This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. But Skippy always stood by me and was a great friend. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps and garden with me. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees and berry bushes, chickens and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

today's harvest

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That's a big head of Murdoc cabbage. Almost 5 lbs. Its the third I picked this year - and a first year for me trying this. It's an excellent variety. Tender and mild. Perfect for coleslaw, fried rice, and stir fries. I'm looking forward to making sauerkraut with it.

I dug a few small horseradish roots. I love the smell. So did Charley. He loves everything from the garden - even enjoyed eating a piece of the horseradish. I had to shoo him away from the harvest bucket after that.

I also picked a few well ripened bean pods of a variety I save year to year. It's a long white Chinese pole bean given to me at least 10 years ago now. I'm glad I got them before the chipmunks!

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Friday, September 08, 2017

today's harvest

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Saturday, September 02, 2017

pictures of my community garden plot

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I've been working in my plot a few hours today. It's very hot, but tomorrow nice rains are predicted so I'm planting fall seedlings and seeding a winter cover crop. I also dug my second of three rows of potatoes - the seedlings went in on top of this freshly dug soil. Escarole, radicchio, lettuce, arugula, broccoli, kailan (Chinese kale), and spinach. I pulled spent cucumber vines from my three tepees and planted pea seedlings around them. Oregon giant - a snow pea I love. I try planting fall peas every year and have never gotten a pod before frost kills the plants, but I keep trying. I started these seedlings inside several weeks ago. We'll see...

On my garlic bed, I planted a cover crop mix with spring oats, vetch, field peas, and rye grass. I also scattered crimson clover as a winter cover crop on the harvested onion bed, and under my tomatoes, summer squash, and peppers. I ended up with a big harvest of potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, raspberries, eggplants, cucumbers, my first ripe butternut squash, and a couple pears to test ripeness. I got home and dumped it all on the kitchen counter. It was a pretty picture with all the colors and shapes all mixed up. I had a photo but seems I lost it.

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Monday, August 07, 2017

today's harvest

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Friday, August 04, 2017

today's harvest

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Thursday, August 03, 2017

today's harvest

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Wednesday, August 02, 2017

fall and winter garden planning

I've finished planting most of my fall vagarables now. This week I'll plant a couple more. Fall vegetables are ones I harvest before they are killed by cold weather and don't use any cold protection.

I'm beginning to plan my winter bed now. I'll use the same double layered tunnel that's worked well for me the past couple years. I'll fill this bed with crops that are full grown by early November so I'll be able to harvest them all winter.

My fall vegetables: beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, arugula, spinach, escarole, and broccoli.

My winter vegetables: spinach, escarole, lettuce, and arugula.

I'm keeping record of my planting on my 2017 planning list.

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

beets ready to roast

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Today's fresh beets, ready to cook my favorite way! Two deep red Merlin's and one pink Chiogga.

I love to roast them in foil. It's so simple and it keeps in all the flavor. Just clean and trim the beets, wrap them in foil and roast at about 400 F til tender, about 45 minutes depending on size of the beets. The skin peels off easy after roasting and they're ready to eat.

With these beets I made a beet salad with goat cheese, candied walnuts, a nice vinaigrette, and baby green lettuce. I used this recipe: Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, from AllRecipes.

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today's harvest

The last of my garlic, a couple cucumbers, and three very beautiful beets.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

garlic envy

I visited my Mom 's garden yesterday. I weeded her paths dense with purslane and grasses. I fertilized her tomatoes and squashes, pulled her spent pea vines, and gave Charley a bunch of old broccoli stems and a few last peas to eat.

I also pulled my Mom's ripe garlic. I had serious garlic envy last year. My heads were so small, hers were nice, and I vowed to work on my soil to get heads as big as hers. A week ago I finished pulling my garlic and it is much bigger than last year's. I was pleased. But yesterday, head after head, I pulled my Mom's and it's amazing. Even bigger than it was last year and definitely bigger than mine. ---- So I still have garlic envy. And will vow another year to work on my soil.

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sprouting fall seedlings and evading the chipmunk

My little fall greens seedlings are sprouting. No thanks to the chipmunk that dug up several of the pots. Maybe he didn't find much, maybe I had planted twice what I needed, as it seems I am getting a lot of sprouts anyway. Lettuce, escarole, arugula, bok choy. They will fill in the spaces left by spent spring vegetables. I moved the seedling tray to a safer location that chipmunks can't get to.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

donation

Today I donated a big box full of fresh vegetables to a local food pantry. Squash, cucumbers, broccoli, broccolini, bulb fennel, green onions, beets, radish, kale, peas, and parsley. It's a great feeling to grow enough food to give it away.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

today's harvest

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Monday, July 24, 2017

indoor gardening on a rainy summer day

A dreary, rainy day here. Cool for us (upper 50's). I missed getting outside to work and having sunshine. But I know my gardens loved the rain. We got just under an inch of rain - a steady all-day rain.

Instead of outdoor gardening, I "gardened" inside.

- I've been meaning to clean out and organize my little room off the garage that I use for indoor gardening, honey, canning, and root cellar. It's all organized now.

- I also planted a tray of fall greens. They are listed on my 2017 planting list (the link is on my on side bar). Lots of lettuce, arugula, broccoli, napa, and escarole.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

garden work: weeds, weeds, weeds

Today I spent a couple hours working in my community garden plot. Where do all these weeds come from? I think I pull them and then I turn around and they have grown up again.

Weeding takes most of my garden time now, but I do other fun stuff too.

 (Someday I'll do a post on all the different ways to weed, and maybe even one on all the different types of weeds I grow in my gardens.)

Today's garden work (besides weeding):
- Remove salt marsh hay mulch from my garlic bed (I harvested the garlic last week) and put it on my recently planted seedlings (cabbage, Brussels spouts, and broccoli)
- Remove lower leaves from tomato plants and weed well around them to maximize air flow - in our damp and humid summer, the plants have a very large amount of early blight and leaf spot
- Harvest summer squash, cucumbers, dill, and cut flowers (tall blue ageratum and nigella)
- Plant a few winter radish seeds, watermelon and black radish - it may be too warm for these now but I'll find out
- Train butternut squash and cucumber vines up their trellises
- Begin to cut off and compost potato plants that are all mostly done (brown and dry) now
- Water
- Spray brassica plants (broccoli, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts) with spinosad (for cabbage worms).

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