Friday, April 13, 2012

Garden Updates, April 13th, 2012

It's flower-time and blooming is in full swing! I don't even know what these are called, we found them in a parking lot so we rooted them and now they are loving it here.
Here we are in the front garden.
 "Alauria" our peach tree and the pink hollyhock singing in the sunshine
 Hello pinky-pie!
 orange nasturtiums
 This is a lupine, but a special one. The seeds are normally toxic due to strong alkaloids, but this is the lupini bean. You do still need to leach out the small amount of alkaloids, but it is edible and a popular "beer nut" in the mediterranean regions.
 Strawberries happy to feel the sun. (under one of our apple trees)
 Johnny Jump Ups under the Avocado tree. I just learned that they have properties that help reduce eczema. Isn't that neat? I love herbal remedies.
 Purple Orach are the magenta colored leaves. The pink Cosmos accent them. These are also under the avocado tree.
 Here are the baby avocados! (can you see them?)
Our tree has been amazing with profuse flowering this year.
 Kyohou grape vine has nearly 30 flower clusters.
We'll need to thin most of them out so we can produce large fruit.
 Happy roses...makes my heart sing
 Now, onto the back garden. Strawberries producing in the pots.
The in-ground berries in the front garden are smaller but tastier.
 seed pods ripening from the Japanese Nappa Cabbage. I recently learned that the Chinese harvest the younger pods to eat just like you would snow peas. We tried it, and I liked it. Crunchy and sweet but with a hint of mustard undertones.
Starting some seeds. Here, the Dill have popped up 
 Tomatoes are up and growing in the "greenhouse" too.
 British Wonder Shelling Peas. We eat them both as peas and as snow peas
 This is my attempt to grow water chestnuts. I bought a pack of them at the Chinese market and planted them. Only 2 plants took. I hope they survive, so far they are barely hanging on. I've read they prefer boggy soil.
 Our fig oddity. Whether it's the weather, or we've been rewarded for nourishing the fig tree so well, it is already cropping. Normally figs ripen starting in August.
 Our dirty, little secrets. Ha!  Compost bins and a worm bin under the orange and kumquat tree.
 Shiso (Japanese perilla)
 Nira (garlic chives)
 Behind the nira are hundreds of baby Elephant Head Amaranth popping up. We seeded some sesame and raked them in and dusted with some peat moss, and I guess we had some Amaranth here last year and now those seeds are going strong! I'll have to thin a few out to make room for the sesame. We decided to seed with sesame to combat the root knot nematodes that are persistent in this specific spot.
 Alstroemeria (can you spot the honeybee?)
 Aloe vera flowers in front of the purple and white flowers, "yesterday, today, tomorrow".
 Irises. Yes they are poisonous, but we just love them. Did you know there's a way to make perfume from these roots? Orris root
 White Sapote tree grown from seed. Let's see if it will fruit this year... It's in it's 3rd year now.
 Loquats hanging heavily.
We use the OLD leaves as a tea to treat common colds. Never use the young leaves as they have toxins in them.

Harvest Updates, Friday April 13, 2012

Spring is here and so are the fruits!
Loquats and strawberries are filling us up again. The snow peas are crispy and sweet as well.
We still have plenty of lettuce coming in.
Valencia oranges, unfortunately, these were quite sour since they were picked too early due to need for tree trimming.
Spanish Black Radishes, has very antibacterial properties
more snow peas

 Horny monster? Nope, a 2 legged Black Radish
 Edible Chrysanthemum (shungiku)
More carrots
 Peas and strawberries


I'm challenging myself to figure out how to go around picasa's photo upload limit.
Hope this works
btw, isn't this strawberry HUGE?