Saturday, August 14, 2010

Odds and ends

I went out and treated the squashes for fungus. it seems to have bloomed overnight. I didn't get to go outside until after that other entry today, but when i did i saw a few squash leaves totally gray with powdery mildew. The summer squash are polka dotted with it too.

I also treated the tomatoes against any local blights  (early or late) that have been circulating.

And then i sprayed some BT to keep the worms out of my cabbages and corn.

This is what i picked yesterday.  They are ripening, slow but sure.

Oh, those square, gallon plus ice cream boxes that  i have them on,  they make great kit containers. I save them for storing lots of things, like my reusable yogurt cups & lids, i kept baby bottle parts in them, cake decorating supplies and we use one as the scrap bucket for the outdoor compost. (The worm bin gets the small bits right away), we keep it next to our coffee maker and its handy for the grounds to go in. The lid keeps fruit flies from getting curious and setting up house.

Um, lets see... i took some more pictures since i had been so lazy the last handful of days.  I love the carnival squash.  They are so decorative on the table that i don't mind them hanging around as decorations until they are stored away, Here's another variation.

Here is a Long Island Cheese

I don't know that i have seen anything from my Red Eye recently, i thought i saw some starting a couple weeks ago, but i didn't happen across any today.  They are a delicious squash, so i hope i have a few this fall.  They are butternut in texture and reminded me of hubbard in flavor.

Here's my single artichoke- its actually a small victory for me in a way because they say you can't grow them up here. This variety gives me the best shot that i know of, and the seed developers didn't fib. Of course one artichoke does not make a grand harvest, but i really hope this means that next year's starts from this year's roots will equal a modest harvest next summer.  Of course, i have to admit that i have no idea when it is or will be ready. Artichokes vary in size and shape by cultivar,  this looks like what is sold as a "baby" size at the grocery store.  I want to eat it, but it would just be one small bite even if it reaches standard size. I have considered letting it flower and set seeds in hopes of retaining a type that is likely to continue producing the first year.  But i have to look into it more:
Barring any more woodchucks, i may have some good cabbage soon. This is Point One:

.The other plants did recover like i hoped they wood. That gardening book i got from my Grandfather before he passed away said that a cabbage can regrow from a stub and produce multiple, smaller heads...the author was right!  I can see 3 good ones and 2 smaller ones getting ready to head up.

I never did cut down that swiss chard.  The seeds i started to put in their place never germinated. Not one. It may have been too hot. That was when we had those days close to 100 degrees. I don't think what i planted likes heat.  Too bad cause it was a waste of seeds.  But the chard is looking good again, its been cut or woodchuck raided at least 3 times now.

This is my only pepper so far
I checked for egglpant again and i don't see a thing, not even a hint.

Burdock leaves,  i'm really curious to learn what this root veggie will taste like. Its been interesting watching it grow.

And finally, the bare spot we want to become grassy. Its slowly coming in.  It needs watering daily though, which is a problem since we haven't gotten more than an inch of rain here for 3 weeks or more.

But the peegee hydrangea is enjoying the extra watering!  I expect some great color this fall.

Since the air is so dry, i decided to use the Durabrand Dehydrator* to try making some beet chips.  I pulled some beets yesterday thinking i'd share them with the neighbors, then i got distracted and they stayed outside all night on the side step.  I didn't want to give them wilted beets, so i decided to try and see if they make good chips since i said something about it at the Never Done Farm blog.
I used my mandoline slicer on the finest insert and i put them in with another summer squash.  I did the summer squash on medium last time, but i'm trying the thinner setting this time. Might not have been very wise because the mid size slice produces a veggie chip only slightly thicker than a standard potato chip.  These squash chips might turn out like stiff paper. But then, they will be easier for the little one to snack on, they should melt in her mouth.   I have no idea what to expect from the beets. If they do what sweet potatoes do, they will be a nice crispy crunch.

I spent a good deal of time last night at the Excalibur dehydrator site. They have some nice instructional videos.  I watched the entire Dehydrate2Store presentation and learned quite a bit.  She gives a lot of good and practical advice and the presentation is nice and clear.  The only thing i wished she would have done is turned on the Excalibur so i'd have an idea how loud it is.  But everything she used in the videos sound loud so it may be a good thing. lol

*I noticed when trying to find a replacement dehydrator about a year ago that a lot of people are looking for the Durabrand Dehydrator User Manual. I found that i still had my original copy so i scanned it into my computer and uploaded it to my Photobucket account for anyone who may wish to find it by searching for Durabrand User Manual or Durabrand Dehydrator.  Here is the link to the scanned images of the manual:
Durabrand Dehydrator Manual

Hopefully anyone who needs it will find it.

Tomatoes, finally.

We did get to pick one tomato on the 5th of August.  It was a Siberia.  The Siberia have given us about 6 more since then. Hubby says they are good, one the small size (like a really big cherry tomato) not very sweet but very tomatoey.

The rest of the plants are finally going from green/white to a yellowy color and many are becoming very red.

I took photos a few days apart over the last week or so that i haven't made any entries:


These i picked on the 12th

I got to have the little pear tomato, it was a bit mealy, but it has been dry. The flavor was nice.

I have gotten a few more tomatoes since then

(edit in that picture)

The corn is continuing to be motivated
Some slender ears, they have gotten a bit fatter since this picture was taken

.The purple tomatillos have put out a number of berries

The ornamental eggplant is looking interesting

The big pumpkin is getting very orange.  Not bd for my first pumpkin...and the accidental one that it is. The other two are looking fine, the middle sized one is beginning to ripen as well.

I discovered that i do have a big birdhouse gourd. It is buried in a tangle of vines and has to be close to 2' tall

The squashes are looking nice and it looks like i will have a plentiful harvest of them. The Carnival (pictured) has at least 6 that i can see and the Long Island Cheese is working on at least 4.
I didn't photo any cucumbers, but we are averaging at least one a day. Not enough to do anything with, but perfect for an occasional snack.  I will plant more next year, even though the production level is not overwhelming- i want to try some cucumber recipes with the extras.

The watermelon has been a toss-up.  I had some nice Pony Yellow forming but they got to Candlepin bowling ball size and then cracked in half.  I do have one round melon still going strong, its almost standard bowling ball size now, but i'm not sure which variety it belongs to.  The oval watermelon is still growing nice. I checked them for cracking yesterday and all seems well so far.
I wonder if i will be able to figure out when they are ripe enough to pick.

Purple podded green beans in flower
The purple beans are taking their sweet time, but the Provider beans are still going,  slowly but i can get about a pound every 4 days.

I think my "Venous Orange" is trying to flower.  No scent so far,  which is  disappointing.

Back view of garden.  The weeds are taking over.  I simply can't keep up at this point.

Oh, and this is what Job's Tears plant looks like as its going to work on making seeds
I hope i get enough seed to replant next year and get some for beading projects.

I saw one sweet pepper forming, its not tiny anymore.  I saw some of the hot peppers flowering,  no eggplant yet.  The summer squashes are still going, the herbs are doing great. I pulled a few more beets but i'm leaving the carrots a little longer.  The melon leaves are turning a bit yellow, not sure if this is disease or dryness. 

So that is the rundown to catch up.

Its a motivation thing.

I have been taking pictures and doing stuff, but i think its rather sad that the reason i haven't made an entry lately has been because it is such a hassle to get the pictures from my camera to the netbook.
Its not really that hard, but try doing this with a toddler who is trying to get to your coffee, keyboard, camera and camera cable all at the same time- while you are trying to save the coffee cup from being spilled, fending off miniature arms, legs, knees and elbows while pushing the right buttons at the right time and making sure files go where they should.

She's content with her toys until the camera and the cable come out.

During her nap, i have other things that need doing, so i rarely complete and entry during her nap.
If she's too rambunctious i simply don't get to play.

Or i get to try and put it all together in small bits.

I'm going to try and put together a real entry today if possible because i do have things worth writing down.