Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday morning after a rain

It's Saturday morning, at the end of July; a time when many gardens seem to start to get out of hand. The thrill of May and June has past and many of the early performers are past their prime. It can be tough to work in the garden in the hottest part of the summer. I have the same issue many years. In fact right now, some of the beds are a bit out of control though I hope to change that in the next two days.

These were the thoughts going through my mind as I stepped out to see what images I might be able to capture. I was pleasantly surprised!

A nice little clutch of tomatoes in the kitchen garden.
The Russian Sage, Rudbeckia, and Hops battle it out.

A cluster of Echinacea. I'm glad one survived as the concrete guys who did the driveway did their best to stomp the other. I was not happy.

A few pictures of the phlox, one of the blooms thriving right now. These are " Little Princess". Years ago I planted two for my two little girls. There is also "David" out there but it was knocked down in the rain, the blossoms heavy with water. It is white. Little Princesses and David - get it?

The Lungwort, normally happiest in the spring , is thriving in the shade. I love the leaves.

Speaking of interesting leaves, the Caladium in containers out front are doing well in the shade of the magnolia.

Dispite obvious issues in focusing, this is the first Rudbeckia of the year! Hooray! They will go till frost.

Finally some pictures of moisture on the Lupine leaves. I like the lushness of the images.

Look at the droplets clinging to the very edges of the leaves. Like jewels!

It was a more productive morning than I thought it would be! A nice surprise.

Until next time, Keep digging!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Wednesday night harvest

I cut the lawn tonight after a several week hiatus. I'm sure the neighbors were happy. Having a lawn sack of cut grass required a trip to the garden and the compost heap.

The compost pile grows higher, we may have to extend its footprint. Peeked at the garden.

I think we will remove the bush beans and try for another crop - we'll see.  Beets and carrots will be harvested and replanted. The tomatos are just staring to come in.

Did I mention the mosquitos were ferocious? They were chowing down as fast as I could swat at them.

After going over the harvest with the landowner, this is our share.

Clockwise we have : Beets - (I'll be making a beet ginger relish), carrots, tomatos, cherry peppers, japanese eggplant, cucumber - these are delicious white!

This should make for good eating for a few days!
Eat Well!

David P.Offutt
The Gastronomic Gardener

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Small measure of satisfaction

Saturday night's harvest becomes Monday's vegetable sauté.

There is something basically good about eating what you grew from seed, a connection to the earth, to self reliance. What is a novel today for a middle class white guy was a necessity not so long ago. How is it that we've become so disconnected?

Let's reconnect with what we've misplaced.

Keep digging.

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Bind weed - scourge of the garden

Convolvulus or Bindweed - the bane of my perennial garden. It wasn't here when I started and I'm not sure where it came from but it is here, and today I'm doing battle with it once again.

In looking on the internet for methods of eradication I sstubled upon this thread:

Note that this thread spans 10 years! Clearly an ongoing problem. What I get from it is DON'T till as you'll be turning up old dormant seed; pull as much as you can, and never let it go to seed!

This stuff is so nasty I don't even put it in the compost.
Keep Digging!

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Harvest on a hot summer night

Last night, a run to the garden to drop off compost and check the moisture level and see what is growing was in order.

Compost, check.

Moisture, uh moisture? Seems the landowner opened the valve for the rain barrels and drained all 175 gallons! I was pretty unhappy about it! We ended up watering from the well, but that rather defeats the purpose of the barrels!

A few cool beverages assuaged my anger.

We picked green beans, checked on some onions, and pulled/ thinned a few carrots to see how they were doing, and harvested a nice eggplant!

Here is the harvest.

Quite the haul! I'll be looking into some spicy greenbean pickles!

Keep  digging!

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Vine borer destruction aka The Zucchini Killer

Over at the vegetable garden the zucchini was going very nicely and first one then the other wilted.

With no obvious wound I was dumbfounded and looked around and asked.

What was suggested is the vine borer.

"The squash vine borer is a key pest of winter squash, gourds and pumpkins in Kentucky. Unfortunately, it is usually noticed only after it has done its damage. Symptoms appear in mid summer when a long runner or an entire plant wilts suddenly. Infested vines usually die beyond the point of attack."

Sounds like it exactly.

Upon investigation, the stem of my plant looked like this.

Split like a fish!

I hope to get to to get another few plants in the ground as the reproductive cycle is past the point of plant damage. What is your experience?

Keep digging!

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bed rebuild and a trip to the veggie plot

A portion of one of the full sun beds has gotten a wee bit out of control. Ok, completely out of control! There are some iris  and sedum that have intergrown and when the iris are blooming it is is easy to overlook but now it is unsightly. The plan is to dig it all out and rebuild this portion of the bed.

I also took a few pictures of the purple coneflower, and the headed over to the veggie plot to drop off material for the compost heap and see what is happening. It has been a week since I've been there. All in all a dirty, sweaty, and very satisying afternoon.

This is what I'm starting with.
It's a jungle!
I tore it all out. Then added two bags - 80 lbs - of composted manure.

Raked it smooth.
Trimmed the iris, and  put some of them back, and replanted the sedum. It looks a tad barren but will be good next year I am sure.

While I was out, a moth was eating from the purple coneflower.
They sure are pretty!

Finished at the house I drove over to the veggie patch. Mixed news - the greenbeans and tomatos seem really great, the cucumbers are starting to fruit, the beets may see some fruition yet, but the chickens have gotten into the the butternut squash. Pecking enough to ruin the fruit and decide they don't like them. And, oddly the zuchinni that looked so vigorous just a short time ago have faded with no discernable reason why - anyone have any ideas?

We will have an abundance of tomatos!
Beets are looking good. I think.
Anyone have any ideas what might be happening here?
Damn chickens sampling the butternut squash. Grrrr
Eggs? I'm thinking SOUP! @#$% Chickens!
Cucumbers beginning to bear fruit.

This tomato is taller than I am!
We will have a good harvest!
 A few sweet jewels.
Beets might yet be harvestable.
Nice eggplant.

Back at the house with todays' harvest. I'll be prepping and freezing them tomorrow! Stay tuned.

Keep digging!

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Green Beans from the Garden, Vegetable Curry

We had some green beans from the garden, I did not get over there but the wife did. More than enough for dinner.

Here are some strange radish pods or moolachya shenga.

A little chopped garlic and grated ginger.

The prepped vegetables.

Start with oil or ghee and mustard seeds.

When they pop, add the garlic and ginger. Lower heat and cook. When soft, add the rest of the vegetables.

We're testing Baji's Curry Simmer Sauce. It's from Aldi's. You add it to the vegetables plus 8oz of water and simmer. You can use meat, but tonight is vegetarian.

We had some spinach we needed to eat, so in it goes.

It sure cooks down quickly!

Dinner is served!

 All in all the Sauce is pretty good, but rather middle of the road. It does nothing to offend, but not much to excite. Not a bad way to make a quick weekday dinner. I'd buy it again.

Eat well!

A double post as the green beans were from the garden.

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