Thursday, April 30, 2009

Around The House and Garden

Oh yes, my first onion this year and the first red one I've ever grown! There is so much satisfaction in growing something that is life sustaining, and all from the dirt! It's amazing how much potential is hidden under a blanket of lawn in millions of yards.
Here are the the potato towers.....hopefully we'll prove all the sceptics wrong and produce an abundance of potatoes.
The corn is very tall. No tassels yet.
One of my favorite peppers are Cayenne peppers. They produce an abundance of peppers on just a few plants and taste great in almost any recipe.
The yellow squash has its first babies peeping out.
Who can resist smiling at this big bright happy blossom.
The paths are mostly covered with cardboard and now we are covering the cardboard with a thick layer of pine straw. It serves two purposes. It looks really nice and suppresses weeds. The above picture shows the progress, and the picture below shows how great it looks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Amarillo Carrots and Onions

Here are the pictures of my beautiful Amarillo Carrots. I cooked them along with some Cosmic Purple carrots last night in a little butter until the edges were slightly seared. Very yum and pretty. These carrots are a little stronger tasting than other carrots I have grown. All and all the carrots I've grown beat the taste of store bought carrots hands down. There is really no comparison. I find the carrots I grow at home get soft much quicker than store bought carrots. This really doesn't matter since they don't last very long in our house anyway!
In answer to questions regarding onions in zone nine. I'm still learning so much about how to grow onions myself. One aspect I'd like to understand a little better is short day vs. long day onions. I believe short day onions are better suited to our zone, although I'm really not sure. Last year I grew several really beautiful onions. They were used up so quickly that I planted quite a bit more this year.
Onions are biennials. They need two years to produce seed. Plant onions in the fall and harvest when the bulbs have formed and the greenery is slightly brown. Pull and allow to dry for a couple of weeks. In our hot climate it is not advisable to leave them outside to dry. The onions might get "sunburned" and then spoil during storage. The best bulbs can be replanted the next year to get seed. Most of this info I got from Suzanne Ashworth's book "Seed to Seed". A wonderful book every gardener should own.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Potager Progress

I'm still getting better from a virus that has kept me in bed for four days.....four days....and so much to do in the garden.....
Phase two of the potager garden is finished. The last phase, the pergola and sitting area, will probably have to wait until next year.
These are the last of the eight long beds Byron built recently. He barely has time to finish filling them before I'm on his heels planting the more than ready transplants.
Here are the cardboard covered paths. I'm going to layer it with a little more cardboard before covering it with the 30 bales of pine straw I ordered. Notice how beautiful the corn is. I've also collected a lot of seed from my winter plants and will be pulling them up soon.
This is something new I am trying this year. Potato towers. So far they are growing nicely.
O.K. now grow little plant, Grow!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Propogating Fig Trees

You might recall from a previous post my attempt at PROPAGATING FIG TREES. It looks as if it is going to be successful. Almost all of the cuttings are sprouting. If you would like to learn how to propagate fig trees click on the above link.
It was surprisingly easy and seemingly fool proof. I haven't checked to see if there are any actual roots yet. I'll give them another month in the pots and then check.
These trees will bear fruit identical to it's parent since it is grown from a cutting and not seed. I guess it's sort of a clone! This is a new variety I haven't tried yet. Byron's friend who gave me the cutting claims it is his favorite variety Alma.
You can read about the Alma fig and other varieties HERE.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Opting Out

People are the most amazing imaginative creatures in God’s creation. No matter what you throw out at them, if they are not willing to submit they will find some way to obey maybe the letter but never the spirit. If the people are not willing there is no way you can.

They will passively aggressively resist. Simply by not doing. More taxes the more money I make? I’ll simply not make money. Why should I? The government is going to supply all my needs anyway. If people think rich people are the only greedy people out there they are kidding themselves.

Rich people can be generous or greedy and so can poor people. When you promote envy among people you have a Cain and Able situation. One is willing to kill the other for what they have or for some perceived wrong. Why should one be punished for doing good? Why should one be rewarded for doing bad?

Envy in any form is evil. What will they do when we all opt out?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter

My prayers and hopes for his safe release are with the Captain held by Somalian criminals. I am only disappointed that our President hasn't publicly expressed the same.

Happy Easter!

These are the eggs my girls dyed. So much fun!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Around The House And Gardens

Pea pickin'
I love the open pod on the table cloth. The flower print behind it makes it look like a butterfly.
Spring chickies! These are a few of the 17 chicks we hatched in an incubator.
Of the 42 eggs we started with 24 were fertile, 17 hatched successfully, 2 died while trying to hatch and 5 didn't hatch at all. This 17 will bring our total number of chickens to 47.
Here's the patch my Brother plowed for me recently. In the future I'd like to use the no till method to keep it up. It's much larger than it appears in this picture, and often I find my self gazing across it thinking, "Am I crazy?" We'll see!
There are my neighbor's orange trees in the background. The soil looks pretty good. It needs a lot more organic matter. This little spot of ground is going to be used to grow all those large sprawling crops that need a lot of space to grow. Tall pole beans, pumpkins, watermelons.....
My Moonglow Iris is blooming now.

Doodles. I'm thinking about making this dress for my girls using fabric from Anna Maria Horner. I adore her fabric. It's so happy. It reminds me of one of my favorite artists, Matisse. Not so much that their styles are similar, but just because it's comfortable and happy.