Monday, August 21, 2017

A savage beast in the garden

Today I picked 317 grams of green beans from the wagon garden, the first harvest of the summer from that venue, with many to come, I'm sure.
But the spectacle of the day was caught on the iPhone by Nancy:

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Finally looking like a garden

I have waited for the garden (and the trees) to start looking good, and now they are. Here's a detail of the peaches in the old tree (still about ten days from harvest, I think):
Yummy! And the foliage on the young peach tree is luscious:
and, by the way, I discovered a fourth peach hidden there somwhere. Yes, there are four good looking peaches on that tree.
The beans in the wagon box are a few days away from a first harvesting:
All the squash and cuke varieties are flowering
In sum, life is good!

Friday, August 11, 2017

92 grams of green beans

Aside from herbs and arugola, this modest harvest (sufficient for two servings of my Sicilian Potato, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Capers, Oregano salad) is the first of my late garden (late, not late):
This came out of my elevated box by the greenhouse, and more will be ready in the next few days:

The other, larger box, is a week or ten days behind, but doing well, and we will have enough for a winter supply of frozen beans:
The various squash and cucumber plants, planted very late, are also coming along:
The heirloom tomatoes are in good shape, too, as this specimen shows:
And the apple and peach trees are loaded and getting riper--but we still have a few weeks to go:

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Month

It was June 18 when I could get back to the garden. It has been a busy month, and if I don't jot down something to mark time and space, I will forget the causes of the success or failure of my work.
I got three loader buckets of horse manure from the stables. I unloaded the manure and dumped it at one end of the penitentiary. I finished fixing the wagon garden to be ready for the soil: first I lined the bottom with plastic; then I added some surplus pavers; then a substantial amount of rocks, and finally I filled the bed with a mix of my compost, the horse manure, and peat moss. Then I filled the four beds I had built this past winter and spring. I planted tomatoes of several varieties (from my own seeds) in three of the four beds, and peppers and eggplant in the fourth (also from my own seeds).
The yard was parched and I had to water everything starting from the fruit trees. They are looking better now, and:
the apple tree is loaded with fruit

the old peach is promising a good crop (not too visible in this picture)
the young peach has three peaches on it, and here is the picture of one
Unfortunately all three grafts failed. The plum and apricot crops also failed.
The grape vines have very little fruit, and I had to repair the damage to one vine caused by the wind that accompanies our monsoons. I hope to train the vine to circle over the "gate" I built

Of the vegetables, the green beans are the fastest growing, some in the box by the greenhouse and some in the wagon garden 

The five volunteer tomato plants in the greenhouse trough are loaded with flowers
and the ones in the boxes are coming along
I am thinning them down as the stronger ones elbow out the weaker plants, thus performing a sort of vegetable eugenics. We'll have to see if there is enough summer left to enjoy the produce.
And Nancy added a nice touch just outside the door to the yurt
So, a part of the old Ponderosa has been put to good use.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Going solar

I finally got back to working on my garden. But when we decided to give solar a last chance, we were faced with the dilemma: either the beautiful Ponderosa that grows through the deck goes, or we have no solar power.
We went with solar, and so we had to give up the tree. So, before I get back to recording the progress of my garden, I'll have to post one video, the one that sees Craig at the top of the tree cutting the last segment of it and speed-lining it to Leon on the ground.

Good Bye Beautiful!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

True, the apricots seem all to have fizzled, but the young peach has at least three fruits growing; the apple is loaded, and so is the old mama peach. Here is one baby fruit on the baby peach tree:

and the lady bugs are doing their faithful work on the aphids that every year infest the premises:

The grape vines are showing their new leaves

and the cactus is in almost full bloom. Ah, spring and the beginning of summer!

Friday, April 21, 2017

News, bad and good.
Two items of bad note: the apricots are not materializing. All flowers are dropping off. And the leaves of the plum tree are wrinkled sick. I have treated both trees with a spray oil, and I hope to see some results in the next few days.
And here is the picture of the good news, a baby peach; and there are many others on the branches of the tree.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Grubs and roots.
The veggies in the wagon garden, one of my raised beds (raised, but resting on the ground), did not produce well the last two years. I had noticed the heavy roots before, but I had attributed them (and the failed crops) to a mistake I had made in the composition of the soil and the fertilizer I used. No such. The roots come from an opportunistic tree, whose trunk is about fifteen feet from the bed.
I have had to work hard to empty the bed, which was a mess of tangled roots. This pile about one foot high and three feet in diameter is what's left:
As I screened the removed soil, I found grubs,
and evidence of the power of these roots trying to establish themselves, penetrating, even, some peach pits:
On the fun side of things, here is the apple of my yard:

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


I think the apricot tree is giving us her first fruits. I hope I am not mistaken. The little thing is only about 3/8 of an inch but cute as hell.
The plum is in full bloom:
And the apple looks like this:
I like, I like...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Tree Updates.
Yesterday I took pictures of my fruit trees, first the old peach in full bloom:
Then the apple, just starting to show its flowers along with leaves:
And then the plum:

Friday, March 17, 2017

Spring is Here.
The apricot tree has done its flowering thing:

The joung peach is in blossom:
The plum is showing nice buds:
And the old peach is doing its thing:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Apricot in Bloom.
A week ago today this is what the apricot flowers looked like:
The bees have been feasting these past days, and now the blossoms are fading.
The peach trees are next, and tomorrow I'll take a snapshot of the flowers.
The apple is giving signs of awakening.
The temperature has been 10 to 15 degrees above normal for several days and will continue through the week-end.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Greenhouse Improvements.
Instead of pots I will be using two long veggie boxes on the floor of the greenhouse:
Three pieces grace the space above the large trough, two sconces and an obsidian chime, all lovely gifts from a lovely daughter. When the windows are open the obsidian shards will chime their sweet sound. I will enjoy that.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Peach Grafts.
Last year it was March 1st when I grafted six scions to my volunteer peach (one made it). All my fruit trees were in blossom at the time. Not this year. Here is what each looks like:
This is the apple. Along with the plum, the last to flower.
 And here is the plum:

This is the old peach:
And this is the apricot, the first to flower:
So, I decided to do a three-way graft on the young peach:
and one can see how last year's graft is a nice branch now. I hope at least one of the new grafts makes it.
The garden keeps giving. Last week I harvested some arugula (here shown drying)

which I tossed in with campari tomatoes, capers, cucumber, avocado, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and Sicilian oregano. Wow.