Thursday, April 29, 2010

More Seed Starting

Today was one of the windiest days EVER here in Southern California!
The Sun was out, but boy it was cold! I wanted to plant more seeds but the weather just didn't allow me to be comfortable!

Yesterday, I started new seed pots:

  • Echinacea Purpurea- I always fail on these seeds, even if I follow the directions on the package!
  • Baby's Breath- light and tiny white flowers accent the bold flowers, cute!
  • Papaya tree- I heard there are male and female trees for these. I guess I have to wait and see.
  • Passion Fruit vine- I bought the fruit at a Farmer's Market almost a year ago, it was very fragrant and delish
  • Elephant Head Amaranth-pretty magenta large flower with edible leaves. (eat them like spinach)
  • Raspberry- I just took the seeds out of a berry and dried them last summer, I hope this works
  • Okra- I saved seed from 2 seasons ago, I didn't plant them last year and I missed having them

I also planted Corn and Pole Beans in with my Cucurbits. I hope they sprout and grow tall enough before the zucchinis take over!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Today's Harvest & Homegrown Meal

Here's today's picks, I already blanched the New Zealand Spinach(1 lb 4 oz worth) here. More lettuce, we're giving them away to neighbors, who are happy to take them, and more strawberries (made jam with these and yesterday's pickings)
Big pot of Curry made from scratch, no store-bought boxed roux here! HG Carrots, tons of HG onions from yesterday, HG Garlic, HG Red Potatoes, HG Sunchokes and neighbor's Lemon juice all went into this pot.
Other ingredients include FM Cabbage, Organic Curry Spices, Cocoa Powder, Sea Salt, homemade soy yogurt, grass-fed stewing beef and organic soy-based butter subsitute. The sunchoke didn't taste too great in this. Next time, no sunchokes!

It's Jammin' Time!

I know it's not much but, I thought I'd preserve a bit of Strawberry goodness for later.
Here's the "before" pic.
Here's the "after" pic
Eating a sample....mmm! (shared this with my son)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Homegrown Meals

Last night's Dinner:Make-shift Pad Thai (I ran out of Rice noodles, so I used potato based noodle instead) It has HG Cilantro, Garlic and Carrots
Breakfast: HG New Zealand Spinach with Farmer's Market eggs, HG Strawberries, HG canned Guava and FM Blackberries in my homemade soy yogurt (I'm allergic to cow's milk)
Tonight's dinner: Broccoli Chicken with HG Carrots, HG Onions and HG Garlic
Snack-time! Eating front yard strawberries...mmmm! 

Harvest Update

Red leaf Lettuce, Cilantro, Shungiku(edible Chrysanthemum), Garlic and Carrots
Our largest strawberry so far! 2 ounces on it's own!
Here's lots and lots of onions(11 lbs)! Strawberries from the front yard and 9 lbs of Loquats
Had to harvest the Onions early because of mildew damage. (so sad...)  I was fearful that the mildew would spread to other onions, but the other ones scattered here and there are fine. I think the soil is bad in that particular bed the onions were in...most likely due to root knot nematodes. I sprayed the beneficial nematodes today. Hopefully, those good guys will eat up the bad guys. I'll keep you posted.

Garden Updates

Transplanted some of the Tomatoes here, the little orange things in the middle of the bed are buried "Ollas". They help irrigate the bed when the soil needs it. I plan on starting some more lettuce and cilantro in the middle of the  bed so when summer hits, the tomatoes will shade the lettuces/cilantro and keep them cool.
Here are more Tomato transplants in the "pond" area.
Our first Cosmos this year!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Garden Updates

Sorry this post's pictures were not visible! I guess I had technical difficulties!

Cilantro and Garlic
View of the Veggie Beds
Tomato Seedlings have taken off and are almost ready to transplant to the beds, on the side note, I planted the peppers and eggplant at the same time, they took longer to sprout and they are still very small, does anyone know why this is? They were given the same conditions and soil.
The Cucurbits are coming up!
Goldfish? Yes, we have a bucket that collects the drip water from the hose (yes we need to fix the leak) but in the mean-time I'm trying to save the water to be used for the plants instead of letting the water just soak the ground...but when you have still water, you get Mosquitos! So, we took a few goldfish from our indoor aquarium and let them swim around for a day, gobbling up all the larvae! The goldfish had a great vacation, away from the rest of the competing bigger goldfish.

Cilantro seedlings
Chinese Lettuce (Yu Mai Kai) Seed heads developing
Romain Lettuce, glowing from morning sunlight

Homegrown Meals

Here we have HG Sunchokes, HG Romaine Lettuce, HG Carrots, Farmers Market(FM) Tomatoes and Cucumbers with a Piedmont Grass-fed Sirloin Tip Steak
HG Chinese Chives, and HG Garlic in this Mabo Tofu with organic Brown Rice cooked in the Sun Oven

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Homegrown Meals

Taco Night! Organic Corn Tortillas with HG lettuce, The Guacamole made Farmer's Market onion, avocado, tomatoes and home grown Cilantro. Meat is Ground Turkey with Tomato Paste and Chili Powder.
Miso Soup with HG Carrots and New Zealand Spinach. It also has organic Tofu and Wakame seaweed
One of my son's lunches: HG Salad greens, HG Oranges, HG Strawberries, with homemade meatloaf that has homemade, gluten-free breadcrumbs and organic Brown Rice. He has 2 snack times also, that's why it looks like a huge lunch.
HG Red Potatoes as French Fries! Along with Farmer's Market organic Broccoli and organic roasted chicken.

Happy Spring!

I just had to share these cuties! They make me smile

Garden Updates

Carrot bed with Sun-chokes in the back.
Growing seedlings for the beds
Cucurbits just planted, this year we're growing: Thai Catchai watermelons, Big Max Pumpkin, Kabocha Pumpkin, Butternut Squash, Japanese Cucumbers, Double Yield Cucumbers, Spaghetti Squash, Black Eel Zucchini. 
Anaheim and Alma Paprika Peppers sprouted

Harvest Updates

Lettuce and Carrots
Large colander of Oregano for drying
Everybearing Strawberries(back right), Rugen Alpine Strawberries(front), Kumquats(left) and Loquats(on table)
Strawberries coming in strong!
Cilantro, Carrots, Strawberries and Loquats
Our first harvest of Garlic...the leaves have started to turn yellow, that means time to cut out the water...but then again, it's raining!
Lettuce, Strawberries and Pansies from the front yard, Cilantro and Carrots from the back

Monday, April 12, 2010

Homegrown Meals

New Zealand Spinach, blanched. When it was fresh it fit 2 very large pots full!
Used some of the above spinach in our Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie along with some HG Carrots.  It was pretty darn good!

Harvest Updates

Red Potatoes, remember the tiny potatoes I planted? They sprouted, and although the leaves of the plant kept getting eaten by bugs, they produced a small harvest for us to enjoy.

Lettuce still coming in strong!

Chinese Chives (nira) I had just picked to be used for our family version of Mabo Tofu recipe

Daily Strawberries
Last of the Navel Oranges picked...17 lbs!
First of our Loquat season...we'll soon be drowning in fruit. Gotta find Loquat recipes!