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!