Sunday, July 20, 2014

You gonna eat that?

It still works.
10+ pounds of sour (pie) cherries.  Perreon and Rhiannon helped pick them.  The trees are less than two blocks from our house, and I don't remember seeing them so full before.  And the owners had already picked as much as they wanted to deal with.

This summer has been near perfect so far.  We have had regular rain (although you wouldn't know it by the state of our lawn) and it has yet to reach higher than 95°, with most days in the mid 80's.

The Ruby Queen sweet corn at home and the Blue Jade at the Ppatch are putting up tassels.  The potatoes at home have burned (again), but the ones at the Ppatch are ready to flower.  The snow peas are done, but the shelling peas are still going.

And through the wonders of technology, I write this on my smart phone in the side yard, drinking a local beer & listening to the water feature.  The bugs are nearly non existent the air warm with a light breeze. 

Urban farming is good.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Solar Oven


Perreon made this during her visit with stuff we had around the house.

Cardboard box
Black paint
Aluminum foil
Saran wrap
old window

The cookies were pre-made dough from the store.

They were baking just fine, until the sun went behind a cloud for an extended period and the dough just melted.

We will try it again later.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Snow Pea Pickles

They are on the vinegary side, but addicting.  I used the recipe at smittenkitchen.com

I plan to eat a lot with salami and fresh mozzarella.

There is another jar with cucumbers and fresh purple beans with dill also.  Will try it in a few days

Friday, July 11, 2014

Beginning of the summer Harvest

Homemade Pickle Cucumbers.  Indigo Tomatoes (not yet ripe I discovered, they should be purple and red) & yellow pear tomatoes

Blue Jade corn and first row of pole beans (yellow wax)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Finally, success with peas

You have read before about my difficulty with zucchini.

I have always had the same trouble with peas.  Every year I plant a packet, they germinate sporadically and I end up with enough for a meal or two.  This year I decided to do the gardening equivalent of carpet bombing.  

With so much room (sooo much room!) at the Ppatch I planted a row of Wando shelling peas with the potatoes, gave a pack of snow peas to each of the girls for their gardens(thanx mom!) and made space for an additional 2 packs of in the common area.  Five packets total.  And I bought innoculant.  And used it.  Even so the pea plants were still spotty, like 33-50% germination.  And the vines seemed stunted.  The pack that advertised 5' vines, topped out at 3.  The snow peas, who had promised to be 18" (no trellising required!) came in barely to 8"

But those 8" are more than adequate!

In the last week nearly 2lbs have been harvested from those miniature marvels.  Enough that we have eaten them most every night and I am planning to try a pickle tomorrow.

The shelling peas, alas, have been immaturely picked by some industrious field hands (read: the children) and mixed in with the edible pods.  I am hoping the vinegar will make them as palatable.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Good bug, bad bug

I have seen more ladybugs than aphids this year.
The Ppatch is again invested with squash bugs.  One of our neighboring plots pulled up all their squash in frustration.  Sprays of  Neem oil and Dr Bronners soap are being used daily.

I squashed a dozen or so of these ugly buggers today, but as far as I can tell they are not such a problem for us.  This is the cantaloupe, but there is nothing on our cucumbers.  Blind luck?

But after squashing the bugs.  (They crunch and squish, it is gross, the only time I wear gloves in the garden) my gloves smelled like the artificially flavored watermelon bubble gum.  Weird.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Adjusting the pecking order

The girls are in transitional housing in the old duck pen while we clean and ready the coop and their new yard.  Six of the older hens were sold at the poultry swap, and there are 2 new young ones.

Let the jockeying begin.

I went to check on them all after the hail storm (and bring them a couple hard and broken cookies) and got sidetracked watching them.  There are two roosting ladders and it was quite the game of musical "chairs" as they all tried to figure out their place in the smaller flock of 15.  Always there would be one more chicken trying to fit on the ring than there was room for, knocking them all off to start again.  A few opted out entirely, opting for a spot on the ground.  A few others tried to fly up to the roof joists, only to encounter the chicken wire top and fall back down.  Eventually they all found their place and slept.