Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Empty Spaces & Blushing Faces

Yesterday was a busy day here at the home garden. The garlic was harvested. Although the garlic was not as big as last year, the harvest was good and more then enough to keep "The Italian" and I well stocked with garlic for the year! (garlic harvest pic on Harvest Monday)

The garlic and a couple of other things (Harvest Monday post) were harvested from this bed. I also pulled the shelling peas as they were about done producing. There are some cucumbers planted along the edge of this bed, a couple of lettuce plants and the celery is growing well at the other end. I added a good layer of compost and made some decisions about what to plant next. I decided to plant some dry beans in half the bed and leave a big space to plant some spinach later in the season. I am also going to sow some Spring Blush Snap Peas at the far end past the celery later in the season

Some cucumber seedlings emerging along the end of the bed. I planted a few Japense Climbing and a slicing variety. These will be our eating cucumbers. The pickling cucumbers have been sown at the plots.

The left side of the cold frame beds was cleaned out and a layer of compost was added. There are some leeks against the back, 3 pepper plants and some lettuce remaining in ths bed. I put in a few baby basil seedlings and the empty spaces will be sown with some more carrots.

The right side of the cold frame bed was also cleaned out and compost was added. There are two tomato plants a couple of peppers, four eggplants, some lettuce, onions here and there and some baby basil in this bed. I am going to sow some summer (heat tolerant) varieties of lettuce close to the tomato plants and see how they make out. Hopefully the shade from the tomatoes will make them happy.

As I was working on the beds I noticed that the Black Cherry tomato (seed from EG) was starting to blush. I have to say that these are the biggest cherry tomatoes that I have ever seen! Thanks EG!

Then I noticed this!!! Yes, it is a Cherokee Purple! You wouldn't believe how happy "The Italian" was when he got home!!

Late yesterday afternoon I picked up the fuel line for the I have to get

this thing running!!! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No more spots at the plots, playing cupid & weeds

It's been about six days since the initial spraying of the spots at the far, so good! I haven't found any more spots on any of the tomato plants! I'm going to keep a close eye on them though!

When I was at the plots on Sunday I spotted this.

Yep, the first female zucchini flower! Yesterday the flower had opened and I decided to take things in to my own hands. The male flower was still viable so I did a little hand pollinating. "The Italian" said I wasn't playing cupid...I was the Madame!

The cantaloupe are growing pretty fast. I put the melons and squash in a bit late over there.

Here they are on Saturday

and here they are on Sunday. I finally had the time to put the netting up. I did tie them a little here and there to start training them to climb the netting.

Look at those weeds and grass in the paths.....they grow a couple of inches a day!

The Little Marvel shelling peas are producing really well now. Most of the first planting had rotted and they had to be re-sown. They are picked at least once a day now!

The one "Three Sisters" planting

Here is the other "Three Sisters" planting and more weedy overgrown paths.

The weeds in the paths over there are in all of their glory! I have to say that I'm a bit embarrassed by the look of things....but, the part for my big trimmer should be in today!  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Harvest Monday................6/27/2011

Although I have been harvesting many different crops and herbs this week, I have not been real good about taking pictures and weighing some of the harvests. I'm going to blame it on the hot and humid weather....that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

I have been picking the dill and putting it in the freezer to use later for making dill pickles, no weights and no pics. I also harvested a couple of Parisienne Carrots this week (free seed from Baker Creek) for our dinner salads one night. I have to say that they were very cute and very sweet carrots....once again no pics.

Two more small broccoli heads were harvested....also no pics. This is a definite for must for fall planting.

Here are some harvests that I did take pictures of.

I pulled one Copra Onion from the plots to use to make baked beans. Although it still had growing to do, it weighed 3.5 oz after trimming. I'm pretty excited about the onions this year. My onion crop last year was absolutely horrible. I also harvested the first pepper of the year. This is a Paprika Pepper. I hang them and let them dry and then grind them to make paprika powder.

The first Heritage Raspberries of the season were harvested yesterday at the plots. I also harvested the first couple of Precoce A Grano Violetta Fava Beans. I took them to my in-laws and we tasted them...boy are they great!

The potatoes at the home garden were harvested due to the plants dying and not looking like they should.

The Little Marvel Shelling Peas are maturing nicely the past couple of days. It looks like I may not have to plant a fall crop for freezing...maybe just some for eating fresh. The snow peas are also doing well this week. Oh...and we got about 16 MWC tomatoes this week. They sure are nice to add to our dinner salads!

The Parsley is definitely out of control I harvested about 1.5 lbs this week. I think that I have enough dried to last us this winter and probably next winter as well!

The first head of Freckles Romaine was harvested.....boy, it was great! There's another head in the garden that I think I will pull today for our dinner salad. The second head has a lot more freckles!

Total Harvest for the week: 14.1875 lbs

Broccoli - 5 oz.
Carrots - 1 oz.
Dill - ??
Lettuce - 11.5 oz.
Onion - 3.5 oz.
Spring Onions - 4 oz.
Parsley - 24 oz.
Peas, Snow - 23 oz.
Peas, Magnoila - 8 oz.
Peas, Little Marvel (shelled) - 12 oz.
Pepper, Paprika - 1 oz.
Potatoes - 8 lbs. (128 oz.)
Raspberries - 3 oz.
Tomatoes - 3 oz.

Head on over to Daphne's Dandelions our host of Harvest Monday to see what is going on in veggie gardens around the globe!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Peppers, Plots & Spots

and weeds! We have had some very hot weather this week and also some much needed rain. That means the weeds at the plots are growing twice as fast as usual! We presently have four trimmers in the garage and none of them are working. The two cordless are done and the two gas powered ones are not working for one reason or another. I decided that I better get my good big trimmer that I bought for the farm tuned up and working. I found a place where I could get the parts to tune it up and spent the better part of the afternoon yesterday working on it. Of course it was very humid and I just HATE hot and humid weather. After doing everything that I needed to do to it, I poured in the fuel mixture and the fuel was leaking on the porch! Dang, the fuel lines were rotted!! Of course it wasn't just a single line was one that I had to order! Now the weeds will continue to grow until Tuesday!!

A few days ago I found what looked like Septoria Leaf Spot on a few of the tomato plants at the plots. (Sorry, I forgot to take pictures) It wasn't on the plants in Tomato Alley. It was on, I think 4 of the tomato plants in the other bed. So, I have spent at least a full day combined trimming, spraying, inspecting and also tying up absolutely every tomato plant over there (32)!! Of course, on those days it was Hot & Humid! Did I say that I HATE hot & humid weather? Well, I just got back from the plots and things are looking good...even the weeds!!!

The peppers over there are doing absolutely amazing!! Here are some photos.

Odd Shaped Orange Bell Pepper

The same Orange Bell plant with some normal shaped peppers

Marconi Bell, the bottom pepper is about 8" long

Quadrato Rosso D'Asti Bell, seed from Granny

Even this little Corona Yellow Bell pepper plant has a big pepper.
This was an extra plant that was sitting at home forgotten that I decided to plant.

Cayenne Peppers

My absolute favorite....Pepperocini!! Seed from Thomas.
I could put pickled pepperocinis on just about anything!!

Tomorrow I'll try to do a post on some other things going on at the plots....and maybe I'll share some weed pictures too!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Potatoes Potatoes.... there's something going on with my Potatoes!

I just went out to look at the potatoes here at the house. They haven't been looking like they should. The flowers looked like they were eaten and the leaves were turning yellow and dying. It did not look good so I decided that I better pull them out. I have such a fear of the Big B since we had it here two years ago!

I planted the Yukon Golds and some of the Sagre Reds here at the house. The balance of the Sagres and the Kennebecs were planted at the plots.

I have no idea what happened to them, but happy that I pulled them. When I took the straw off there were thousands of pill bugs! I also found that the seed potato was rotting and the stalk of the plants were mussy and hollow. I took all of the plants and straw from this bed and put it in bags. These will be put out for the garbage man! I am not going to take a chance of infesting my garden with any disease!

The Yukon Gold harvest was not that bad. I planted 2.5 lbs and the harvest was 7 lbs. It really should have been between 10 - 12lbs. The Sagre Reds however were just tiny little new potatoes. The harvest weight from them was only 1 lb. Hopefully the reds at the plots will do better.

Here they are....the Yukon Golds and some of the Sagre Reds!

I'm not all that disappointed after what happened last year with the voles! Last year due to the vole invasion my total potato harvest was 6 lbs. This year, with less then half of the potatoes harvested we are at 9 lbs. Although we love potatoes, we really don't eat many...gotta watch my weight!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Great Garden Dinner

I've been so so busy the past couple of days. I just need about 20 more hours in a day and then maybe I could get everything done! I have yet to read some of the Harvest Monday posts! Sorry :(

Yesterday I made the Scape Garlic Jelly that I mentioned in my Harvest Monday post. Boy.....what a surprise!! It is absolutely wonderful! I make a Rosemary Garlic & Wine Jelly that I only use for marinating meats. "The Italian" and I thought that this jelly would probably be best suited for that purpose also. It's not only good for marinating....but great with cheese too!!! Thanks Lynn for yet another great jelly recipe!

I actually got 6 half pints from the batch of jelly. The balance was put in to a small bowl and refrigerated.

I cooked some Magnoila peas with the last of the Spring Blush peas and some snow peas.

Two nice salads from the garden with a few more MWC tomatoes, spring onions and celery

Chicken was roasted and topped with some of the Garlic Scape Jelly about 15 minutes before the chicken was done. I over cooked the peas a bit....but they were still tasty! I think that the Magnoila peas are a bit more starchy then the other peas. The next time that I cook them it will not be with other peas as to get a better idea of their true taste.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Harvest Monday...........6/20/2011

This weeks harvests have been a little bit of this and that. There have been some firsts and also some lasts. I harvested the last of the beautiful Spring Blush Snap Peas and the vines were pulled on Sunday. We really really love this pea! There will definitely be a fall crop planted this year. I did manage to freeze two portions of the peas despite the fact that we really wanted to eat all of them! I also harvested the last of the garlic scapes. These scapes are going to be made into Scape & Pepper Jelly....hopefully today! This recipe was posted by Lynn at Woodridge Homestead last week.

Two more heads of the Silver Cup Cauliflower was harvested at the plots. These heads looked much better then the first ones did and weighed a whopping 4 oz each! Sorry, I forgot to take a picture and froze them yesterday. I really hope that the other two varieties do much better.

I harvested this one celery plant here at the home garden. I have no idea what is wrong with it. The leaves are all curly and deformed. All of the other plants look great though!

This nice head of lettuce weighed 10 oz. "The Italian" is using the large leaves to roll up tuna salad and pack in his lunch.

These beautiful Sugar Magnolia Purple Snap Vine Peas just started to produce at the plots! Aren't they just beautiful! We haven't eaten any yet, probably for dinner tonight.

The parsley is growing like crazy. I picked all of this in one day. I am hoping that this is all that will need to be dried for the year.

Some leaf lettuce and a spring onion.

I snuck a pound of potatoes from the plants for Father's Day dinner. They were so so good. We can't wait until it's time to harvest them!

The first two tomatoes of the season were harvested this week.....what a tease! We are so dying to taste some more!

Harvest Total for the week - 5.5 lbs.

Broccoli - 5 oz.
Cauliflower - 8 oz.
Celery - 4 oz.
Lettuce - 12 oz.
Parsley - 8 oz.
Peas Little Marvel - 10 oz.
Peas Magnolia  - 3 oz.
Peas Snow - 12 oz.
Peas Spring Blush - 2 oz.
Potatoes - 16 oz
Scapes - 3 oz
Spring Onions - 3 oz
Strawberries - 2 oz

Stop by Daphne's Dandelion's our host of Harvest Monday to see what's going on in veggies gardens around the globe!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Plotting Along ...boy what a week!

I have spent a lot of time at the plots this week. Between the heat and then the rain everything was out of control....including the weeds!!! I have never hoed so much in my life!

I spent nearly 3 hours one day cleaning out the strawberry bed. My neighbor on that side only weeds up to 3" from the fence. Their weeds were just taking over the bed. I was so aggravated that I went into their plot and pulled the weeds. I think that they got the message. They were a bit quiet when they showed up the other day.

I spent an entire afternoon getting the tomatoes under control. I had to do some trimming in order to get them tied up correctly. I also found some aphids on some of the plants, not many though. I whipped up some insecticidal soap and took care of those babies!

This morning I finally dug an area in the front and planted my purple pole beans. This is near where we were going to put a structure until the rules changed. I have some nice long bamboo which I will make a teepee out of for them to climb up. I am also going to dig an area tomorrow on the other side of the gate for some more purple pole beans and another teepee.

Here's a view of Beds #1-4. Bed #1 is the farthest away. I took this standing on my little stool. Maybe one morning when no one is around I will stand on my car and see if I can get a shot of most of the plot.

Bed #3-6

The storage onions are starting to size up nicely! The past two years my onion crop was not good at all. I am very pleased!!

All of the cabbage is forming nice tight heads! second planting!

Savoy Cabbage

The last four broccoli plants seem to be doing better then the others did. I am definitely going to plant a fall crop of broccoli. Rumor has it that the fall broccoli does very well at the plots.

Cayenne Pepper.
The peppers are doing extremely well!!

Paprika Pepper

The Bell Peppers are huge and have some peppers on them too! I don't think that I have ever had pepper plants get this big so early!

The squash and the cantaloupe are all starting to flower. I have been checking them daily for any signs of the dreaded SVB's!!

The peas are finally starting to produce a little better. I've got a real pretty one over there that I'm saving for Harvest Monday!

That's about it for this week at the plots