Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sunset Avenue does really have GREAT Sunsets

We live off of Sunset Avenue. Not "THE Sunset Ave" in Hollywood. It's not as glitzy here and I like it better. The people who named the street really knew what they were doing, because here's tonight's sunset! Enjoy!
The clouds look like flames behind the palm trees.
Interesting bands of clouds

Friday, December 23, 2011

We lost our Potato crop :-(

 Sooooo SAD today!!
Last night I tucked the Taters and the Peppers and Tomatoes under plastic covers and made sure to light the tea lights. I even added an extra tea light at 2am. Unfortunately, Tim had to go to work early and he is the one that takes the covers off in the morning. Normally he takes them off around 8am. This morning, he took them off around 6:45am. I asked him if the plants had frozen within the plastic, but he said he was rushed and didn't check to see if the plants were frozen inside the plastic. I would think that it's noticeable to see frozen leaves so my guess is that the plants froze AFTER he took them off. Further investigation lends to my assumption, as there are smaller plants that remained in the green house shelter  and were fine.  Tim told me he didn't want me to be upset that he didn't take the plants' covers off before he left. I told him just to tell me that he hadn't done it yet so I can remove it before the sun gets too hot. I wished he had done so instead of suffering such a loss. Plants become like children. Making sure their warm every night, going out in freezing temps to add a new tea light in...

This is the *BEFORE* picture taken a few days ago. the most foreground plant is the eggplant

Here are the potatoes today
Closer inspection. See the terra cotta pot? That's where we place the tea light
A different angle... :'-(  waaaaaaah
Eggplant shriveled up too. The peppers are limp too. Heavy sigh...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Harvest Updates, Wednesday Dec 22, 2011

Wow, I just realized I haven't done a Harvest Update in a month!
Avocados and lemons from the neighbors! The Mandarins are our harvest
Some of the Sweet Potato harvest
New Zealand Spinach and Chayotes. There's a quarter in the lower right to compare size
Purple Leaf Lettuce for our Salad
little Fuji Apples...crrrrunch!
Purple Leaf Lettuce, carrots and 4 Season Lettuce
1 orange and 2 Mandarins for our snacks
Guavas, Valencia Orange and one Strawberry
More Mandarins
Eggplants (some were from the swap) being soaked to take the bitters out. Garlic chives in front bowl about to be chopped up for dinner
Lots of Mandarins, Chayotes and some Garlic Chives.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Another Amazing Sunset! And Garden Updates

Thank you everyone for your kind concerns about the wind. :-) Thankfully, we are fine and hardly suffered any damage in our area.
Here is another lovely sunset to share, I did NOT touch this to enhance it except to rotate it so as to straighten the lampost. Aint it spectacular? Below are the Garden Updates.
Our very first harvest of Oxalis Tuberosum (Oca). The larges is about an inch long (2.5cm) so it's not impressive. I think it had to do with the plants being in pots. I decided to plant them in pots because I didn't really have good info on their cultivation requirements in our region. From this year's experience, it appears that they REALLY like cooler/cold temps just above freezing. Go figure, as they were originally domesticated and cultivated in the Andean mountains.
Here we have some Peppers, one Eggplant(actually fruiting!) and 2 tomatoes. Behind them are the Potatoes. All these need to be protected during the cold night so the potted plants go into the "green house" and the potatoes get a row covering each night and sometimes a tea light in a ceramic pot, to help warm the inside of the cover when the temps get below 32F.

Here are the Taters with the row cover at sunset.
G'd ol' boy, Happy. Sunbathing by some mulch.
Now THAT's a bounty!
Backyard tree is now ready for harvest.

This little Meyer Lemon is becoming a strong producer!

Not too shabby with the Navel Oranges either:
Poor baby Fig tree :-(  It grew here from seed. Let's see if it can survive this winter.

The older fig tree has suffered the frost and is now losing it's leaves. There's still a lot of fruit on it, but without the leaves to feed them, they will dry out and drop. Oh wells...
Some frost damage on the Chayote vine.
The Passion Fruit vine seems unaffected by the temps still.
The Garnet and Purple Sweet Potato greens were killed with the frost, so out came the tubers. Now we'll let this bed rest since it hardly gets any sun this time of year.
Daikon Radishes hidden in the shade of the Mikan tree. I planted them the same as the other bed with the Broccoli and the light exposure has shown quite a difference in growth.
Tree Kale/Collard happily growing between the Mikan and Pineapple Guava trees.
Can you believe this? Strawberries have blossoms and even fruit!
Roses blooming even as the baby fig was damaged a few feet from these.
Lavender and Sweet William
Aloe flowers
Meyer Lemon Blossoms
Burdock: I've learn that they really like it cool and have flourished in this autumn/winter climate. Now if the snails would stop eating the leaves...
This bed had edible yam leaves growing, A few tubers were harvested, but we ate the greens mostly. Since I yanked them, I have the yanked vines under the Fig tree so it an decompose. The bed has been planted with Spinach now.

Homegrown Meals, Dec. 16th 2011

Food!!! These are steamed sweet potatoes. We grew 2 kinds, the normal looking one with the orange inside and a purple one with gorgeous purple skin and inside! This photo doesn't do it justice.
Bibimpap with homegrown(hg)carrots, hg chayote, hg new zealand spinach
Gluten free pie crusts
Gluten-free, Egg-free, Dairy-free Punkin' Pie! It was pretty good. I'd put a bit more gelatin next year to stiffen it up more to compensate for the lack of egg.
homemade gravy mmmmm
not homegrown but homemade organic (though store bought) cranberry sauce in the making. Doesn't this look so amazing?
Homegrown Salad with locally fished Trout. (lemon for the trout not pictured but also from neighbor)
Steamed Kabocha pumpkins for snacking on
Gluten, Dairy and Egg free Lasagna. We are using Daiya coconut milk cheese!
Chayote, Cucumber and Wakame (seaweed) Vinegar salad on the left, and more Kabocha Pumpkin for an evening meal.
Homegrown Chayote, Green Tomatoes, Eggplant, Oregano and Basil in them thar 'psghetti sauce!
Chayote and Collard Green Stir fry seasoned with Garlic and gluten free Soysauce
our homegrown black beans soaking to be cooked for Chili
Homegrown Collard Greens, Carrots & Chayote in this stir fry
Okonomiyaki with HG Chayote mixed in there. Our son is not fond of Chayote (yet) so I have to disguise it in stronger flavors for him to eat it.