Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Almost Turkey Day!

Hope you have a great one!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Remember That Volunteer?

A month or so ago I posted about a volunteer pepper plant that appeared in the soil/compost mix that I repotted my chive in. The extraction was initially successful and the plant has continued to thrive in its new home.

It even has two babies!

I think this is going to be a white bell pepper, but I'm not sure because it was a mixed seed pack.

My chives and the other 2 winter bell pepper plants.

Within the next few days I'll be pulling the last of my outdoor pepper plants in an attempt to overwinter them. We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Last year I started a worm bin (vermicomposting) to process vegetable waste, cut down on our stinky trash and get a nice organic fertilizer pretty much for free as a result. All went well until about mid August. My worms were happy and quickly processing all of our food scraps. Then I went away for about a week and made sure to leave them with plenty of food, but I forgot to check the weather forecast. If they had been inside the apartment, this would be no big deal, but I had moved the bin onto the front porch/sunroom. So a combination of ridiculously high temperatures and forgetting to open the windows resulted in a sauna-like environment and lots of dead worms.

Since then I've been ridiculously busy and keep forgetting about my need for new worms until I have a full food waste bucket that I can't get rid of. Well, I finally got around to ordering new worms on eBay and even decided to do a whole bin makeover!

My new bin is a 10 gallon container from Lowe's

Newspaper has been shredded, soaked in water and wrung out for a nice moist bedding

My new worms in their new home!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Disappearing Act.

I know have been invisible lately, but I have a good excuse! My garden has gone into overdrive trying to put out as much produce as possible before the first frosts and I have been giving away ridiculous amounts of eggplant to family members. The big thing taking up my time though has been school. My classes started on the first and between the schoolwork and the increasing hours at work (yay for Michaels' holiday season!) I have had zero time for anything. In fact, one night last week my roommate went out to a prayer, came back 3 hours later and I hadn't moved from the corner I was studying in. At that point he told me I looked tired and hungry and he knew I hadn't eaten since noon so he was buying me pizza and forcing me to take a break.

On top of the work, Stacey and I went on our second vacation of the year. We traveled down the Cape to go camping at Nickerson State Park for a few nights. It was definitely worth the stress of trying to do all of my homework before leaving. The park is gorgeous with some great fishing spots and beautiful views. We did some biking, hiking and fishing and Stace caught a nice smallmouth. We also went to Provincetown the first night for a great meal and did some shopping and more eating out our last day. I had been saving for this trip so I could actually shop and was excited to spend some money for once. With all of the time in town we did, I ended up spending most of my money on food, but I did get 2 gorgeous tapestries for the apartment and a nice candle for our roomie.

Also, the best RAOK story I've ever had. Our "neighbors" were leaving after our first night and came over to chat right before they left. They were an older female couple and were asking us about the fishing. They commented that it looked like we had some good gear to have a great time and I mentioned that most of it was actually a 21st birthday present from my dad. We said bye and left to go do stuff and they continued packing. When we got back, Stacey noticed a cooler by our kayaks and commented on it. Turns out they had left us a nice big bottle of champagne! Nicest thing a stranger has ever done for either of us! So, thank you to the couple from Virginia!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Eggplant Madness

Things here have been pretty uneventful of late. My classes started on Wednesday so I've been a homework machine. I'm attempting to get far enough ahead of schedule that I won't have to worry about classes when we take our camping trip down the Cape in a couple weeks.

As far as gardening goes, the outdoor plot is steadily turning out some nice veggies. My eggplant have all decided to start bearing fruit all at once and it now looks like in a week or so I'm going to have way more eggplant than I know what to do with. We're already sick of eggplant parmesan so perhaps some rolled eggplant is on the horizon? Honestly though, most of it will probably end up frozen for winter use in stews and the like. I did not think I would be even thinking about freezing this year since I just started this whole gardening endeavor, but I *really* don't think that Stacey and I will be able to eat the 15-20 eggplants, that will surely be ready to pick all at the same time, before they start rotting on the counter.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Volunteer!

So I repotted my chives a few months back and about 2 months ago I noticed a small volunteer poking up through the soil. I was unsure of what it was so I left it and just let it grow. Well, I ended up forgetting about it completely and just recently looked at the pot and realized that my little volunteer must be a bell pepper plant that didn't germinate this spring. I also saw that it was quickly taking over the entire space and forcing the chives to one side of the pot. That night I sat down and extracted the pepper plant and moved it into a new home.



A few weeks later everyone is much happier!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Harvest Mondays

It's been a relatively quiet week here....

Hybrid tomatoes, an heirloom from a plant that was gifted to me from REC and some Blue Lake green beans

Hybrid tomato, sweet Italian pepper and more green beans

More tomatoes and green beans with squash blossoms

The lunch made from the harvest shown above.

A lovely black beauty eggplant (that will probably end up as dinner tonight) and a small Italian pepper

The garden totals thusfar:
Summer Squash - 4 lbs
Tomatoes - 8 lbs
Green Beans - 1 lb
Eggplant - 1 lb
Italian Peppers - 1/2 lb

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Sampling of Camping Pictures

This is a very picture heavy post, so get ready!

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches for lunch

My lovely girlfriend Stacey

All of the pics can be found on my flickr in the DAR State Forest set.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Girlfriend and I are officially back from camping. I had a great time, even though there was more rain than I would have liked. It figures that we get no rain all month and then the first 2 days of camping we get double the rain that has fallen this month so far. Regardless, we still did a good amount of hiking, biking and fishing. Most importantly, the new tent did not leak! Through the downpour of Wednesday night we stayed nice and dry. :D

My favorite part of the trip was spending Thursday in Northampton and getting to show my lady around town. I want to move there when I'm done with my undergraduate degree, but Stacey has been hesitant. After eating at one of my favorite local restaurants (Fitzwilly's) and hanging around town to experience the amazing vibe, she is in love with the area. YESSSS!

Anyways, picture tomorrow maybe?

Monday, August 23, 2010

It's Been Raining....

There's been a lot of rain here lately. The first three quarters of August there was just about 1.5 inches of rain. In the past day, there has been over 2 inches. Madness I say!

However this does mean that I don't have to worry about finding someone to water my plants while I'm on vacation.... That's right, summer's almost over and I'm finally going on my first vacation of the season. Stacey and I are heading out to the Northampton area for a 3 night camping trip at the DAR State Forest. It's gonna be a little soggy, but I'm sure we'll still have fun. Besides, it's the best weather for fishing!

See ya'll on Friday!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Garden Work

Did some work in the garden today after getting home from work work. Some very heavy watering was in order considering how dry the soil was so I dragged out the long hose. I'm kinda peeved at whichever gardener used it last because they managed to completely tangle the hose into a million knots and kinks when they put it away. After spending the better part of 10 minutes untangling the beastly thing, I spent an hour slowly watering everything. And when I finished, I carefully re-coiled the hose the right way.... I also finally weeded the tomato/pepper plot as well as the area with the eggplant and celery. It was long overdue and I ended up with a recycling bin filled to the top with weeds. Just slightly embarrassing... I also planted my last row of bush beans for the year, which may or may not mature before my first frost date, but either way they'll help the soil a bit.

I apologize for the lack of pictures... I finally remembered to bring the camera with me to the garden, but did not check to see if the batteries were charged. And of course they weren't..... Pics soon though - I promise!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Winter Planting Complete!

Despite my great dislike for Miracle Grow products, this was the only organic potting mix I could find that was outrageously expensive. So alas.... I broke down and bought it. I figure organic Miracle Grow is better than nothing.

The empty, but very soon to be filled, seed pods.

I finally got some nice wide popscicle sticks to mark my plants with. I had previously been taping the name of the plant to the side of the pods, but this has proven to be rather ineffective... The biggest problem being the humidity in the greenhouse. Most of time the ink would either run until its no longer legible or the adhesive would cease to work and I was faced with a bunch of tags on the floor and no clue which plants were which.

Success! I planted Organic Broccoli Deccicio (Park), Squash Medley (mix of four squash types, Park), Celery Tango (Park), Organic Black Beauty Eggplant (Park), Sweet Basil (Burpee) and a Hybrid Container Tomato (Park).

I grew broccoli all winter on my porch last year and did tomatoes on south facing window sills, so I'm pretty confident about success with those plants. However, I will be booting the tomatoes onto the porch to make way for pepper plants inside. The tomatoes will be going into my mini greenhouse though, so hopefully that will keep them warm enough. The basil will stay in my kitchen under a small plant lamp. The real experiment this year is the squash and eggplant. I've been going back and forth trying to decide if it's a good idea to throw these in containers in the porch greenhouse. I'm not sure that it's even worth bothering with, but I figured I could at least try and worst comes to worst, I can just chop em down and compost them.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wish List

Just a sampling of my current garden wish list...

- Thermometer for the greenhouse
- Window boxes for winter plants
- Kitchen compost bin
- Better worm bins
- Rain meter
- Watering gauge

That's it for now - I think....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Garden - Some pics!

Here are some pics of my garden that were taken about 3 weeks ago!

My "sunny" plot receiving the most sun each day. It gets shade until about 10 am and then is sunny until whenever the sun goes down. It's 5'x6' and has tomatoes, frying peppers and jalapeno peppers.

The fence plot get sun until around 5 pm. It has butternut squash, summer squash and bush green beans. You can see green beans and summer squash here.

And here is the butternut squash along the fence...

Frying peppers.

My very first eggplant ever!

Eggplant, celery and a mixed row in the plot that gets afternoon shade.

Green tomatoes from mystery plants gifted by the Worcester UGROW program

Big bushes of basil

First summer squash!

The same squash, post-picking :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Winter Container Gardening

There's still about 2 months until my anticipated first fall frost on October 10th, but I'm just way too excited about my winter garden to hold off any longer.

This winter I'm planning on utilizing an herb growing kit reclaimed from my grandmother's garage (complete with lights!) to grow fresh herbs in my kitchen all winter. On top of that, I'm thinking about attempting to grow some bell peppers on the south-facing windowsill that I used last winter for my tomato plants. The tomatoes did quite well and I will be growing more this winter, but I think I'm going to move them onto my enclosed porch (south-facing of course). Last year I would never have dreamed of this, but I now have a mini greenhouse out there with heavy duty insulating plastic. Hopefully, I'm also going to grow broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach on the porch, but probably not in the greenhouse. I'm thinking the unused bookshelves I've been storing out there just may have found a new use....

We'll see how it all plays out! Tomorrow I'm starting seeds!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Looking good!

The garden is looking excellent! I had a mini harvest today and it's my biggest of the season thus far.

3 tomatoes (2 hybrids, 1 heirloom), 1 crookneck summer squash and a handful of green beans. All said and done it was about a pound and a half of veggies.

I have a bunch more crooknecks forming, as well as some nice gold zucchini. Over 5 eggplants have set fruit as well! I'll probably harvest the first of them mid-week for some eggplant parm. The butternut squash I've trained up the chicken wire fence are also setting fruit. One is the size of my fist and the others are the size of a kiwi. Pictures of everything mid week hopefully!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Garden Introduction

I live in an apatrment in Worcester, MA, which is a fairly large city. Due to the fact that it is a city and I am in an apartment, I don't exactly have a yard. I do have a south-facing 3 season porch that I attempted to container garden on last year. Truthfully, it was a bit of a fiasco. I had no clue what I was doing and did not exactly take the best care of it. So I spent the winter researching what I needed to do to take care of my plants and which plants I wanted to grow. I also decided that the porch was just not gonna cut it this year and did some digging. I ended up uncovering the site for Worcester's Regional Environmental Council (REC) and read about their UGROW program. A few emails late I was part of a community garden! Amazingly I share the space with 3 other gardeners and still have 100 sq ft of gardening space with 8+ hours of sunlight a day.

The Garden
I have 3 spaces in the garden. There is a 6'x6' plot abutting the church that receives sun from sunrise to sunset. I have my tomatoes, bell peppers and spicy peppers in this patch. Directly across from that spot is a 6'x8' plot whose far boundary is the church's parsonage. The front half of this area gets the same amount of sun as the "sunny" plot, but the back half receives a good amount of late afternoon shade. From front to back I have a row of mixed veggie plants, a row of celery, eggplant and finally mint about halfway back. My final spot is a 3'x10' patch along a fence line. This spot get sun from sunrise until about 6 p.m. and is dedicated to bush green beans, summer squash, zucchini and butternut squash.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Hi everyone! *waves* I've started this blog as a little garden side project. I have been trying to keep track of its growth and all of the dates involved with planting and harvesting in a notebook and it's just not working. So here I am!