Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
- Sugar Ann Peas - 55 days; I sowed these in the cucurbit bed where I had ripped out cukes and marigolds, mostly for their nitrogen fixing services. If I get peas out of it even better!
- Bright Lights Swiss Chard - Chard can be harvested at 'baby' size about 5 weeks after germination and is somewhat cold tolerant.
- Napoli Carrot - 58 days; A cold tolerant, early carrot variety. These will hopefully overwinter under a thick layer of hay and plastic or row cover.
- Red Russian Kale - Overwinters easily, hardy to 14 degrees F; These should have ideally been sown in early August but I just didn't have the room. I will cover the seedlings with row cover before any frost is predicted, and keep them that way through the winter. May be harvested as early as 60 days after sowing; frosts improve flavor.
- Rouge D'Hiver Lettuce - 28-58 days; Cold tolerant red romaine type lettuce, should germinate in soil temps as low as 40 degrees F.
- Renegade Spinach - I have had no luck with direct sowing spinach all season, but since spinach seeds should used the same year they were purchased I figured I would give it another go!
(edit: Almost forgot, I took seeds from the nasturtiums and marigolds for next year. It was a rediculously easy thing to do (and free), so I hope they will germinate!)
Saturday, August 29, 2009
The advantage to cipollinis is that they are small and flat and the shape lends them well to roasting. This combined with their sweetness makes for a lovely addition to recipes where you might want to use whole caramelized onions.
These can be a little more difficult to find as they are not as popular. Specialty markets and grocery stores will have them but even my Whole Foods has spotty availability. They are harvested in autumn and may not be easily available year round (or may be quite expensive in other seasons). "
Friday, August 28, 2009
Another Day it can be thawed and made into tasty bread (2 loaves), from which one can be wrapped and frozen to be enjoyed yet another day. The fat from the oil helps prevent freezer burn. This last recipe was made into giant cakes and topped with luscious Gingered Cream Cheese Frosting. (That recipe can be found here.) We like it only mildly sweet (2 C powdered sugar), and with a hint of ginger. I did maybe four sweeps over the zester, but more would be just as good if you love that ginger zing.
We normally enjoy this bread lightly toasted with a dab of butter. Feel free to add in some grated carrots or nuts to change things up a bit. Somebody is very happy that these little cakes are finished and ready to be sampled, and insisted on being in the picture!
2 C grated zucchini
1 C oil
Portion above amounts into 1 quart freezer bags or other storage container. Put away (in freezer) for another day.
Another day remove bag from freezer and thaw. Continue with recipe below:
Yield: 1 bunt pan, 4 mini, or 2 8x4 loaf pans
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat flour
1 T cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 C raisins
1 C walnuts
approx. ½ C applesauce (optional)
2 T diced candied ginger (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour bunt (or 2 8x4 pans).
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and zucchini, then sugar and vanilla. Add applesauce and candied ginger if using.
Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, whisk to combine. Add raisins to flour mixture and stir in.
Stir dry into wet and pour batter into pans.
Bake loaves for approximately 45 min. - 1 hour. Check often, bake until toothpick/cake tester comes out clean. Cool.
Divide bunt loaf into quarters, keeping one for fresh eating, and freezer wrapping the other 3 to be put away for another day. (Or put away 1 8x4 loaf.)
Thursday, August 27, 2009
If you planted bulbils, they will not form any stalks. Instead they will have several grass-like leaves up to a foot long, which will die back in July. This is the time to harvest the rounds! What you will find is marble- to golfball-sized rounds that resemble small onions in that they are not divided into cloves. These rounds may be eaten like garlic cloves or saved to plant again in the fall. If planted, they will then give you regular garlic bulbs the following year - WHO KNEW!?!?Click here for a beautiful slide show of bulbils, you really don't want to miss it!http://henrycaron.smugmug.com/photos/swfpopup.mg?AlbumID=3283874&AlbumKey=XQ3Nc
After digging my first Yukon Gold this summer I knew I wanted to up the potato ante next year. They are after all one of those foods I hate eating when not organically grown, and organic potatoes are not readily available in the major grocers around here. So, after hours of reading about starch content, maturity dates, disease resistance and color I have narrowed it down to the following:
2.5 #'s Caribe (very early)
- good mashed or baked
- purple skin, white flesh
- high yield, good storage
- resistant to scab and storage rot
- yellow-buff skin, yellow flesh
- dry, mealy
- low yield, excellent storage
- my favorite potato!
- bright red skin, white flesh
- good flavor with excellent culinary qualities
- moist, firm
- resistant to late blight, scab, stem end browning, and net necrosis
- high yield, fair storage
- good for roasting, boiling or steaming
- beet-red skin, mottled red and white flesh
- moist, firm
- high yield, good storage
- all purpose potato
- buff skin, white flesh
- high yield, excellent storage
- known for it's most excellent fries
- susceptible to rizoctonia (a.k.a. black scurf) and verticulum. This could be a problem.
- good mashed or boiled, no baking
- prone to scab
- do well in heavy soils or cage/box growing
- dark red skin, white sweet flesh
- high yield, excellent storage
- require close planting
* Or Red Cloud which I grew this year and described in the previous post.
Here it is in black and white where I can not lose it or forget all that I have read. Ten pounds of early, five pounds of mid, and five pounds late. Boy, that is a lot of potatoes!
I think I have the above pictured diseases (courtesy of Michigan Potato Diseases)on my potatoes. The Yukon Gold tubers had some occasional Black Surf for sure. (Otherwise known as Rizoctonia Canker.) A couple of the Red Cloud spuds that were pulled up yesterday have both Black and Silver Scurf.
This is a bit frustrating since it is the first time potatoes have been grown in the soil (at least in my garden), and I purchased certified seed potatoes. The good news is that it is generally a cosmetic problem only, though yields can be reduced. I am thinking the rest of the potatoes may need to be dug and stored as frozen mashers to limit any further disease spread. I think the disease will unfortunately remain in the soil for years to come which is problematic in my otherwise shallow square foot gardening beds.
- 2 zucchini (small)
- 2 apples
- 1 lb potatoes (3 large)
- 1/2 lb onions
- 3 tomatoes
- 3 ears of corn
- 1/3 lb pursulane (we left that one behind)
Not even close to $17.00 worth of produce in my opinion. Yet another pet peeve of mine, when I ask what variety something is ( for example, potatoes) they don't know the answer 80% of the time. AARRGG!! Once again, the fruit is the best part. I don't even want to eat the apples, then I won't be able to smell them anymore!!! (Me singing)....Apple season is coming, apple season is coming. 8)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The onions are done. Quite a bit smaller than I was expecting, nothing close to those grocery store sweet onions. Better luck next year I hope! (That is if I decide they are worthy of their garden space.)
I pulled 4 carrots up- here they are below in order. Finally, a winner!!!
I found a few more lovely carrots in the 'carrot jungle', along with lots of tomatoes, a large zuke, a couple cukes, some chili peppers and another super-tasty Carmen sweet pepper, and a handful of beans the beetles didn't beat me to. Oh, and some basil,.........
I ultimately decided not to spray for blight since removing affected leaves by hand seems to be keeping it in check. It is of coarse continuing to spread, but at a controllable rate. Eventually this will change and the whole lot will require immediate disposal.
The Nineteenth Amendment was adopted, granting women the right to vote. It was nicknamed the "Anthony" amendment in recognition of the lobbying efforts of suffragette Susan B. Anthony, 1920.
Friday, August 21, 2009
This little boy is special (they all are), he is always in a pretend place- usually at work on a construction site or a tugboat. He hates crowds, new things, any noise that isn't being made by him, and being told what to do. He has no idea how to write his name, sing the alphabet or count to 20, (or to differentiate between letters and numbers if we are getting technical), but he can tell you how to pave a road from start to finish and what stick does what on a backhoe. He has the vocabulary of an adult and speaks with a lisp. I have always been his protector, his advocate. My little guy has always had a hard time facing the world, it often overwhelms him. He has come such a long way from where he began, but as his Mom I worry so much about how he will adjust to this kindergarten thing. He worries "about how he will get his energy out". I worry about how he will pay attention.
I know, I know, I need to let it go. LOL, the good news is in a couple more weeks he will "no longer be my problem" and my daughter will get the attention her brother enjoyed for so many years. I told hubby to take the tenth of September off and have a bottle of vodka on hand so I can begin self-medicating after the school bus drives away with my baby on it (and finish when the boy arrives home 9 hours later, gulp. See, I am practicing in my head already!) Of coarse, this is assuming he actually gets on the school bus, feel free to make wagers on this one!
Ok, I am done now. For those of you that stayed with me thanks, and if you have any stories of 'your' first day of kindergarten please share them here.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I did have foil under a couple of the plants, and from what I can tell they have not been bored yet, but I will not get my hopes up as the larva are clearly just getting started. I stuck pins through the bases of the plants with the tell tale "saw dust" at the openings. The plastic mulch over the bed doesn't allow for any mid-vine root formation. Double edged-sword as it seems to be the thing that has allowed these plants to mature in a timely manner.
So, to sum it all up I have a garden suffering from Late Blight and Squash Vine Borers, and it has mainly gone undiscovered and untreated due to neglect. My days have been filled with too much running around, beach going, and hiding from the heat of the sun, and not enough time spent peering closely at every plant watching for any sign of pest and disease that has settled in. And of course the morning was spent dealing with the borers instead of spraying the tomatoes, so now they will go another day with out protection from flying blight spores. If I don't spray them tonight someone please come through cyberspace and slap me OK?
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Acorn Squash, the only variety setting fruit thus far. Other varieties are baby Blue Hubbard, Bush Delicata, and Butternut.
(All squash varieties are 90 days out from planting.)
I have been watching my eggplants flower, hoping I would get a purple or green variety out of some of the seedlings. The seed packet I purchased was a mix of four varieties, and the first three plants to set fruit have all produced white eggplants. I am quite excited to finally have a purple one growing, YES! Notice the variation in leaf vein color in the plants below.....next year I will just check the color in the leaves as this seems to indicate the color of the fruit (and thus variety). Mystery solved!-well not completely since I still don't know what the green ones would look like. Sigh.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I have some baby acorn squash growing and the carrots finally seem to be happy to grow in my garden, I will actually need to do some thinning soon. I must go check when sweet potatoes become ready for harvest, I am dying to dig down and see what (if anything) has grown. I know it is way too early, but I can anticipate right?? :)
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I had a very interesting talk with the farmer while I was shopping.....for starters he is against all things farmer's market and CSA related. He feels they take advantage of the naive paying customer (the CSA's) and that the markets and CSA's take away from his roadside business. All of the folks 'pretending' to be farmers (i.e. don't farm at least 5 acres of land) don't belong at a booth in his opinion and he doesn't understand why people are OK not seeing the farm behind the food. Oddly enough he sells produce grown by someone else and sells his to others, so I wasn't quite sure why he had such a problem with this- peaches, corn, and apples are his gig. He also wants people to realize you "need to save the farmer, not the farm". Thought provocing stuff.
He also mentioned I should get ready for the produce to become less available and much more expensive. All the rain ruined/prevented most succession plantings and has lowered yields over all. (Guess I should be stocking up on the corn and zucchini now while the gettin' is good!) It's always nice to see the face behind the farm and hearing his views on the world of farming was interesting.....usually we just talk about how we like to cook our corn!
On a more mundane note I just came in from doing a foliar feed and I LOVE my new pump sprayer! What a difference that made. The harvest bucket has a nice heft to it, plenty of tomatoes and cukes, a zucchini and some lettuce for those BLT's. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
- pint blueberries
- sm. container cherry tomatoes (1/2 pint?)
- corn, 3 ears
- 1 summer squash
- 1/4 lb greens
- spring onions, 1 bunch
- bunch of parsley
- 1 cuke
- 3 peaches
Oh, and I made oven-dried tomatoes yesterday with the cherries and plums from the garden. They look yummy, I am really wishing I had a Food Saver right now to pack them for the freezer. I am too lazy (hot) to post a picture right now.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
My biggest tomato harvest yet, guess I should go peruse those recipes I posted recently......
The shallots were dying back and needed to come out. The cloves are so small, can I just separate put them back in for next year? They almost aren't worth saving to eat.
One of my blogging friends is doing an e-book give away over at Life Throught The Cracks. She is concerned with the possibility of food shortages in our future and wants to promote food security, head on over and check it out!
Monday, August 3, 2009
So tell me, what do the butterflies flock to in your garden?