- Alliums 8.91 lbs
- Beans 0.47 lbs
- Broccoli 0.06 lbs
- Corn 4.24
- Cucurbit 7.31 lbs
- Greens 5.25 lbs
- Herbs 0.71 lbs
- Tomato 0.69 lbs
- Weekly total 42.76 lbs
- Yearly total 298.46 lbs
- Tally $391.43
Monday, July 30, 2012
Friday, July 27, 2012
The cover crop that I sowed was a couple of years old. I did a small germination test on it to see if it would sprout. After two days I saw that the peas would sprout just fine and saw a few little root tips on the vetch and oats, so I figured I'd just see how it worked outside and not buy new.
In the batch of seedlings I had some Summertime lettuce started. So I put that out in the lettuce bed that I seeded previously. In that bed the mustards were already coming up, but no sign of the lettuce yet. Hopefully it will be cool enough this coming week for them to germinate. But you never know. The forecasters have been terrible for my area. Yesterday it was supposed to be cool and rainy with a high of 79F. It barely rained and the high was 87F. We have had a lot of that this last week.
I did some other chores before leaving the garden. I did a little weeding. I did some harvesting. The harvest that took a while was the dried beans. I was shocked to find that there were some already done. Mostly the Tiger Eye had finished up, but I got a few Yellow Eye and Jacob's Cattle. I've never had dried beans be dry in July. That is just unheard of. And it wasn't like I planted early. They were planted mid May, which is pretty typical for me. Usually dried beans take about 90-110 days to produce which would be mid August to mid September for a harvest. I've grown Tiger Eye before and I don't remember it being that early. So I looked it up. Indeed the Tiger Eye beans were early last time I picked too so they must be a really early dried bean. They say 80-90 days, but for me it was 75 this year and 70 the other year. Though they aren't the most prolific bean, they seem like they would be great for short season areas. Or at least my version of the seed which seem earlier than the catalogs say.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
The yellow mustard got harvested and winnowed. Today I picked some rosemary. My dehydrator is running and it will soon be dry enough to put in a jar.The recipe made a sour cream custard kind of a pie. It was so delicious. As usual the recipe wasn't followed exactly. I added 2 cups of gooseberries and 3 1/2T of flour. And I really wonder. Does the pie need a top crust? I think next time it gets made I'll leave the top crust off. Most custard pies don't have them and though the crust was tasty, I think it overwhelmed the taste of the pie a bit too much.
Head on over to Robin's place at The Gardener of Eden and link up to let others see what you've been using or preserving from your garden and pantry
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
I was a bit worried about these ears. I had three that were earlier than the others. The others all either died or didn't germinate. But these precocious stalks of corn that germinated in the cold soil of spring grew well. The problem with having just a few is getting them to pollinate. Only a handful of stalks were giving off pollen when these ears needed it. I went out and hand pollinated on occasion. I wasn't perfect about doing it every day. Hand pollinating corn is easy. In the early morning go out and shake each stalk. You can see the pollen fall straight down. With wind it blows it one way or the other, but in the quiet of the morning it falls right on the ears.
You can see by the photo that it wasn't perfectly pollinated. But of the three ears this one was the worst off and this side of the corn was the worst too. The other side was beautiful and all filled out. And the taste? Well it was ambrosia. Really the variety is called Ambrosia. It is a very sweet corn, so if you don't like them sweet, you wouldn't like it. But both my hubbie and I both have a sweet tooth. It was warm inside so I grilled them along with the rest of the meal. BTW grilled green beans are heavenly too. Not quite up there with sweet corn but not far off.
If I can just harvest the other Ambrosia in the garden, I'd be a very happy summer gardener. I have Ambrosia melons growing. One so far has been killed by wilt. The other three seem fine. They are just starting to set melons. I'm praying the wilt stays off the others for long enough for ripe melons.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I had four types of onions this year. The Ailsa Craig I harvested earlier. It did OK. There were no terribly large bulbs and with that variety there ought to have been. But still it was decent. The Copras (top photo) did very well. These are not a large onions so I didn't expect large. At 3-4" in diameter they turned out quite well. The Redwings (both photos, red onion) did OK this year. Last year they were larger than the Copras by a little. This year they might be smaller. But still last year they stored better than the Copras, so I'm glad they did at least OK. The Varsity (bottom photo) are another yellow storage onion, but they are supposed to grow large. They didn't. Most of them are smaller than the Copras. This is the second year they have not performed up to par. I think this will be the last year I grow them. The Copras are good tasting onions and store well. The Varsity onions are supposed to produce better, but if they don't, there is no reason to grow them.
Mustard seed is easy to separate from the chaff compared to something like dill or even coriander. The seed is smooth and heavy. So I shook the bag and let most of the chaff come to the top. Then I just picked out most of it. The last layer had to be winnowed however so I wouldn't lose seed. The wind was spotty but with the addition of my breath it got pretty clean. I might try to clean it again later if I can get a good day with the wind, but it is pretty clean right now as you can see from the above photo.
And did you notice that it wasn't brown. I was shocked to find all the seed was yellow. I checked what I thought was the yellow mustard and indeed it is brown. So I mixed up which one was which. I'm glad this one was the yellow one though. I want more yellow seed than brown seed and the remaining mustard had more trouble growing. Lots of the plants died. So I won't get nearly as much seed from it. Each mustard had 14 sqft to grow in. I harvested 8.9oz of yellow mustard seed. As weight to space goes it is probably my worst producer.
If I look at its value, it isn't all that good either. And I'm not really sure how to price it. Usually I price locally produced things. No one grows mustard seed here. If I were buying it, I'd have to get it off the web. For about 8oz I'd be paying about $14 for organic and shipping. Weirdly if I bought two pounds I'd pay the same. So is growing mustard worth it in the home garden? Well if you planted 3 sqft and just wanted to fill up your spice jar, you are saving about $4. Which isn't good, not even as good as dried beans. If you are growing mustard seed to make homemade mustard it is even worse. Since you can buy two pounds of organic mustard seed for about $14, it would only be about $0.50 per square foot. However isn't making homemade mustard that you grew yourself priceless? Well at least if you have the room which I do. And mustard is a good fumigant for nematodes. If I grow my carrots here next year They ought to grow fabulously. At least I'm hoping.
Monday, July 23, 2012
- Alliums 15.88 lbs
- Beans 3.01 lbs
- Broccoli 2.43 lbs
- Carrot 7.46
- Cucurbit 12.10 lbs
- Herbs 0.18 lbs
- Beets 1.12 lbs
- Weekly total 42.76 lbs
- Yearly total 270.82 lbs
- Tally $272.35
- Gooseberries 2.6lbs
- Yearly total 25.86 lbs
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Then I went over to the spot I cleared before and fertilized and seeded some lettuce and beets for the fall. Usually I do rows. But this time I just tossed lettuce seed into the bed. And randomly pressed some beet seed into the soil. In addition I seeded with mustard too. This bed is filled with nematodes and the mustard out to help keep them at bay. The lettuce was really stressed this spring because of it.
I still have the yellow mustard to go. It isn't shattering yet. It was entwined with the single tomato plant that I have. The tomato plant will make me sick if it gets into the mustards (I'm sensitive to nightshades), so while I had the gloves on I chopped the tomato way back. Then staked the mustards so they can't touch the plant. Tomorrow I'll be watering the garden and I'm hoping it washes off any contamination. Then sometime next week I'll harvest those too.decided to braid them. Last year I harvested when the tops were green. So I could lay them all out flat and have nice flat tops for braiding. This year the onion foliage was half dead when I harvested. I think the heat and lack of water did that to them. But it meant that the leaves didn't dry flat. I was worried they would hold in a braid. But they seemed to do OK. I have two braids each about seven pounds each.
There is so much more to do. My main tasks are to harvest the rest of the onions and water the garden. I still need to get out and weed sometime, but Monday and Tuesday are going to be hot again. So I'll probably put it off until later in the week. Once the onions are harvested I need to seed the kale in that bed. I was going to do starts indoors, but I think I'll just try to direct seed this year. I hope it works.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
The trellis is for beans. I decided to plant some more Kentucky Wonder beans. Usually my summer beans die early from diseases before the fall really hits. New bean plants will give me an extended harvest I'm hoping. Either that or I'm too late for it and I won't get anything. But I won't know until I try.
Anyway with the peas and carrots out I looked over the bed. I noticed the beets seemed to have sized up so I pulled them all. Then I ripped out all but one of the marjoram plants. I have enough dried already. The one will give me enough if I want fresh. The plan is to plant lettuce at the end near the fence. I'm a bit worried though. This bed is riddled with nematodes. Maybe I should interplant mustard in with the lettuce?
The part that is totally cleared has peas planted at the end. I'd better get that trellis up now before they germinate. The rest of the bed will get a row cover and will be planted in baby Asian greens. Well if I have enough seed that is. But I'll toss whatever seed I have in there. Along with radishes and turnips.
Friday, July 20, 2012
I went out biking yesterday I blithely headed to the bike path. We are near the Minuteman Bikeway which is a very busy bikeway. Well not so much then. I think of all the places, that one had the most downed trees for any place I saw. Every ten feet there was another downed tree. Needless to say it was closed. So I wandered the back streets for as long as I could before getting on Mass Ave and I couldn't believe the devastation everywhere. One poor person had two beautiful trees taller than his house in his front yard. The trees were on top of his house. The roots ripped out. The concrete sidewalk was totally ripped up and sticking up into the air as it was stuck to the roots. The farmers market was open at the time and got totally ripped apart. Luckily they were more toward the edge of it and I haven't heard of any injuries. Yesterday the whole day all I heard were helicopters and chainsaws. As of last night there were still lots of closed roads because of power lines that hadn't been fixed. I swear every tree service was out chopping down trees. We got off pretty easy at our house. We didn't even lose power. And today seems quieter. I don't even hear a chainsaw.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
This week was a busy preserving week despite the hot weather. When the veggies are ready to freeze or can, you have to do it if you want them at their best.
To make the dill pickles I had to pick some dill heads. I don't have many this year. Usually I'm inundated with them. But I did get enough this time. I hope I'll get enough for more batches of refrigerator pickles. I also picked some marjoram. But this wasn't for the pickles. I dehydrated it for winter use.
Head on over to Robin's place at The Gardener of Eden and link up to let others see what you've been using or preserving from your garden and pantry
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I had been hoping for rain all July. We hadn't gotten more than 1/4" all month. Our Average for July is 3.5". With the heat things were so dry. So today our lack of rain ended. I was jumping up and down after the rain went over half an inch. Then all hell broke loose.
We cooled off about 20 degrees from before and we did get our rain. About 1 3/4" of it. So the plants that didn't get hurt are happy. There are lots of branches down. Mostly small. I saw one huge branch missing (about a foot in diameter) from the pine trees that line one side of the house. I figured our roof would have taken the impact as it is right under that. But the branch isn't even in my yard. I'm guessing it is in my neighbor's.
I'm going to have to be more specific in my wishes from now on. Rain yes. Microbursts no.
Update: Wow. Fire trucks and police all over the place. The end of our street is blocked by a tree that is down. Since we are at the end of a dead end, no one can get their cars in or out anymore. My neighbor said he saw seven down trees on his way home (half a mile away from the house). And the branch that I couldn't find in my yard, well we couldn't find it in the neighbor's yard either. It must have blown pretty far.
Second Update: One street over a tree came down and took out a door and some power lines. Supposedly there are a lot of power lines down. Streets are taped up so people won't go down them. And one tree fell on a bus. Ah the neighborhood gossip mill. Everyone is out talking about it over their fences.
Third Update: Though I said we had a microburst, it wasn't official until the weather service said so, and they did. Our town issued a warning last evening to avoid our area of town because of the downed lines and trees. They wanted the roads clear so they could clean up as fast as possible. Though we didn't get hail, some places in Massachusetts got golf ball sized hail, which might have been more damage to my garden if that had hit. BTW the bean trellis in the first photo really doesn't do the wind justice. When I looked outside during the wind it was bent over at a 45 degree angle. I'm shocked it stayed in the ground especially with all the trees that got flattened. And the helicopters are out this morning. I'm guessing the local news. I was hoping when I opened the window this morning to hear the birds, but nope.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
I noticed powdery mildew was starting on my zucchinis. Usually it only starts after a borer attack, but the zukes have been covered since before they came out. So I removed the cover and found out that my attempt to foil the borers was unsuccessful. Was I too late in getting the cover on? I checked the stems before I put it on and couldn't find any of the eggs. Did they get under the cover somehow? Well it is frustrating to say the least. I really want my zucchini this year. I have barely frozen any yet. I was hoping for zucchini bread all summer long and enough saved in the freezer for lots in the winter too.
Not only that I made a zucchini casserole last night that I just loved. I still have to tweak the recipe more, but it was delicious. If I actually get enough zucchini to try a couple more batches and changes, I'll post it.
And how can I not mention random things without mentioning the weather? In the last three weeks of massively hot temps we haven't even had an inch of rain. I don't ever remember having a heat wave that lasted as long either. Today will be our sixth day and tomorrow might make seven. (Heat waves in Boston mean 3 days in a row over 90). Today has a chance of hitting the triple digits too. I watered last Friday. I'm watering again today. Usually I try to only water every 5 days if I don't get rain (or six if I'm waiting for a predicted storm). But I watered four days ago and the plants really need it again. I haven't pulled my spring carrot crop yet, just a few early ones. I'm wondering if they will be bitter. But the forecast has the heat breaking on Wednesday afternoon as a cold front moves in. So we will be back to more normal temps (average for today is 82F historically). Well, it will still be a little above average, but at least it will be close.
Monday, July 16, 2012
The other harvest in that basket is my beloved Kentucky Wonder beans. I love them with a passion. They don't taste like any other bean, but they appeal to my tastes. I made up a batch for dinner and made enough for two meals so I could have them cold the next day for lunch. I ended up eating the whole bowl. Now if I could just find a bush bean that had the same flavor, I'd be all set. I could grow a fall crop then. Maybe I'll try to put up a second planting of these. I've never done that before and don't really know the timing that I'd need.
- Alliums 0.43 lbs
- Beans 2.14 lbs
- Broccoli 0.74 lbs
- Cucurbit 9.38 lbs
- Greens 7.97 lbs
- Peas 1.53 lbs
- Beets 1.57 lbs
- Weekly total 23.77 lbs
- Yearly total 228.05 lbs
- Tally $177.23
Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.