This is the earliest harvest of zucchini from my garden. only 2 – one small one that went right into the salad – of garden fresh snow peas, zucchini, spinach, onion, lettuce and spinach. store bought tomato, a little vinaigrette. Life is good.
Posted in container gardening, gardening, garlic/onions, greens, homesteading, legumes, organic, self-reliance, squash, tomatoes, Uncategorized
This morning, have cut back the greens on the Broccoli Rabe, saw the root! Looks just like a turnip. Guess what? They ARE! part and parcel of the same family. when you look up turnip there is a reference to being called Rapini, which is also another name for Broccoli Rabe (or Raab, or Rapa, or Rapini). Now, how to sneak those turnips onto the dinner plate . . . .
am reading Under the Tuscan Sun which probably wouldn’t have impacted me as much before I began my veggie garden, which is already yielding much of daily veg. Our friend Joe, an Italian from Brooklyn, is also a cook – more so than I – and he mentioned using lots of chicken stock for cooking rather than fats and oils. I make gallons of the stuff, but always can in quart jars for making soups. Realize that I need to do some pints so I’ll have it available when needing to cook some Rapinni, or Chard. Add some extra flavor to the rice before chopping in the fresh zucchini and tomato.
Need to expand my vegetable recipe portfolio so all this wonderful bounty can be used fully. although with the way the chard is bolting in the sudden heat, may have to pass some of that on . . . .
Life can be so wonderful when all you HAVE to do is stay home and relish the abundance that is the Earth and Sun (and the water we buy).
Then the phone rings in the office . . . . .
picked the first of the Broccali Raab today. had not ever had it before, much less grown it! over seasoned it a bit and it was intense. liked it, DH did not. We’re eating Chard nearly every day. the plants are starting to bolt. Lettuce also. Picked a handful of snow peas today, but don’t know how much more I’ll get. zucchini developing quickly. still have frozen from last year! The bush plants burn themselves out pretty quickly, especially as they are in pots this year. So will probably have to start replacement plants end of June. by the time they’re ready, the regular plants will be slowing down. Of course, we may be zuchinni’d out by then.
This is the first year my Egyptian “walking onions” have actually fallen over and started “walking”. due to limited space, at this time dig them up, cut off the tops and root them in a planter. This is pretty much a one at a time deal, so the onion gets to dry a day so I can brush off the dirt. Then I cut off the stalk which gets chopped up for what ever onion is needed. the green tops are chopped and frozen for chives later in the year. the rest serves for another meal or two, depending on its size. Then I’m ready for the next one. This type of onion does not form a bulb, but looks more like an over grown scallion.
Already female flowers on the zucchini. if the bees are doing their job, there will be fresh produce soon. see at least one flower on the Roma tomatoes, and there are some pickable snow pea pods out there too.
Of the seedlings planted a week or so ago (guess its like 10 days), the Siberian tomato are really starting to take off. others are going slower, as it takes several days for them to get their roots settled before the plants grow.
of my spaghetti squash seedlings, 3 of the 5 have died and the other two look peaked. First year I’ve not grown my own starts on this. will pick up some when out and about today. The Delicata squash seedlings are not doing well, but are growing slowly. we’re not big winter squash eaters, although would like to change that, so its not a big deal.
on the other side of the garden path, we’ve been eating chard like mad and the lettuce is starting to bolt, so more salads are in order. the plants in the shade are growing slowly, but growing, so in a month or so, there will still be fresh lettuce to be had. The first of the Broccoli Raab is ready to be picked. Spinach is slow as always. this may be my last year for growing the stuff, although its likely I’ll keep going until I’ve used up my seeds. Just not worth it when chard kale and raab grow so well. maybe I’ll over winter it like I did with the chard and lettuce and see how that goes.
and will have to get the sun shade up soon.
Yesterday was 3 weeks since setting up the hive and was advised that this is the time to check to make sure the Queen is laying and that the comb is being built straight. Went to check at mid-day when the hive would be empty-est. found that they had begun the process of sealing up with propolis and moving the top bars was already difficult. Only checked the last comb in the line and it was being built nice and straight, which means, of course, that the rest is too. Bees did look upon what I was doing as an intrusion and began coming up out of the hive. one got between a couple of fingers and stung me.
Yes, I was working without gloves or veil
This is only my second bee sting, and while I pulled out the stinger immediately, had to finish sealing the hive back, which I started on immediately. So have not checked for brood, the queen, etc.
When I got home, put some benedryl on the sting and thought nothing of it. During the night it was SOOOO itchy. woke up to find my hand quite swollen and stiff. Took an antihistamine and now will have to just wait. Happen to have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday so will discuss the need for keeping an Epi pen around.
anyway, went back out this morning while it was cool to make sure the top bars were in place. So what is the ratio for brood bars and honey? where do I start putting in the spacers? this is a small hive so right now have 11 brood bars and 5 for honey. This hive will get plenty of winter sun, and there are usually flowers by February here in the desert.
Today was cloudy, a great day to work outside. Yesterday was sunny and hot and overheated putting in soaker hose for the tomatoes and zucchini coral. This is how they look today:
one of the original tomato seedlings has died. rest seem to be coming along
in the outer container area, filled the grow bags with all the ready compost, probably about 6 – 8 cu feet, and still had to add another 2cu foot bag of potting soil. The grow bags already were about 1/4 full! That’s a lot of dirt. clouds made it all easier. Then planted pretty much all the seedlings I had prepared!
from the left, comfrey which was overwintered out there. Next bag has yellow plum tomatoes in the back (since this was taken, added another plant in the empty space). Cayenne pepper plants to the front. Ended up recycling one plant of each. The picture to the right has orange slicing tomatoes in the back, eggplant in the front. white eggplant to the left, purple to the right
from the left, Siberian Tomato, 4 plants. am hoping that this short season variety will give me tomatoes BEFORE the real heat kicks in. Otherwise have to wait for the monsoon season for the others. To the right are four pepper plants, 2 anaheim chili (tossed a third seedling) and 2 chocolate bell peppers. This is a thick walled sweet pepper. the white container far right is a commercial potato that started to sprout. figured what could I lose with planting it!
yesterday planted the strawberries. these are a commercial purchase. variety is an Evergreen called Loran. originally was going to put 5 plants in the container on the left – picked up for $12 at Goodwill. Ended up with 6 plants, so put 2 in this long planter. All plants had started to set fruit and had flowers which were removed. Far right are the shallots that I’m currently growing for starter bulbs.