Sunday, August 19, 2012

Worms and Grubs Video.

I found creatures thriving in our soil. It's pretty self-explanatory. Take a look:

YouTube link to our video.

Mas Libros.

I just wanted to show you folks what we hauled in last Saturday after a free food drive. Words cannot begin to describe how much hatred I had for prep work but once it was done, I was eager to begin cooking. I steamed the Brussels sprouts in bamboo trays and tossed them with EVOO, sea salt (available at your dollar store!), and Malabar peppercorns. Included in the haul are many pounds of apricots and cherries with which Jordan and I are going to undertake fermenting into wine. She picked up some food grade plastic buckets and grommets to fit airlocks into the lid. We'll document that process shortly.

Swiss chard, pineapple, cauliflower florets, red and green romaines, avocados, eggplants, Brussels sprouts, green onions, limes, okra, radishes, collards, poblano chillis, red bells, 1.5 gallons of whole milk, mangoes, raspberries, and boxes of cherries and apricots. Whew!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Another Garden Update

Tomatillos. Surprisingly, we've had the best harvest from a volunteer plant that showed up in our radish/arugula bed. Our big patch of tomatillos suffered from an infestation of black grubs that were resistant to soap sprays.

An Armenian cucumber and an inexplicably sweaty me.

Some kind of pickling cucumber.

Two massive buffalo gourds took over our lettuce bed. We didn't know what they were for a while. Apparently it's an indigenous species that produces a hard squash.

The gourd started growing through the windows and into the house. Despite producing a fruit that's edible while young, we opted to pull it out so we could plant more manageable veggies in its stead.
 The soil beneath the gourd was rich and full of life.

Vadim dug furrows and built up berms where the buffalo gourd had been. We replanted the space and so far the ditches are proving especially efficient at holding water.
Indoor plant collection. All sorts of rescued orchids. Orchids are perennials so there's no need to toss them out once they quit blooming. Just cut back the stocks and water as needed. They'll bloom again next year. In the foreground are lentil sprouts, pepper seedlings, succulent cuttings, and willow stem rooting hormone.

Zinnias are maybe my favorite flower. The colors are especially vibrant, they continue to rebloom, and they're easy to grow from seed. I reseeded the flower bed with three more zinnia varieties yesterday for the fall.
The first hollyhock I've successfully grown from seed. Hummingbirds love it. There's another getting ready to bloom next to it and I'm excited to see what color it is.

Lots of new growth on our pineapple plant.

The biggest of our mammoth sunflowers. It's taller than the house and still hasn't started blooming. We planted tons of sunflowers to shade the cucumber and nightshade beds.

Chia. Nearly as tall as I am, but still no signs of going to seed. This was a volunteer plant. We dumped a bottle full of fermented chia seeds and water onto the bed and it's gone crazy. The chia's protecting strawberries, herbs, and Chinese greens from the sun. We'll harvest the seeds to eat and mix into drinks once it flowers.

We have wild purslane growing allover the yard. The leaves are fatter and more succulent than most I've seen. They're delicious either raw or sauteed and boast a host of healthy attributes, including the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids of any leafy vegetable.