Thursday, 22 August 2013

2 Months - Zero Food Mile update

2 months (little over) of not buying any fruits or vegetables. I must say I am a little boarded of my diet. Its just TOO healthy. Eating grilled and fresh veggies every day, is leaving me with powerful cravings for junk food.

Still missing the mushrooms and the cherries and perhaps plumbs. Romance series cherries are growing well (except one I lost), and I think I may have cherries next year. Mushrooms may take more effort and my fruit choices will increase as the pears and apples trees mature.

A friend sent me this article on pesticides. Maybe that's what my body is craving. Or perhaps its the embalming ingredients in hour processed food. Its good to see that many of my favourites in my garden are on this list!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Mid Season update

 Well the beds are pretty bare with my new seedlings for the second crop just in. Some of the full seasons though are kicking in nicely and I thought I do an update. I purchased some hops from a far in BC and in its second year its gone crazy on the old washing line pole. I can see the hops buds, but have no idea when I am suppose to pick them. Anyone?

 My Poona Kheera cucumbers are producing heavily. In fact, I missed a few and cant seem to keep up. Seems many are a little turned off by their yellow / brown colour, yet they do taste very crisp clean when eaten.
My family lived in South Africa for 400+ years before I immigrated to Canada. A very common squash there is a Gem Cucurbita pepo. Common in that it is every store and eaten all year. I have no idea why, given its apparent heritage its so common there. Well I obtained a few seeds and last year, the cucumber beetles killed the vine after 1. This year it seems to be doing well and I have a couple edible sized ones on the vine already. I holding off as I want to use the seeds for next year.
 Yes my pictures are not as good as most the bloggers, mainly since I snap them with my phone in bad light. But my purple climbing beans are starting to produce. Not sure I like these more than Kentucky wonder I grew last year, but they are far more delicate and beautiful.

 Well I had almost given up on my Ocra, it was so slow to get going and seemed a real magnet for slugs. It seems I have 3 plants (out of 8 seedlings) that have survived and they have tiny little fruits on them now. We going to have a hot week this week, so I expect I be eating the red burgundy Ocra this week. A very attractive plant with the red stems and red veined leaves, and bright red fruits.
 Another that was superbly slow this year was my Ping Tung Long eggplant. Also extremely attractive plant with more purple tones. Looks like its eventually fruiting although the plants are also pretty stunted.
I pulled out 4 Zucchini plants, I simply could not eat them as fast as they producing and even giving them away has become problematic. How does one miss a zucchini that size. The straight-neck I left, to turn to seed. Never tried to keep these styled seeds, but thats what I doing, learning.

Lastly I picked my Aronia and Elderberries and  plan on making a juice. Elderberry has proven effective against flu and Aronia is apparently the highest antioxidant. how I going to make this, I have no idea yet, I need to do a little google. let you know how it works out.

Beneficial's (I hope)

This year I wanted to try get balance back into my garden. This was mostly around putting in the small water source and trying to make sure I have a flowering plant to feed wasps and other beneficial's in bloom at all times. This plant I was given by the my polish neighbor after I noticed just how many wasps it attracted (can you see them?). Its a self seeding annual that blooms from now till frost. Sage is my other favourite and seems to attract more bees.
My roses and grapes are still being eaten by Japanese Beatles, but otherwise, I seem to have had less problems than my first year (last year) with pests. Slugs and earwigs still, but little in the line of caterpillars so far. One idea I read about was making a mason bee nest, and so I took a cutoff from a 6 x 6 and drilled holes in it and attached it to the side of the shed.  I was very pleasantly surprised to see that most of the holes had an occupant. and mud and straw seems to have being stuffed in many of the holes. I have a second one of these near the composter, for crawlie animals. Hoping they can hide there in winter. Now if only could find a Japanese beetle predator.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Mr Zucchini!

So the kids (early school age) that moved in across the road came from an town house with no garden. Earlier in spring they were amazed at the garden, and so I let them both pick a lettuce and take home. In response I was apparently names Mr Lettuce in their home. Now Mr Lettuce is just so... - plain.
Daily harvest
Well I am drowning in Zucchini. Whats worse, is that half my plants where planted much later and are only starting to flower. I have given away 2 or 3 zucchini every day. My Italian neighbor made zucchini lasagna (with no dough) for me in return. I ate the spooning straight-neck squash. That was good! But if I keep giving neighbours zucchini will I get a new nick name?

My older zuchini plants have started with the powdery mildew that killed my plants last year. I cut off leaves, and tried to keep it under control. The last of my garlic is out and my Jimmy Nardello and early Jalapeno are now producing. Tomato's this year are still pretty slim pickings. A small Black Krim (at least I think so since this plant label is lost), and a couple of cherry (sun gold and Black) wrapped up my dinner picking.

The Romano 2 beans, must be some of the most productive things I have every grown. Low bush beans (my first) hung heavy with large green flat beans. This weekend, I pulled the 4 feet square garden for 2 colanders full of beans and planted 3 feet of new plants. This was after picking from the bushes for dinner every night for last 2-3 weeks. I tend to forget things in the fridge, with so much in the garden now though so perhaps I freeze them.