dalthauser: (Default)
* We were busy at the restaurant over the weekend.  I helped on Saturday and Sunday in the kitchen.  Met Marcel's new cook and waitress - two thumbs up.  This morning we walked on the beach before Marcel went to work.  It was rather nasty - lots of seaweed and trash from last night's festivities.  I got to feed the Seagulls though, so that made it worth it.

* I drove up from Corpus Christi about 2:30pm.  It's a 3+ hour drive, and I don't have A/C - which is usually not a problem - but today felt so hot that I stopped at Academy in San Antonio and did some window shopping just to get some Air Conditioning.  I picked up a lunch bag sized backpack cooler ($6) to take tubing (will carry some sodas, sunscreen, keys, and camera).

* I got home and headed right outside to take care of business.  Got everything watered - fed the chickens/collected eggs.  Got some pics of the rest of the afternoon.....................

Cucumbers grow so fast.  Luckily the Armenian cukes taste good even when huge (those spots are water droplets - just finished watering)



Fig tree must have started going into ripening mode on Saturday or Sunday because there were tons of succulent figs on it.  This year it seems I will have some competition from the critters.  This is fine - there are plenty (PLENTY) to share.  I harvested 6 1/2 pounds this afternoon without breaking a sweat (1 pound went to the chickens due to large critter bites.  Usually I leave the bitten ones on the tree for the critters to finish off - but sometimes I can't tell until later which ones were chewed on).

Butterfly and Beetles sharing a tasty fig.  The butterflies are all over the tree - which I didn't expect.  Usually it's just friendly wasps (never been stung - not once) and Beetles.


I didn't notice this bird nest until I crawled inside the tree to do some harvesting. 


Multiple varieties of beetles this year...................

Variety 1


Variety #2


.... and my personal favorite because he stayed on the fig when I picked it, let me see him up close, and he posed like a super-model on a photo shoot (BBB MAGAZINE - Big Beautiful Beetle).







5 1/2 pounds of moist delicious figs - Life is Good
dalthauser: (Default)
*  Baby chicken still growing.  Still don't know for sure what the sex is.  He/she is alone a lot, but it doesn't seem to mind much.  Mama chicken is sitting on another egg as we speak.................(stay tuned)



Fig tree is filled with figs, but they seem to be ripening slow.  I put the watering can in front to show actual size.

Closeup of figs forming


Cucumbers are still doing great. 


This is butternut squash that volunteered in the compost bin.  I was going to pull it up, but Marcel asked me to leave it alone.  Glad I did because there are a lot of squash there.


The Pomegranates have some fruit on them - I didn't expect that since they got hit so hard with frost in the late spring.


The lone Pluot is starting to mature.  Looking forward to enjoying it with a friend soon. :-)

dalthauser: (Default)
Because the storm dropped about 10 inches of rain on us - we decided to go ahead and harvest the garlic, shallots and onions a little early.  Otherwise they would become engorged and split from the excess moisture.


Marcel with some of the Garlic harvest


A wheel-barrow full of trimmings from the onions and garlic.


Cleaned onions and shallots ready for distributing (fridge, restaurant, friends) :-)


Drying Garlic & keeping the backyard vampires away :-)
dalthauser: (Default)


Butternut Squash


Mints in the toilet (yummy)


Cucumber in the foreground - getting ready to start vining.


Believe it or not - this is my lavender (remember when I built the bed and the 4 plants were so tiny? haha)


Foreground Bush Beans, then Tomatoes, in the back Sunflowers


Blackberries! - I've lost track of how many gallons I've harvested - unbelievable this year!




Chickens having a Siesta under the Sego Palms


I had two Pluots on my tree this year.  I guess the baby male Plum tree came through his first year.


dalthauser: (Love Doves)
Our homestead is just overflowing with Love don't you know..... ;-)
(Marcel's Potatoes aka Ladybug Lovenest)

dalthauser: (DIRT)
The sun seemed to shine during the day yesterday and today which allowed me to get some things done in the garden.   It's always a good day when i can be outside.


The garden taken from my backyard.  Onions and garlic in the foreground - those things that look like weeds are actually cilantro (it grows wild now all winter....everywhere I let it.)



Marcel's Potatoes - they got hit bad by the late frost, but they seem to be recovering okay. 



We've got the tomatoes growing with the winter greens for now - in the back baby sunflowers - and in the foreground you can just see the green beans.



This is italian parsley flowering.  On either side is curly parsley which "lasts" much longer - If I keep it watered, it will grow through to next spring before going to seed.



This is well trimmed Swiss Chard growing with green beans now.  The Chard would normally last until the end of May, but I may need to pull them early to allow the green beans room (we'll see)



Baby Sunflowers.  This is my first year growing them - I hope they do well!


This is the Arugula - if you look closely you can see the seed pods.  I plan to save the seeds and throw them into the yards of people I don't like (this stuff in borderline invasive - haha).



A Lady bug on Marcel's potatoes


Here is my second try at cucumbers this year (first ones died with the late frost)



Garden from another direction

dalthauser: (Default)
Here are more pictures I took to document the status of the garden mid March.....................


Fingerling Potatoes have taken off and are humming along.  Marcel and I are really excited about this since fingerlings are pricey in the store.  We got a few varieties, and I wish I remembered where I put the note that told me where I planted what (pretty sure I didn't toss it - so maybe it will turn up later).  This is Marcel's patch because I know zip about growing potatoes.



Here are the Collard Greens.  The heat will have them going to seed very soon.  I've already planted baby sweet peppers between them, so we don't lose any productivity.  If the sweet peppers get started too late, the summer heat will render them non-productive (blossoms can't tolerate the heat and drop).



Onion and garlic patch.  It was supposed to be Shallots too, but not a one came up in that row (makes me mad too because they are expensive).  The pushy things that look like weeds are volunteer Cilantro we didn't have the heart to pull up.  Cilantro loves my garden.



This picture doesn't look like much, but it's going to be a great "before" picture.  Here are the grapes Marcel planted.  I believe they are Thompson Seedless.  I have my doubts about them growing here, but Marcel feels confident.  Once they get going we'll trellis them.



The Cilantro is hanging in there.  This row was so productive this year.  I learned something.  Start Cilantro in the fall - and it will produce all winter long.  It's slowly going to seed, and I'm going to let it complete its cycle.  That means more volunteer Cilantro next year, but that's not really a bad thing.


dalthauser: (Default)
I just emailed these to Marcel, so I thought (while I was at it) I'd post them in my journal too.


This is Marcel with Kaylob. He's very good at getting the little boy to relax and go to sleep. He's a natural :-)


Here is what I harvested yesterday from the garden. The weather is becoming unpredictable, so I went ahead and harvested the remainder of the peppers. The Komatsuna is about what I harvest every week - that stuff is prolific! :-)
dalthauser: (DIRT)
Thanks to the recent rains the garden is alive again and we're preparing for fall/winter.

Marcel and I were able to work on the garden yesterday.  We pulled up the yard long beans because I couldn't control the black Aphid population.  Just as well - we need to get garlic, shallots, and onions put in that location soon anyway.  Marcel turned over the ground - and it's ready for amendments and re-planting this weekend. Yay!

Looks like the Pomegranates are about ready for Prime Time.  Double Yay! 

Here Marcel is holding one off the bush.  It was so heavy - I wish I would have weighed it.


Here is one cut open and ready for my lunch box.


Here is a close up from the picture above


Here are the babies we transplanted (with loving care) yesterday.

Komatsuna (Mustard Spinach) - next to them is our Basil Patch (raided last night so we could make pesto)


Swiss Chard (looks a lot like the komatsuna at this stage doesn't it?) :-)



Zucchini squash looks like will be a success.  I'm hand pollinating because we just simply don't have any bees 'round here.  (working on warming Marcel up to the idea of a small household hive out back).   There's about 6 small fruits on them now - soon, universe willing, they'll be cranking them out (Marcel can use them in the restaurant - so the more the merrier)




dalthauser: (Default)
This fall I'm going to do a second planting of tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, and squash.

I'm also going to be putting in a permanent bed of perrenial onions and sorrell.

I'm going to try a new seed company  SOUTHERN EXPOSURE because they sell heirlooms and they offer almost everything I want (except for Mache lettuce - which Marcel wants to grow - I can get that from another source). 

Here is my planned order (still need to check with my garden partner to see if he wants to add or modify)

Bush BeansContender13103$2.15
SoyBeansAsmara11501$2.50
CucumberSuyo Long51701$2.35
Garlic (1/2lb)Inchelium Red65102$11.50
Shallots (12oz)French Red66701$9.50
Onions (Wild)Egyptian Walking66604$9.95
Swiss ChardRainbow32951$2.45
KaleDinosaur25106$2.35
SpinachBloomsdale Long Standing67102$2.10
Vetch (1/4LB)Hairy Vetch78203$4.95
SorrelGarden Sorrel71246$1.99
RadishDaikon28201$2.45
RadishMisato Rose28109$2.45
ParsleyItalian Plain Leaf37101$1.99
Shipping $6.50  $66.50





















Southern exposure doesn't carry a Mesculin Mix (you have to buy each variety separate), so I'll also be getting that from another source. 
Must have gourmet greens!

That's it for now :-)

Amaranth

Jul. 17th, 2008 02:45 pm
dalthauser: (Default)

I threw down some Amaranth in the garden to see what it would do.  The chickens love the greens, and I've steamed some - they are okay to eat.  They are blooming now.  Super easy to grow and drought tolerant.  The bugs like the young leaves, but once they get a certain size the bugs leave them alone.



Closeup of blooms

dalthauser: (Default)

*  FedEx emailed - my Ipod is at my house waiting for me.....SQUEE!!!!  Now I just want to go home, but if I do I'll lose my OT I worked this week.

*  I finished painting my hallway - I'll post an entry with pics this weekend.

*  I think Jesse Jackson is just suffering from Obama-Envy.

*  I am signing up for my vehicle insurance with Progressive - it's 2X the coveraga at over $100 less than the current quote for renewal from my current company!  I'm kind of annoyed with Allstate for ripping me off.

* The garden responded immediately to the rain we've had. I guess it's really been starved for water in spite of my watering.  I need to get the drip system put back online - this will help.

*  Is Demonoid legal?  I don't want the feds to beat my door down - especially since my neighbor is leasing me his connection.

Out.....

Day Off

Jun. 18th, 2008 11:45 pm
dalthauser: (Default)
 Did most of what was on my list today which is amazing.

* Didn't get the toilet fixed, but I did get it completely taken apart which was a learning experience (my total lack of mechanical common sense amuses me).  I'm going to power clean and disinfect all surfaces - and I think putting it back together with the new parts should be a little easier now that I know what's what.

*  Working on a bed outside of the garden shed.  Not sure what I'm going to put there.  I'm thinking Lavender out front and Sorrel along the side - or maybe something that climbs.  It'll be the end of summer before I get it all dug out and filled in with something other than the cement hard clay we have here. Here's before pictures......



* Got stung by a wasp as I was pruning a hedge against the house.  Funny thing I looked up near the rain gutter to see if there were nests (that's where they usually have them).  I was trimming away for a little while and I reached behind the plant and - Yow!!  I know that poor guy was there the whole time saying "ah jeez, just keep your trimming to the front please - oh no, she's getting closer - damn, I'm gonna have to do something if she gets any closer.....".  Stings don't bother me too much - and I apologized to the guy for invading his space.  He let me finish the rest of the shrub, so it's wasn't a bad deal all in all.

*  Another scorcher for the chickens.  They spent a good part of the day inside their coop enclosure because I sprayed down the dirt and it was nice and cool.  At around 6pm they began their evening foraging.  They are getting less and less friendly.  I wish I could spend more time with them - most of their waking hours I'm at work.  

*  I have tomatoes coming out of my ears.  I have to pic them before they ripen because of the bugs.  They taste great though even when they ripen on the windowsill.  Next year I'm going to grow them under cloth.  My Sierra melon vines have leetle mini melons starting to form.  I sure hope it does well - so far so good.

* The Texas Blood & Tissue Center called, and I actually answered the phone (usually they leave a message because I'm not home).  They need people to donate Platlets.  I didn't know what that entailed, so the woman patiently explained it to me - I burst out laughing at how she described it - and we ended up both laughing - and so I agreed to come and have the liquid part of my blood removed for good and the other parts put back in my body..... she said I have to drive to SA (which sucks) and it takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours (since they are taking out AND putting back I guess) - but they have a library of hundreds of DVD's I can watch - so yay.  


 
dalthauser: (Default)

* Peppers are starting to produce.  Here is a picture of a Bell I harvested yesterday.  It weighed 12 ounces.  How it looks in my hand is how I picked it off the plant.  I don't wait for Bells to turn red because it usually gets sunburned before that could happen.
 

* The cucumbers are climbing pretty good by now.  They aren't doing as well as I hoped, but I'm going to wait and see.  This is a new Japanese variety - so it might be partly due to that.  Might go back to the old variety next year.


* Tomatoes are producing like crazy.  I'm harvesting about a quart of cherry tomatoes a day.  I have 444's as well but they aren't nearly as prolific. I'm letting them grow wild this year with no staking (even though I put in stakes in the beginning) and no pruning.  This coming Wednesday I'll be making fresh salsa since all the ingredients are harvestable (onions, tomatoes, chilis).


* Last years cucumbers volunteered to grow in my tomato patch.  Not sure how the seeds found there way there since the cucumbers grew a whole patch over last year.  I'm going to leave them alone even though I have others growing elsewhere.  Never turn down a plant trying to make you food I say.


* Now that the blackberries are done producing - time to prune back the canes so the new canes will receive all the water and nutrition for next years crop.  This truly is hazardous duty - even with gloves.


* I have two volunteer blackberries that rooted themselves.  This makes me smile.  I am going to transplant them to buckets and maybe find them a home.   Otherwise the mower will get them.


* Some people throw their change on the kitchen table when they come in the door.......

dalthauser: (Default)

I apologize in advance for the lack of a cut.  Hopefully you'll just quickly scroll by if it's not your thing.

The flock is 2 months old.  They are fully feathered and putting on weight.  They still coo at night, but now its more "bok-boking" and clucking - no more peeps :-)  That's the Roo on the left with the red comb. I have a hard time even recognizing Fanny anymore since she's sully feathered now.  There is a little stain still on one feather from the no-pick lotion, so that's how I can tell it's her.  Roxy has almost lost all of her Barred Rock feathering and is looking more Delaware now.


The spinach is now about to flower and go to seed.  I'm going to save the seed and see about growing it in the fall.  I have some purchased seeds as backup in case that doesn't work out.  I'm a perennial fresh spinach eater, so now I'll be paying $5.99 a pound for it at HEB throughout the rest of the summer.


Here's the first of the garlic.  These are a little small, but I broke into one and the cloves are fully formed and taste good.  I'm curing these for storage to see if I can, but I'll probably pickle and roast/freeze the rest.
  
Doesn't this look funny?  Such a big pepper on such  little plant.  I have to enjoy the bell peppers while I can because where I live it gets too hot for them to flourish after july.  If I care for the plant carefully, it will flower and fruit again in the fall though.  I have mild chile peppers to get me through the scorching summer - they produce no matter how hot it gets.

Here is some of the Sorghum. It's now so tall I have to uncover it and let it fend for itself.  
\
Tomatoes (these are cherry) right on target.  I'm thinking of constructing a little hoop "house" for them before the bugs arrive. The stink bugs here are like something out of that Stephen King "Mist" movie.  They sting the fruit and inject an enzyme into it that ruins it for eating.  

And Finally - Cucumbers!  I guess it's too early to get too excited (for anyone but me) - but it's always a thrill to see the first ones graduate to latching on and beginning to climb.


The sweet potatoes are doing well, the peanuts that came up are doing okay too - these two are firsts, so it'll be interesting to see what happens.  Parsley still going strong!

Except for a few bean issues and a challenge with the basil (major food group for me in the summer) - life is good in the garden :-)

dalthauser: (MARMITE)
 I missed the last 8 minutes of American Idol last night.  Tape ran out.  Lucky for me I have THE INTERNET!! - so I jumped online to see who got kicked off.  Like I thought - Jason Castro.  

I'm too thick - I've got to pay attention to what I'm eating and put in place some type of formal exercise.  I sit on my butt for 9 hours a day chained to a telephone headset - so I just keep gaining a tiny bit at a time.  I'd say I've gained #30 since I started working here.  I'm not comfortable and I feel bloated.

My cucumbers showed their first blossoms, and a couple of the vines are throwing out "feelers".  Whoo hoo!  Can't wait to see those babies climb.  The pole beans - not doing as well.   I harvested another pint of berries this morning.  Man, this putting in Blackberry bushes idea is really paying off.  I'm going to do grapes this coming winter.  No clue about how to do it but I have THE INTERNET!!! :-)

I think I may go see Ironman after work tonight.  If I do it on the weekend it will throw off all my planned projects.

dalthauser: (Default)

This weekend I got Soybeans, Purple Hull Peas, Lovage, and lettuce leaf basil planted.  I also reseeded cukes since I put the other ones out too soon and they are very weak and sickly looking.  

Peppers are already blooming - no pics yet.

First Tomato of the Seaon (if you put your face up to the screen and squint - you'll see it)


I have an onion starting to bloom!!  Last year, due to all the rainy weather, they didn't make it to t his stage.  I'm excited!


This is my parsley patch.  I've gotten so much from it so far - it grows like crazy.


Potatoes here.  It's an experiment.  Next time I'll grow them in tires - this year I'll just mound up dirt around them.

 

dalthauser: (Default)

Sunday I worked in the garden most of the day.  I "built" arbors for the cucumbers and pole beans.  They turned out pretty good - and I figure the cost of materials was about $20 for each (4 posts, 2 concrete mesh panels).  It doesn' t show up very good here, but the top is like a little roof.  Once the plants grow up - I think it will look pretty cool.


Saturday morning my neighbor helped me finally fix the flat tires on my riding mower.  I decided to take it for a spin and ended up mowing the entire back section of my property (took about an hour or so).  What I didn't remember is to put on sunscreen.......  I was officially sun sick until Tuesday.  My back actually blistered - I am so mad at myself for being so careless.


Monday I ran errands and planted peanuts, sorghum, and sweet potatoes.  All three are experiments.  I also did a little tree trimming.

Tuesday I did some house cleaning and goofed off.

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