Monday, April 30, 2012

Harvest Monday 4.30.12

April is on it's way out. This is the last Harvest for April, and it seems like it just got here. This Spring is nearly done here. The bugs are out in full force by 10 am yelling up a storm announcing that it's too hot to be out. Yet if it's the weekend I'm braving the heat sweating my booty off in the sun. The nights are still strangely cool thanks to the cold front that came through last week, but the highs in the daytime are hitting 90 religiously now and there is no more turning back I'm afraid.

The garden is starting to show the heat stress already and the humidity is in full force now. Fun times the next few weeks!

This weeks harvest:
Mulberries continue to come in at 2 cups (1lb 6oz)every day or two,  or whatever I feel like picking at the time. 3lb 5.6oz green beans, 3lb 2oz onions, 1lb 5oz carrots, 4lb cabbage, 5oz parsley,  6oz broccoli, 4oz strawberry, 5oz blueberry.
a bucket of parsley for drying and chimichuri sauce...
A few zucchini blossoms, I only get these on the weekend when I'm there to go out in the morning.

Oh and the best of all- a pool that is FINALLY ready to swim in... Did I show you this already? I apologize if I did - but it is VERY exciting news around here!

This is probably the best news so far. It gets the kids approval for sure! ;-)

Off to check my seeds and see what type of cowpeas I'll be trying this year....

'Till next time!


*ETA* Linking in to Daphne's Dandelions - I'm so embarassed that I forgot!!!! Don't you forget!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

This weeks project.

This weeks project was...

*Please ignore the grass starting to invade my decking around the pool pump here - how embarrassing*

I am lucky that sweet potatoes can live here nearly year round. But these are special sweets, these are bush sweet potatoes, these are Silvia's sweet potatoes. :-D

First I had to clear the Sweet Ann's out of the way, but my conscience took hold and a few along the back managed to stay because they are still yummy even though very few are coming off the vines now. They won't make but maybe another 2-3 weeks when the green beans next to them come out. But the kids and I eat them as snacks while we harvest and what a bad mommy I would be if the pleading and begging didn't keep the kids from taking them all out? *snicker* OK OK, I admit I like them as much as the kids do and the vines in the back were the best of the bunch so I caved and here is what was left.
After lifting the slips, and rooting them sufficiently this is what they looked like - it was due time for transplanting.

And lookie! My garden gives forth my little squirmy friends again! I just hope that the potatoes will be happy here. I know they tend to do better in Florida in our native sandy soil, but I don't have anywhere I can plant them where they wouldn't be trampled and would still be able to be harvested easily. Anyway - I just wanted to show off my wiggle worm friends again. They fascinate my kids.

And - the first transplants in. The remaining transplants are rooting (I showed the slips coming in the first picture) There will be 4 or 5 more plants to put here. I'm not sure if overcrowding will be an issue with the sweet potatoes, but it sure wasn't with the others. We'll see! Good news is I can always take out a few plants and let the others continue to develop.

I have another type of sweet potato as well that came unnamed, but it looks different so I"m going to say that it won't be a bush and I may be in trouble with that one. I might put it's slips into a pot just so I can keep an eye on it. I know they tend to ramble a lot more than some.

The garden is quickly transitioning to summer now. The zucchini has blossoms going crazy and the tomatoes are setting nicely, the berries are nearly done (except mulberries they seem never ending) the peppers are coming along a little late. The melons and squash are rambling and the onion & garlic.... well I think I may not get any bulbs this year. I may have relied a little too heavily on my new soil. I should have fertilized better. Live and learn. I'll try one last effort in fertilizing, but this late in the year it may send them to bloom. Such is life. Burmese Okra looks completely different than last years crop of Clemson. I'm loving the new look. I hope that the claims of less goo hold true - but honestly the goo hasn't stopped me from eating it, so I'm not sure why I'm worried. LOL. It's nearly time for the cowpeas to be planted and then I'll be moaning and groaning the summer blues of nothing to report again.

Off to the Blueberry U=Pick this weekend to complete the freezer stash, and someone has actually asked to come and see MY garden. *blush*.  SO sad to share it when I just got hit with a horrid case of PM on my tendergreen beans this week.

See you Monday!

'Till next time!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012


WHY ME!?!?!

Why is it that just as my peaches were starting to blush - I mean just 3 had blushed and now this week they ALL disappeared... and I got to WATCH. IT. HAPPEN!!!
It was...
The She Devil - and her offspring! The Cretans strike again! By all the peaches- I mean EVERY STINKING ONE! They didn't even leave one that I could bring in the house and try to ripen in the window sill. >:-(

I'm Angry! And, it must be the weather because Dianne had the same problem this week! Maybe it's this freaky weird weather system that moved in 'Cuz these squirrels did this the night before this system came through.

The other Why Me?  That question is this....

New born kittens.... again. NO- not my cat, again... What the heck is it with cats giving birth and then people bringing me kittens? These two won't make it unfortunately. The momma left them out in the cold last night, and in an ant pile. GRRRR... but I'll get them warm and as comfortable as possible and try my darndest.  One of these times I'll end myself up with another cat. LOL. True newborns like these two born just last night are nearly impossible to raise this way. But the one from a few weeks ago? She would have made it just fine. It's so sad when Mother Nature doesn't kick in and tell the mothers how to behave. I'm 90% sure the momma cat to these kittens is a kitten from a feral cat and not but about 4 -5 months old herself. It's not a huge wonder that she abandoned them. A shame, but certainly no wonder. So, I'm off to comfort these little wonders while they drift to another world. Bad momma kitty. Someone needs to learn about spaying and neutering!

*as a side note I wanted to post this as a PLEASE SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PETS not just to tick off people*

'Till next time


Monday, April 23, 2012

Harvest Monday 4.23.12

Hey hey hey! It's Harvest Monday again. Well, What do ya know? Monday's tend to roll around pretty quickly around here. Joining in over at Daphne's Dandelions once again. Don't forget to stop on by her place and see what people are harvesting from all over the world!
This weekend was a rain filled one. It started Friday and didn't end until last night. It was certainly good for our parched Floridian soil. Most of our local wildfires are out, but I haven't heard yet about statewide. Hope to hear from other bloggers soon. At my house we got only a little over  a quarter inch Friday, 1.5 inches Saturday and close to another inch yesterday. You'd think we'd be drowned in that, but our sand wicked that up lickety split and it was dry as a bone this morning. Windy and cool with a high of only 74 today. It actually feels like Spring! Woah - weird for us. This whole weekend is strange for us. The temps never got very high and it is always odd when the skys don't turn blue after a rain shower. Normally rains only last a few hours tops. Even the times when I report several inches of rain it is typical that that accumulates extremely rapidly.

This week was a good week for me again. I pulled the rest of the beets and turnips so they are done for Spring. The green beans turned on production this week, Some broccoli, strawberries, the potatoes of course, some carrots, a green garlic some green onion as well. But, some how the tomatoes (just a couple romas) blueberries and cucumbers keep slipping out of my pictures. I'm not sure how I manage that! Here are the pictures I do have:



Ah, I do love living in Florida this time of year. Soon I'll be cursing the okra, and cow pea - lucky to have a watermelon posts - but for now I'm still loving it!

'Till next time!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Digging friends.

I had another post. I did, really. All about the other friends I got to see and things I got to experience at Silvia's place last weekend. Things about pickled carrots (Who knew?) and not being able to keep track of everyone I got to meet while I was there. Let's see... Ricky, Carmen, Cheryl, the infamous Dianne who I was so keen to finally meet face to face. Silvia of course and Willy our wonderful hosts, Keiki, Tom...Whom I might add asked me how my garden is growing, so I'll be forced to do a State of the Garden Address very soon now. Honestly I can't keep track of everyone I met.
Believe it or not I'm even doing it again tomorrow. It's supposed to rain - not just any rain but severe thunderstorm stuff 2+ inches and none of the stations can agree on just how bad it will be. That's never a good thing. Less than 24 hours away and they still can't agree. Yikes. But, I'm still planning on going. This time to a place much closer to home. I know it will kill the attendance but at the very least the hostess will be there! ;-)
And that brings me to the next part of the topic. Since I really did have the other post, but blogger seemed to have eaten it overnight and left me with only the first 3 lines I decided to lead one post to the other. The weather will be nasty this weekend - all weekend so I decided at dusk last night to hurry up and harvest my potatoes. After all I don't want to do it in the mud and rain. So...
Here is the tiny potato patch before...

The plants were just starting to yellow. and wither. The first plants died back this week while I wasn't looking. They were yellow like this on Sunday, and yesterday they looked like this.  Dry, brown leaves and a withered stem. A sure sign, indeed that they not only wanted to be harvested but were ready for harvest! WAHOOO! My calendar was right on track for once. OK, it usually is close but this was my first ever attempt at taters so I wasn't entirely sure. I did learn a WHOLE LOT about them though.  I could have spaced them a whole lot closer if I used only one eye per plant (like I did) OR I could have used more than one eye per plant. Either way would have yielded a much larger crop. I also could have gone a little closer to the edges of the planter. Taters tend to grow straight down, not out so much - or at least these did. Then again I only used one eye per plant so that may have had something to do with it.
At this point I tried to get a picture of the potatoes in the ground but apparently my phone doesn't do dirty fingers. Go figure! It wouldn't cooperate so no more pictures until the harvest was complete. Sorry!

Only one plant gave me a disappointing harvest and I don't know what made it any different from the others. It only had a single potato, but it had about 10 tiny potatoes that would have matured if the plant had been left alone so while it did disappoint me, perhaps it would have made me the happiest in just a couple more weeks, who knows?

So I could have fit more plants, and I could have had a bigger harvest - so what? Know what I got?
5 pounds of taters. From just 3 seed potatoes (or did I end up using 4? I can't recall now)

Some Old school hands on knowledge that I can really use next year.
And the happiest worms ever! (This is the reason I could get any more pictures.) :-D Seriously, the worms are happier here than any other part of my garden. I think because the paper shreds kept the ground so much cooler and moister (is that a word?) than any where else. Every time I dug just the tiniest bit I'd have 2-3 worms in my hand it was amazing! The kids had a blast picking them up and naming them. I had HUGE ones, itty bitty ones, and loads upon loads of these teenage sized ones in my hands here. they went from surface to about a foot down where the soil is the most fertile. It's got me really thinking about what to put in this little 3' square spot of my garden now. I think I've got enough green beans growing elsewhere -
 What would you do with this soil? What would you plant here?
And what in the world am I going to do with 50 pounds of paper shredding now? OK that I know the answer to. It seemed to do so much good with the taters that I'm going to use it around the garden as mulch for my tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.

So while this little spot of my garden has hit the proverbial pot of gold... (I took this on my way to work. Thought it too funny and had to find a way to use it today.) :-)

I await your suggestions on how to use that spot, I'll welcome Florida's famous thundershowers to hopefully knock down some of our local fire activity. We sure could use the rains for that.
Once the rains go away I'm working on the grape vine and Pomegranate bed. It is past time for a rehaul there. Unfortunately I forgot the 'before' picture and already tore out the old weed infested mulch and strawberries. I'll try to at least get a during picture.

'Till next time!

*Small disclaimer - my phone is just fine it was just the film of dirt in my fingerprints that kept me from being able to tell the phone to take the picture - you shouldn't dig taters and play with worms while playing with an iPhone or Droid*

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oh My! What a garden!

And OH! What a Gardener! Silvia is a gardener that I have known via the Internet for several years now, and she graciously opened her home to several of us lowly wannabe gardeners to come and marvel at her work.

Her home is beautiful, and her gardens are astonishing! She makes me want to rip out every square inch of turf and start over. That won't happen so I'll just keep on trucking. Meanwhile I'll show you some of what I saw. But, you'll have to forgive me. At the half-way point her lovely hubby(? OK that is an assumption) rang the dinner bell and I tossed the camera aside for a chance at a slab o' beef and then we started actually trading seedlings and she gave me some sweet potato slips, and well the camera stayed in the car after that. Sorry!

This is Silvia's unassuming front yard.
But if you look closely enough you'll see that she does have a few edibles tucked in neatly. An apple here, an avocado there.... beautiful blooms from the apple tree
She, like me lives within the confines of a Homeowners Association. Though, apparently she gets along well enough with hers. Mine seems to hate me for some unknown reason. Maybe one day I'll understand, but at this juncture I doubt that very much!

Anyway - enough about me, this is about to knock your socks off. Don't say I didn't warn you! Please try to stay away from all power tools for the next 24 hours.

THIS is Silvia's back yard. It makes mine looks plain silly:

So, Where is that back hoe? I'm ready to get started ripping everything up now! No, not at her place, at MINE! I want my home to look like this. It quite literally takes my breath away. Every. stinking. time. I. look. at. the. picture. *sigh*
OK - so I'll show you EVEN MORE. That's right, there is more. 'Cause she's like a gardening rock star this woman!
A sweet little breakfast nook for two?
How about....
The perfect area for some bocche ball?

Or maybe a place for kids to play, but what you don't see is the beautiful vine behind me, or the wall that has a planter on it... shameful photographer I am getting sidetracked... I'll have to be better next time. Oh yes - there will be a next time! LOL

So, going back to give some of the beds their dues... The lettuce bed, and the nasturtium's, with the zucchini just in front of me and farthest out in front are the kale, papaya, lemon grass, and off to the far right the citrus trees (mostly in pots so she can drag them into the green house in the winter)

A close up of one of those zucchini - and don't let this picture fool you. This 'little' zucchini was the size of my arm, and bigger around! A monster I tell you. One I'd be proud to call my own. This one was not alone, either. It was simply the one begging to have it's picture taken.

Tomato tower...
and cucumber trellis'

You would NOT have believed the size of the onion bulbs......but again I got side tracked, but the sapodillas, that fig tree (HOW did I not get a photo of it???) sage, tarro? and other wonderful goodies to look at over here.

Oh, and get a load of the size of these greens. Talk about impressive! I'm really starting to feel like I'm doing something wrong at my place. Oh, wait. I know what it is. I don't really grow greens. That might have something to do with it. But something tells me if I did that they wouldn't look quite like this!
This beautiful squash is one she brought back seeds from Italy. Thanks Silvia for sharing seeds! The vines were impressive I hope that mine can be half as healthy as yours. Keep me posted on how many fruit you get!!! I have to give a serious thumbs up to her Brogdon Avocado. That tree is massive and just covered in tiny fruit. I'm always trying to get my trees to maturity and this tree reminds me of exactly what it is I'm fighting so hard for. Someday I hope to have one just half this size.  It would make my heart sing to have that many fruit gracing my table.
Here is Nancy walking through the bananas and kale. I did try not to put peoples picture on here, but she's my Stepmother so I figured I'm safe with this one. :-D I am so thankful that everyone welcomed her so warmly. I had a wonderful time with her and I don't get to spend much time with her without all of the family around.  It was so great to get to see so many friends face to face and she didn't even think I was weird for meeting 'computer people.' My Mother would have had a conniption and told me I was insane!

Now, as a 'THANK YOU' to Silvia a small parting gift - I realize that you see your precious 4 leggers every day, but I thought you'd enjoy a visitors view of them. I couldn't get Tiny outside so his picture is a bit blurry. It tends to work better if the owner helps, but I think I did OK considering that I'm not a blue plastic ball for Nikki, and that Blondie warmed up fairly quickly. ;-) Email me if you'd like a full size printable file.


Thanks again Silvia for a wonderful day in your home, and gardens!

 Oh, and lookie what she sent me home with, Sweet Potato slips! These are for a bush sweet potato (porto rico) and she also sent me home with 2 regular sweet potatoes I didn't catch the name of, but I'm still happy to have. :-D

So, now that you wish you were with hanging out with me this weekend I'll let you get back to your regular old lives, but remember that I failed to take pictures of half her yard!!! EEEEK! There is still the plum tree, the herb garden, the raspberry/blackberry brambles, the...OK, OK I'll stop teasing and just try to remember to keep snapping pictures next time.

Because there WILL BE a next time, Oh yes, there will...


'Till next time!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Harvest Monday 4.16.12

WOW~!  What a week. I've been sooo busy it's not even funny. That is of course a double edged sword.
The garden was wonderfully generous this week, and I have another 'first' harvest for me this week. (I'm a tease though, so I'm saving it until the end!)

Linking in a bit late to Daphne's Dandelions to join in the fun! Be sure to stop by all the wonderful party hoppers and see what people are harvesting all over the world!

This weeks harvest is chock full of pictures, and I didn't even catch ALL the harvests, LOL>

The week started with a turnip, some smallish carrots that I needed out of the bed, and some broccoli side shoots so I could pull the plant and put it out of it's heated misery. I still have a few plants, but these were the hottest plants, in the most direct sun. The mulberries are still coming at about a cup a day, sometimes more. I REALLY need to find something to do with them. We are all sick of eating them now and they just don't freeze well, at all. Mushy and gross, nick!

Midweek I had a nice glutton of some of everything.

and more mulberries

and more.....and I pulled some of the cabbages to turn part of the bed.
AND here is my 'first' harvest. :-D My first ever home harvested 'tater. *beam* I got too anxious to eat it though, and ended up snarffling down and half cooked (grilled) spud and burning my mouth in the process. It was still good. I had 4/15/12 on the calendar as the first date for harvest on the potatoes, so I dug through one of the buckets and found this little jewel at the bottom. After digging in the garden bed I was worried I wasn't going to find any. I guess I just hadn't dug deep enough, because the bucket spuds are not as far along and yet here is my first one. Four ounces of wondrous goodness. 

I'll wait another week until I dig the rest up. The main bed that the others are in the plants are withering and turning yellow so I know the timing is certainly right, but if this spud is an indicator I'd like just a little more size. Besides, there just isn't much time between now and then to 'dig' into such a project. *Snort*

Tally for the week: Blue berries: 3lb 12oz, Mulberries4lb 2oz, Snap peas 14oz, English peas(final) 1lb 3.6oz,  yellow wax beans 1lb 4.3oz, Green Beans 7.5oz,  Broccoli 2.1oz, Turnip14oz, Cuke 4oz, Cabbage 7lb 3oz,  Tomato 5oz,  Potato 4oz, Carrots 4oz, Greens 13oz, Lettuce 12oz

Thanks for stopping by for Harvest Monday!

'Till next time!