Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekly Farm Update: 6/19/11

This week starts off with a shot of a tomato harvest. Here we have some delicious tomatoes that are almost gone actually. The yellow pear tomatoes are put into baggies, 5 at a time, and taken to work to be eaten as healthy snacks. The cherry tomatoes are mixed in with salads or eaten by themselves. The larger tomatoes are either diced up and cooked, or tossed into salads, or eaten in sandwiches. We have tomatoes that will probably be made into sauces for pasta or anything else that we may conjure up in the kitchen.

I can now say that I have seen lettuce blossoms but didn't realize they were so small. These only bloomed for a few hours in the morning but once the sun warmed up, they disappeared. I'm not sure what happened but I will leave these plants in a little longer as I'm not sure what will go in its place. Last week I mentioned I may put in the strawberries, but decided against it. They are doing well in containers but will probably be moving them  up at some point. I may add another raised bed and they may go in there but I am not too sure yet.

Here we are looking at the bigger of the 3-4 eggplants that have set. I believe this is the Black Beauty and this particular plant has another 3-5 blooms on it. My wife loves eggplant and can't wait to try to make an eggplant lasagna. This is where the eggplant is sliced and used to replace the pasta in the lasagna. It makes it a little healthier and gives it more flavor. Yes, if that recipe is ever carried out,  you can be sure there will be a  blog post about it.

I gotta start looking for more ways to eat eggplant and I don't think I exhausted my options last year. Eggplant was baked, fried, boiled/stewed, sauteed. I hope to be able to grill it this year.

Up next is a yellow tomato plant that is going insane! This cage was fashioned from some metal panels that were found in the garage. These are sold to make the wire cage shelves that come with those horrid plastic pieces. I could have used those but zip ties work much better and easier to take apart. All I need to do is just clip off the zip ties. This one originally started with two squares going up, but a third layer had to be added. I hope the plant doesn't get too much bigger as I have run out of panels. I also have another cage built the same way in one of the raised beds and that one has also gone insane. The gray posts on the bottom were hammered into the ground and simply attached to the cage with zip ties to give it more stability. The make-shift cages work well but I don't recommend buying the kits for the wire cube shelving for this purpose as they are not cheap. These happened to be in a box in the garage and were not being used.

I know I haven't posted a full shot of the beds on the actual blog post in a while but they have always been in the Flickr sets. I will do things a little differently and start with the bed on the right and work to the left.

As you can see, there are tomatoes that should be picked sooner than later. This bed also includes carrots that should be good to pull in another month or so. I believe these are full size carrots and I am interested in seeing if there is a difference in growing them directly in the ground or in a raised bed.

The middle bed includes peppers, eggplants and tomatoes and they are all producing. No eggplant has been eaten yet this year, but the peppers and yellow pear maters are plentiful and delicious.

The last bed also has tomatoes, what a shocker there, and 3 different kinds of peppers. Banana, green bells, and poblano peppers. These have all been producing more than enough peppers than we need. Like I've said before, they aren't as large as the ones that are found in the stores, but those are just massive. There are only 2 of us and we don't need anything in that size.

Up next is the new bed that was just planted yesterday! I know the quality on this photo is not up to par but it does the trick. This bed was built by using my usual method but instead of waiting for the compost to be ready, I stopped off at Home Depot and picked up 2 large bags of garden soil at 3 cubic feet each. I thought I would need both bags, as the bed is just under 9 cubic feet but I didn't realize that the soil is compacted. I had about an inch or two already in the bed and I just emptied out a single bag and it filed it more than halfway up. I had some grass clippings in a trash can that had cooked down and were tossed in the bed. Everything was mixed together and it looks gorgeous.

This bed was planted with mainly root crops that include: beets, bunching onions, more carrots, radishes, turnips but also include spinach and lettuce. The grid was easy to make with push pins, twine, sharpie and yardstick. The bed is 3x3 and the yardstick was perfect for measuring the squares. Push pins were hammered on the inside of the bed and the twine was then added.

I'm not sure how it will work out but it looks promising. I even covered this bed with a roll of yard guard mesh. It is set on top and falls down the sides to protect it from the cats and will keep them from using it is a giant litter box. I can just water the bed without needing to take off the yard guard. I will be  posting photos of it's progress in the weekly updates.

The last photo this week shows flower buds from the Plumeria cuttings my wife planted. She hasn't had good luck with plants in the past but this is a perfect fit for her. These require certain planting mediums and watering rules. She got these cutting from somebody at her office and has been taking care of them ever since.

She searched the internet for all the information she could find and put it into action. She only waters them once a week and the love is starting to show. The blossoms for this year are starting to form and she simply can't wait. There were a few last year and they were not only gorgeous, but also smelled amazing. It looks like she may get even more blossoms this year and she is bouncing off the walls.

This is it for this week and I hope to back next week with more photos!


The photos for this week can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. Love your tomato cage. What a creative way to reuse garage fodder. At first sight, I thought they were some sort of designer trellis. LOL