With some major rain coming in – several days worth, decided to hustle up my potatoes.  Potatoes are so cheap, and take up so much room, there is a limit to what I can grow in my containers.

This is from 3 grow bags.  The larger, light skinned potatoes are from the greenhouse, the rest were outside.  All are store bought commercial potatoes for starters.  One bag just had small potatoes and they had been planted this year.  The others were planted BUT NOT HARVESTED last year and allowed to just grow this year and they have the best yields.

Don’t know why the greenhouse ones are so huge.  the wintered over bag from outside had a lot of 2 – 3” potatoes.

Have left little potatoes in all the bags to winter over and see what happens next year!

this is 6.5lbs of potatoes.


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Does anyone know what kind of squash this is?  The largest is about 8-9” across.  They are not pumpkin.  Found them at our local natural Grocers and they were supposedly from Mexico.  They have a nice rich flavor, so much more than butternut, acorn, delica or any of the other winter squash I’ve tried.  Bought several, and if I see them again, will buy several more, cook and dehydrate them (don’t have the room to store all these squash!)

Am also saving seeds and hopefully will be able to grow my own next year.


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garden woes


IMG_1592 (1024x705)This is my harvest this month so far.  That’s right, not today, but for the month – and actually for the last two months!  Serious lack of pollinators.  This is from EIGHT zucchini plants, 8 tomato plants, and an entire envelope of bush beans – a picture of the plants themselves below

IMG_1593 (768x1024)Two of the tomato plants gave me these teeny 1” tomatoes rather than full size.  Not the garden’s fault, genetics at play.  Still a disappointment

IMG_1594 (768x1024)This is happening with the indeterminate San Marzanos. 

IMG_1595 (768x1024)This is a different plant, same species, same results.  Blossom end opens and tomato just withers away.  Not a bug, or it would be happening to all the others which are right next to them.  Any ideas?

IMG_1596 (768x1024)This is the bush bean patch.  usually would get enough from a planting like this for several meals plus!  Not this year

IMG_1597 (1024x768)On the other hand,These are potatoes grown from store bought, commercial red potatoes!  Yup, they start to sprout in the pantry, so into the dirt they go.

IMG_1598 (768x1024) Hoping by next fall this avocado will be ready to go into the front yard along with an almond tree I’m nursing along from seed.

Posted in grow bags, homesteading, legumes, organic, potatoes, prepping, self-reliance, squash, tomatoes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

the unusual


IMG_1554 (600x800)  IMG_1556 (800x708) Turmeric – greenhouse

IMG_1555 (557x800)Ginger – greenhouse

IMG_1558 (413x800) Avocado.  Rooted a seed and hopefully will plant this in the front yard this fall.  Have an almond seed that started last year for the same purpose.

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still cooking with the sun


IMG_1553 (800x600)Found this cool GLASSBAKE casserole dish at the thrift yesterday.  Its really a perfect size for cooking for two, PLUS you can see how well everything is doing.  Its over 300F in there and the juices are boiling away.  Will have to watch for more glass bakeware for the Sunoven.  The enamel ware is lighter, but  like being able to see without having to open everything up.  Especially when we get to cooler weather.

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where have the insects gone?

Don’t know about anyone else, but suddenly we have no insects – AND – no birds.

Not that both have totally disappeared, but say a good 90-95% of them have!  had sort of noticed that there were fewer insects around the garden plants, and then realized the neighborhood mulberry tree still had plenty of fruit on it.  In other years, it would have been picked clean by the birds within a few weeks of the fruit first starting to ripen.

My tomato plants are standing with loads of flowers, but no fruit is setting – both inside the green house and out!

Without insects, of course the birds would move on.  We have a large variety of birds here and the mulberry trees bring in the cardinals, the orioles.  This year have seen no orioles, few quail – although we have noticed their numbers are seriously declining here – few doves and usually hear lots of them starting to wake up as I walk the dog in the mornings – coo cooing everywhere.

Bats too have been declining.

But right now, this is downright scary.  We live near national forest.  So while I know the city uses chemical sprays on the weeds in the right of way, we are outside of that.  But here we are.

actually, thinking about it, am seeing less spiders and haven’t even seen a live snake this season. Just some dead ones in the early spring before it got warm.  They tend to go lie on the road for the heat which is not a good place to be . . . .

Anyone else have anything like this happening?

Posted in bees, container gardening, fruits, gardening, homesteading, organic, permaculture, prepping, self-reliance, tomatoes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

more sun baking


IMG_1548  IMG_1549  Got the oven good and hot, kept it well aligned, did not fasten down the glass.  let these cook for about 75 minutes.  tops lightly browned.  bottoms not.  Last time let them go for 2 full hours and it was too much.  looks like another 15 minutes might have been perfect, but not worth taking it all back out there for some more.

The tarts are strawberry rhubarb with some dried apple included to thicken it all up and some brown sugar.  The rhubarb was having its best year ever, and needs to be picked to keep going strong, so I did.  and in the few days since, there is lots of new growth already showing.  made some of the preserves into a crisp and had enough left over for this. 

Can see that I can easily make a couple of dozen tarts with this dough, making it a little sweeter for perfect gluten free fruit tarts.

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