Thursday, April 28, 2011

The newest update.

In pictures of course. Because I'm hot or cold with them. Either all or nothing, and today you get 'em all! Well, gardening ones anyway.
I came home the other day with this lovely basket. All for the sake of sharing a little knowledge, and a lot of wind (talk, not toots!)  with a friend of mine. I sent him home to his wife with a grab bag full of seeds all labeled with when to plant and what would tolerate the frosts and what wouldn't, etc. I certainly didn't expect this, and now turn abouts fair play - if anyone is looking for the best AFLAC agent in Florida just let me know and I'll be glad to send you his info. :-) His wife C. made this basket by hand. Talk about talent. OK she didn't hand weave the thing, but she put it all together and made such a wonderful presentation. I can't wait to find the perfect place to put a few of these things, and the Burt's Bees already managed to find a place, my purse! :-D
Now, for the garden side. It's the end of April now so the cooler season crops have all dwindled down. I expect that the very last peas will be brought in on Saturday. All what, three, five? of them that are left. In their place I'll need to decide quickly if I will plant the limas or the black beans, or the cow peas, or.... *sigh* such cramped spaces is bad this time of year. In the winter it's good because I don't do a lot of cole crops but in the spring and through fall it is pure torture.
Believe it or not my corn is tasseling! It's a mere 3.5 - 4 foot tall! I am certainly not complaining. Early corn is all good by me. I'm just concerned because something inevitably happens to my corn. I typically harvest only 1/5 of what is planted. Oh, and I have a few silks peeking out, too so at least the plants aren't insane, they are doing what they are supposed to do, just early it seems.

The tomatillos - well they are insane still - both bushes but as of yet none of the fallen flowers have filled in well enough to tell for sure that we have set fruit. It seems we have, but no guarantees yet. I'm wondering how the 'papers' will do in our humidity, but so far the plants are certainly thriving on absolutely no attention whatsoever. I've decided next year to plant them behind the pool pump and let them grow wild, like weeds. We had a lantern grow there last year for only 2 months and it was willing to dominate the entire pumpyard. I'm thinking these plants look identical and act identical and would do very well there, completely ignored.

There are monsters in my garden lurking! This behemoth weighed in at over 2 and a half pounds! And it DID NOT BULB! Hello!? Can you imagine if it had? Yikes!
It has siblings i left in the ground, but curiosity got the best of me and after playing tug of war for a few minutes, I finally got this one out to give it the once over. Hopefully the others will see the massacre and get scared into bulbing. Hey, cound happen. Never know! Meanwhile it is perfectly usable, just not for storage. Soup, here it comes!


Every tomato plant I have it setting fruit now. Not as much fruit as I have seen in years past, thanks to a very hot start to our spring, but a faster start then previous years so it is a trade off. Even the smallest plants at only 4" are setting fruits! The one in the screen enclosure is as well and it is small, too. It's a everglades currant if anyone in Florida wants to know. I'll be planting more of those. Tom says they will set through the summer. I'm yet to see a tomato that truly sets in Florida summers, but he lives not far from me, so we shall see. I'm certainly excited to try, and Tom is someone I definitely trust, so I'm very excited indeed! (even if it is a tee tiny tomato something is better than nothing!)

The beans are still producing well, spilling into the lawn.
The first to produce (harvester) are finished with their duty and ready to be pulled and replaced with a summer staple. Hard to do that when the plant itself is so darn healthy. But it would be another 4 weeks before it would bloom again and then it would be too hot to set. Of course the decision of which plant will replace it is yet to come.


Sunflower, Winter squash Lakota and Pomegranates ready for pollination.

Pesky cuke finally took after weeks of getting after it with a paint brush. Just look! It's already over grown the 4' lattice. sheesh! I'm so happy to see this little fella hanging on!

The blackberries are uh- brambling. The grapes are setting....

 The peaches are ripening and as of yesterday fully half of them were stolen and our back gate was open. Grrr...
I've decided I'm going to fertilize this guy, grown him big and get him a collar. Then I will sick him on anyone who walks back there unannounced! Bad news is we had just showed off our garden to a neighbor. We don't think she did it, but we think she may have talked it up with her neighbors and word spreads. I just hope it was someones kids who did it and not an adult. I will seriously hurt someone if I find them stealing my food. (adult) Ask, and I will gladly share, but do NOT steal! Grrr...

I think that is it. The rest of the pictures are for Harvest Monday so come on back y'all. I have them uploaded already so at least you'll have the first half of the week waiting for ya! This week the garden harvesting is going gangbusters -relatively speaking for a 100 square foot garden- as the cool season stuff is on it's way out and needs harvested before it bolts. Get this- I FINALLY (successfully) grew carrots! Sweet success. Only problem is that the kids are eating them straight out of the garden (after rinsing them with the garden hose) and not many are making it inside! I guess that is a good sign that they at least taste good. GO ME! *snicker*

'Till next time!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This weeks pictures.

Making smoothies with the mornings berries.
Soon I'll have this years peaches to add to that mix instead of frozen ones!

We make blueberry ones too - but pancakes and muffins seem to be the preffered blueberry eating meathods currently. The kids like blueberry syrup as well, but I don't make it often. It sure makes a mess. Anything it touches is purple from now until forever!

Zucchini, and onion and tomato all used for dinner in a chicken crock pot recipe. One of the few ways I eat zucchini, in a soup/stew base or in a muffin. :-D the tomatoe however used for the same dinner was NOT thrown in the pot all willie nillie, it was deligated to Caprese.... Oh how heavenly. It's what makes summer worth sweating for. Well, that and the pool time, the sprinkler fun, the Fourth of July, OK I <3 summer, I can't help it but fresh tomatoes are certainly one of my FAVORITE things about summer!

And, because I got this one in front of the camera you get to look at my Katie bug. Ain't she cute all wide eyed? I was keeping her from egg hunting until I snapped a shot so there was not a big grin to be found, but she was willing to stare me down momentarily. :-D Eh, works for me.

We won't talk about what happened later in the day when my son decided that launching a helicopter off of the top of her head was a good idea. We also won't talk about how you can't hide a clump of hair that you cut off the top of your sisters head from your Mother. Trust me. ANY Mom can sniff out a missing huink of hair from a long haired child from a mile away. *ARGH*
Ya know, I always figured my girls would cut their own hair, never figured their older brother would be the one to do it! Now we are left to decide if we should cut the rest or keep trying to hide it. Oh wait, that's right we aren't talking about that. LOL. (the hunk is about the length of her bangs!)

I hope your Easter was happy and healthy.

'Till next time!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Harvest Monday 4.25.11

Joining in the fun, once again at Daphne's Danelions for Harvest Monday!
No pictures for today, but only because it is Easter Monday and well, being an Easterwood (my last name) we throw ourselves full into the Holiday. The kids are out of school and so I am running a fe errands and catching up. We even got new glasses ordered for the eldest today.
But, I did weigh in!
3 lbs green beans managed to get weighed this week. 2lb 6 oz to the deep freeze, the rest to the belly. :-D
1lb 3oz blueberries plus I made pancakes and forgot to weigh that days berries. LOL num!
6oz side shoots of broccoli
4oz peas
5oz lettuce enough for a side salad anyway - it's starting to get bitter but still edible
2 onions @ 9.5oz
4oz green onions/scallions
1lb strawberries
and a tomato. Don't kill me. it was the first and the rest are still so green! no weight, just yum.
14oz zucchini
3oz mullberries - only a couple left now. *sniff*

I think that is it. I can't seem to get my cucumbers to pollinate for some unknown reason. This is the first year for me of this nonsense. Then again, first year with Armenian cukes and Lemon cukes and one other variety. Waiting not so patiently for my regular varieties to get going. They are finally flowering, just not females yet. So they are coming just not as soon as I would like. I'm thinking I might just have to get one of those parthenocarpic varieties and then I won't have that worry. LOL.
Ah, well I ran off and came back to find that I hadn't posted this so now that it's nearly 3pm I suppose I should post. Enjoy!

'Till next time!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Interesting week...

So as promised I am back to tell you all about my week. I actually harvested a lot. I did take pictures, too. Forgot to weigh some of it, but most of it never made it inside so that is okay I suppose.

The week started off well enough with some salad greens, and them some berries and things....

I certainly had no complaints. I even brought in a few more peas.

The beans started producing. My girls are crazy about beans so I let them each pick one. But the real bean harvest is just beginning.
Each day a bowl full of berries, and now each day a bowl full of beans.
This makes me happy.
But then one afternoon my little muchkin was a harvesting away.... and this is what I found.....
She was just hanging out playing with the grass so I snapped a picture of her. She is usually the calmer of my bunch, but 10 minutes later I went back and she was still there. This time she was asleep.
No harm done! I let her sleep while I finished my outside chores. That's odd, still sleeping. She didn't wake up for dinner either. Not even for her promised beans. Uh-oh.
I have a sickly little one.
Friday night got even more interesting and from 1am-5am this little girl (who had not eaten her dinner remember) used every towel in our home to heave mucous and bile every 10 minute onto. We called it quits when it started coming out her nose and high tailed it to help. The next day we came home and a few hours later we went BACK to the doctors, skipping the ER. Good thing her Dr is open on the weekends. Sunday we went to see him 2 more times. Poor little girl. This is what she looked like on hmmm... Sunday afternoon? Monday afternoon? Momma's lost track of time. I think this was Sunday. At any rate this was after massive doses of medications to control her problems....

Got hives? So what the first Dr thought was the stomach flu was actually an allergic reaction to.... well to God only knows what. And it wasn't a little reaction either. She did have an ear infection so she remains on the antibiotic, and it wasn't started until after the reaction began so we know that wasn't it.
I managed to miss the second (and probably last) plant swap in the area for the year. I also had to cancel our plans to go to the property in Alabama. It's turkey season so bad timing. We won't be able to get up again before the end of the season so I guess we won't have a bird in the freezer for Thanksgiving. It also means the watermelon won't be planted up there in time for eating them on the 4th of July.... Not that I would risk this precious babes life to go, but dag nab it I am a bit disappointed. It also means more catch up work when we do make it up there. If we can't get there every other month the work tends to pile up and make the visits more work and less pleasure. Guess I'll switch gears and start looking at things the pigs won't root up. Maybe some okra and calabaza would do well up there. Time to start thinking about the summer crops for feeding the deer and hogs, too. :-)
The good news in all of this is that she is feeling much better now, though I feel much like crap. Mostly from lack of sleep. LOL.
I wish that I could tell you that I was out planting these really interesting trees, or building a new planter. Hunting, fishing, skiing, or horseback riding, but no. That wasn't the type of interesting weekend we had. Hope that you and yours are healthy and happy.

'Till next time!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Harvest Monday 4.18.11

Well, here we are again, it's Harvest Monday! Joining into Daphne's but  for the fun, I am not in my usual place due to unforeseen circumstances so I can't show you all the pictures I had hoped to, but I can show you one from this week that I happen to have on a card in my purse today. Lucky you! ;-)

This weeks harvests included 1pound 2ounces of broccoli, 6oz zucchini, 3oz of garden peas and 10oz of green beans, 3oz mulberries, 8oz strawberries, 8oz blueberries oh and salad greens - 1lb 4oz of lettuces. Not including of course anything eaten on the fly or grilled and eaten prior to weighing. Hey, it happens. Especially this week.
Things this week have been to say at the very least, interesting.
Oh, and I also 'harvested' seeds! From my mailbox! I like those kind the best. These came over from Garden G'imp I have some research to do -she sent a few things I'm not familiar with (the BEST kinds of things to get in my opinion) and I can't wait to find out more!
Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow or Wednesday to fill you in on my oh so interesting week.

'Till next time!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

State of the Garden Address.

It's mid April so it's time yet again for the state of the garden address. :-D This time I'm centering around what was my  seedlings and transplants last month. Showing the progress that just a few weeks makes when things go from transplants to well, just plain old plants. Productive ones at that.
No, not all of the plants in my garden will make an appearance but the ones doing their best to shine will.
I still haven't completed the third planter around the peach trees. I'm wondering if it will be finished before the summer sun makes it impossible to work outside. Sure hope so. I am yet to determine what will do well there. Something that can handle the squirrels or that would be easy enough to protect from them. The lettuce from Fall to Spring will be covered with a wire mesh to help protect it. Much like the tulle tunnels I see everyone making this Spring to protect from caterpillars and flies. It will certainly be a learning process. No doubt about that. I figured okra produces enough and it's spiny, but it really needs the sun and inviting all the nematodes just before planting the lettuces may not be such a hot idea. Ah, decisions.
I am also still working on the second (fence) planter. After the recent floods I had to do a little redesigning. I did come up with a reasonably good way to divert the water under the fence, but now I have to decide if one large planter would create too much of a barrier and overpower my mini culvert or if I will indeed have to break it into 2 separate boxes. The waterline on the inside of the fence was 6-8 inches high so I must do something no doubt. I was only planning on the box being 4-5' tall after all.
Rambling aside the good stuff. Pictures!
The sweet peas are still hanging in there... literally. Barely, but they are. About 2/3 of the plants have either failed to flower or have flopped entirely do to the heat. The other third are still doing OK, and even at OK I'm not willing to cull just yet. Fresh garden peas are a treat most Floridians don't get to enjoy. Besides I don't have any thing ready to take their place just yet.  But not for long. Their time is very limited now.

Onions are doing fine, a tiny bulb is forming. Not that I expect large bulbs, but something is better than nothing. and their partner in crime, the Tomatillos is blooming insanely.

Can't wait to make Salsa Verde. The hot peppers and jalapenos (early jalapenos thanks to Granny!) are also blooming, though it is their very first blossoms and the plants are much smaller. I did seriously underestimate the amount of blossoms on this plant. Unfortunately the second tomatillo is budding, but as of yet refuses to bloom. Planted only 10 days later it is on 50th the size of this plant. It looks like it should still be in a cell not even planted out yet much less only 10 days behind something with nearly 60 blooms.

Zucchini #1 is covered up in growth with a few blossoms, but zucchini #2 has 6 female blossoms on it. One was taken a few days early last night, for some grillin. Yummo..... (BLECH, I don't like zucchini, but Rich and Kate enjoyed it)

 This tomato managed to get all lean and lanky on me and I kept trying to get it to fill out. I tried and tried and then I realized....It has got to be a 'sweetie'. The cherry tomato with  'tude. It may take me a while but at least I came to my senses. It is after all the only tomato in the garden reaching up and getting super lanky. Certainly can't blame it on the lack of sunlight! HA!
Tomatoes abound. I could NOT be happier. I have cherry tomatoes, beefsteaks, sandwich, big boys, Nonnas, Gabrielle Anne, Sweetie (apparently though I didn't realize) Genovese,  San Marzano and Big Rainbow that all have little tomatoes beginning. I also have an everglades currant tomato that is about 3 inches high that is already flowering. Go figure. Not sure what in the world is up with that!? Present count is 29 tomatoes ON the plants and hundreds of flowers - I cannot wait to lose count, and even more, I am craving that first bite of deliciousness. The bite that reminds me that so many people are completely missing out on what they think are good eating tomatoes. LOL.

Herbs are doing well. Some better than others.

Broccoli crowns are nearly ready. This pictures is already 10 days old and the crown will be eaten tonight I'm quite sure. There are 3 more like it as well. Not long now and the heat will take any more of the cold crops. Like these lettuce as well.

Pomegranate is preparing to flower. WAHOO! Finally my little bush may actually produce for me this year. I haven't shown the kids yet, but believe you me they will be SO excited! Blueberries are still finishing as well. A few more weeks and they will be done for the year. The kids are doing much better with not picking off the unripened fruit this year. They are older now and understand. That or my crying last year after finding them with the bushes plucked got through. ;-) Either way.
But the real stars right now? No Doubt,
 are the beans.
 The first of the beans came last night. Just as nibble for the kids. But this weekend the harvest will begin! Just check out all those flowers, Can't you just see the beans in the next 2 weeks? Yowza. I sure hope the kids are hungry and I can wrangle up some help in the kitchen 'cause it's gettin' close to canin' time!

'Till next time!