild sesame seeds. It's supposed to be toxic to the nematodes, both good and bad ones so I'm reluctant, but it's worth a try to save the old tree. I think the mosaic virus was there before, but the weakened root system (caused by the nematodes) really made the virus more active, I think... It's kind of like a coldsore, when you catch a flu or something, the virus acts up and causes the cankers.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pretty Columbine...

I just wanted to share this picture I took, Columbines are so pretty... :-)

Homegrown meals

Dinner Salad: Home Grown(HG) Lettuce with Farmer's Market Tomatoes
Chili with a generous helping of HG Cilantro
Here, I'm cutting up some Cilantro for Guacamole
Miso Soup with HG Daikon Radish, Carrots and Kale
Fried Rice with HG SnowPeas, Carrots and Cilantro

Harvest Updates

1-1/2lbs of Carrots from thinning the Carrot bed. Yummy snacks!
Strawberries are coming in from the front yard!
yet another day
and another!
Romaine Lettuce, Cilantro and Snow Peas...I don't take all the pics of the Lettuces, we pick them almost daily.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Garden Panorama

Here's the view in a 270 degree angle. I basically took a bunch of pics and stitched them together in Photoshop. The angles make the garden look much bigger than it is.

Garden Updates

Tomato seedlings, this year we're growing:
Peacevine Red Cherry
Amish Paste
Orange blossoms on our Valencia
Fig tree bursting with new growth
Our Green Grape Vine with vigorous growth.
Note our newly depaved area behind the vine,
we've mulched it it lawn clippings

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Saving Seeds for the next season

Here are some British Wonder Shelling Peas drying for seed saving. I bought a pack of 100. Only about 40 sprouted. (probably due to my fault for seeding them too deep)
But this is about 300 and more to come from the 40 plants. I've more than tripled my initial investment! We ate most of them as snow peas, since fresh greens are less available during winter months when you eat what you grow.
They were delicious in stir-fries.

Daily Harvests

Saturday:Baby Carrots that needed to be thinned out to help the others grow big
Sunday: Danvers Half Long Carrots that were sharing a bed with the Red Cipolini Onions
Monday: 1-3/4lb Romaine Lettuce
Tues: Daikon Radishes that couldn't wait....because it started to bolt.
Note to self: always start Brassicas in the fall, around Aug/Sept. January is too late and the plants don't have enough time to grow before the warm weather starts the bolting. (We didn't have the bed ready in time for the right planting this time around, next year we will get it right!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Exciting Update!

We've talked about it for a while, but we are finally doing it! YES! We are breaking up a 20 x 20 feet area of concrete to make more veggie beds! We hired our gardener and he gladly broke up the "urbanite" and hauled it away. My husband insisted he can do all that, but seriously, at what cost/time? He works full-time, so it would only be done during the weekend, plus he's a tie-wearing mouse-pusher. Not really the physical type to be bustin' up concrete. I told him he has lots of wood working projects backed up anyhow.
There was stil a lot of gravel and sand under the concrete, so we had to have all that hauled away too... cost more for that
finally we see some real dirt! This soil hasn't seen the sun since the house was built in 1954! Before the concrete, there was asphalt on this area. We know this, because our family bought this house back in 1986, and it was a asphalt driveway until we had it repaved in the mid 90's.
We plan on letting the soil sit a while with some compost on top, let the wormies do their thing, then plant some native wild flowers, so their roots can penetrate the tough soil. Then, after that we plan on planting corn. The Corn plants' roots host microbes that break up toxic chemicals from asphalt. So does Sunflowers and crabgrass, but our son is severely allergic to Sunflower seeds, and letting crabgrass go rampant just doesn't sound pleasant to an urban homestead that's seeking to look "pretty" but productive. We'll have to find some local folks that are looking to get rid of their topsoil and bring some here. the soil level here is about 4" less that the rest of the garden.
The rains caused a mini lake. I foresee some drainage issues... But I'm excited! We added some grass clippings from the neighborhood lawns to get the composting going and hopefully some natural softening of the soil by our friendly earthworms. (note the small tree in a 15 gal pot. This is the dwarf, grafted, 3 variety asian pear tree that went to a new home. We simply didn't have enough room for this one, even though we brought it with us from the other house. It went to a good home, and we got to trade it for credit on organic supplements!) See our doggy Happy too, the new space is pretty big in contrast to him!
If you want to see this area BEFORE it was broken up, you can check it out here and also here:

Harvest Updates

Orange and Green! Some half long carrots and an orange that was so ripe it fell off the tree on it's own. Also some yummy fresh Lettuce.
Little Rugen Alpine Strawberries next to a normal strawberry. The Rugens are a LOT more fragrant and tasty, but they get mushy quickly after picking. Good thing about them is that they are almost available year round here. Bad thing is, each plant's yield is very small.
More super sweet oranges that fell from the tree, snow peas, strawberries and kumquats
Nice head!
Lettuces topping off the scale!