Harvest and planting Monday, Feb. 21, 2010

I find that I really look forward to Harvest Monday these days, where gardeners post what they’ve harvested during the previous week. When there is actually a harvest, it’s more fun!

Here are 12 of the 16 eggs our three hens laid this week.

Our “girls” were busy this week, laying 16 eggs. That’s the best week since we’ve had them, and brings our total egg harvest for February to 42 and counting. We’re eating a lot more eggs than we used to, and still have eggs to give away to our son Scott and his growing family.

Megan, Lauren and Allison feed carrot peelings to the hens.

This was the first time that 2-year-old Megan had seen the hens. She really enjoyed them.

Having fresh eggs is nice, but having the grandgirls gather eggs and feed chickens is the real payoff for this granny.

If I bend over and Vic has the camera, he snaps a pic. I can't tell you how many photos of my butt he's taken. At least this angle isn't as bad as most of them, and gives you a good view of our deck and back gardens.

The chickens enjoy vegetable peelings and the fresh cilantro, sorrel, and parsley that I pick for them.

It’s also planting season here in coastal southern California. This week I planted German white icicle radishes, Melting Sugar snow peas, blue potates, sunchokes, and Super Sugar Sprint peas in a tray for shoots. I also started pots of heirloom tomatoes (Black Krim, Brandywine, and Mortgage Lifter), eggplant (Black Beauty, Rosa Blanca, and Berenjana), and green savoy cabbage.

I'm a bit late in starting my pots of tomato, eggplant and cabbage seedlings. It's warm enough now that I just grow them outside on the roof of the chicken coop, which is the sunniest spot in our yard at this time of year.

And now on to the week’s harvest.

16 eggs

6 green onions (1.5 oz.)

lettuce (2.5 oz.)

2 radishes, German white icicle (1 oz.)

herbs: parsley, mint, thyme, rosemary (2 oz.)

1 navel orange (9 oz.)

2 Meyer lemons (11 oz.)

Total produce harvest: 2 lbs, 7 oz.

The mint and parsley went into a tabbouli, along with some of the green onions and a Meyer lemon.

If you had a harvest this week, visit Daphne’s Dandelions and share the news.

(To read more of Lou Murray’s environmental writing, see her weekly column, Natural Perspectives, in the Huntington Beach Independent at www.hbindependent.com /blogs_and_columns)

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I am retired from writing a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent, but I am still teaching at the Orange County Conservation Corps. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks.
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14 Responses to Harvest and planting Monday, Feb. 21, 2010

  1. That looks delicious and I can’t wait to have chickens… tick tock tick tock. The kids seem intrigued too.

    Yes, I have several snaps of my bottom in the garden therefore there are no gardening pictures of me on my blog. One day someone will aim for my face…

    • Hi Ottawa Gardener. I hope that means that you plan to get chickens some day. They are a bit noisy in the morning, but settle right down when I go out to give them something tasty, like weeds or some scratch. They’re not overly fond of their laying pellets it seems, which are always available, and prefer to have me work for their breakfast. Little stinkers.

  2. Daphne says:

    Fabulous. I love the eggs. I eat them everyday for breakfast and wish I had my own chickens. It is one of those dreams like a greenhouse.

    • Hi Daphne. I hope you do get chickens some day. They’re really a LOT of fun and eat so many of the weeds and past prime greens that I give them from my garden, plus leftovers from when the little grandgirls come visit.

  3. Well, it seems that even though your hens are slightly demanding about the menu, they are rewarding you with a bounty of eggs! We’re so looking forward to our new arrivals at the end of March, and no doubt will be swimming in eggs by September. Don’t worry about starting your tomatoes a little late. We didn’t get ours started quite as soon as we could have, but they pop up in no time. They’ll catch up.

  4. Brenda K says:

    So glad you let us know about starting your tomatoes today! I was just wondering if it was about that time in SoCal (I’m in Chinatown – Downtown L.A.). Do you think now is a good time to get my corn, string beans, summer squashes and melons in starter pots too, or should I wait a bit longer? I’d love to have veggies ready to grill by late spring rather than mid-summer….

    So there’s still time left to start Savoy cabbages? What about baby cauliflowers? My fall garden plan got pre-empted by a heavy performance schedule, so I never got my cool season veggies started except for some mange-touts and beets in wine barrels out back (which I’ll need to clear out to put in the tomatoes!). And what a relief to hear that we can get away with putting the starters outside, as part of the hold-up to starting the fall crop was trying to figure out where in the house to put them where the cats wouldn’t annihilate them.

    P.S. Grandgirls with the chix are absolutely precious!

    • Hi Brenda. My planting calendar says that we can plant cabbage until mid-March. I’m hoping that means starting from seeds. It’s too early for corn. They’re best planted in the ground, starting in mid-March. I’ll have to post my planting calendar. And thanks for the compliments on the grandgirls.

      • Brenda K says:

        Hooray!! That’s just a couple weeks away! In the meantime I’ll get busy putting eggplant and pepper seeds in starter pots, and get ready for summer planting season in the ground in mid-March, and look forward to a summer of chile verde, salsa fresca, baba ganoush and other wonderful things!

      • Sounds yummy, Brenda.

  5. mac says:

    Nice harvest as usual and cute grandchildren. I wanna be a grandma for so long, but it’s not happening anytime soon.

    I’m beginning to start tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. It’s still very cold here, it was 12F last night, and it snow the previous night. Looks like we’ll have quite some ways to go before planting out.

    • Hi Mac. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could grow grandchildren as easily as we grow tomatoes? My cabbage seeds have sprouted already, but the tomatoes and eggplant seeds are waiting for a warmer day it seems. And yet I’ve been getting tomato seedlings galore from the compost I’ve spread around. Maybe I should have just saved the volunteers instead of trying for named varieties. But it seems like all the volunteers turn out to be cherry tomatoes, which I’m not fond of.

  6. Meredith says:

    A beautiful harvest — and now I want chickens even more. But I can see why the best part for you would be the delight of those two precious girls in encountering chickens and interacting with you in your home and yard. 🙂

    • Hi Meredith, yes, seeing the twins and their little sister Megan feeding the chickens and gathering eggs is the best part. I hope they’ll remember Nana’s urban “farm” when they grow up and grow a garden of their own.

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