It is gorgeous out: clear blue skies, perfect temperature, singing birds, and bright hope after the weekend’s storm. We needed the rain. The snow pack in the mountains was only 34% of what should normally be there.
My three raised beds look good from this angle, but the cool weather crops aren't doing all that well after the heat wave of a couple of weeks ago.
It’s about time we got some good weather. We’ve had record-breaking heat, which isn’t good for my garden. My cool weather crops are refusing to make cabbage heads or Brussels sprouts, and the lettuce has bolted already. The early heat confuses things and makes them burst open too soon. Well, we shall see what the 2012 gardening season brings.
This is pretty much the entirety of my tiny backyard. Three raised beds for vegetables, a chicken coop, some fruit trees and flowers. No lawn! All organic.
A double narcissus. I forget the variety.
My red flame seedless grapes are off to a good start. I expect to get my first crop of grapes this summer and can hardly wait to see if the vines will have flowers this year.
The heat wave tricked the Granny Smith apple into opening some of its buds a bit earlier than normal.
The Florida Prince peach has set a LOT of peaches, more than any other year. My August Pride peach only set three peaches though. It's still a pretty small tree. The Babcock Improved peach is just now blooming, and I hope will give me some late season peaches. It too is a young tree, and this may be its first year of making a decent crop.
The Littlecado avocado tree made a decent amount of avocados for the first time ever last year. I still have a dozen fruits left on the tree. They don't ripen until picked, so I can extend the harvest over several months. The tree is in bloom again, and I can hardly wait to see if I get a good fruit set again this year.
I'm about midway through the harvest of my limes and lemons, but the oranges are nearly all gone. Only a dozen left. The navel orange tree is blooming again, and I have hopes of another good crop next season.
This is my citrus harvest from last week. They all went to my son Scott and his family. I love being able to share the bounty from my yard with my family.
I absolutely love my solar oven. I've used it every sunny day since it arrived last week.
I made a pot roast in the solar oven with two pounds of chuck roast, a sliced onion, six Kyoto red carrots from my garden, a package of dry onion soup mix, and a half cup of red wine. Fabulous!
Last night's dinner, an Italian chicken casserole, was also made in the solar oven. I marinated two chicken hindquarters, 3 sliced bell peppers, a sliced onion, 5 Danvers half long carrots from my garden, and two small potatoes cut into cubes in a marinade of Weber Grillmates Italian herb marinade with 1/4 C olive oil and 1/4 C water. After a half hour, I put it all into the solar oven and let it simmer at 300 degrees for about three hours. I used a glass lid and the top layer of vegetables browned up nicely. Everything was tender and the taste was incredible.
On to the harvest.
12 oz avocados
5 lbs 10 oz navel oranges
1 lb 14 oz lemons (Meyer and Eureka)
2 oz lime, Bearrs
Subtotal fruit 8 lbs 6 oz
6 oz broccoli
3 oz cauliflower
2.5 oz snow peas
Subtotal vegetables 11.5 oz
TOTAL PRODUCE 9 lbs 1.5 oz plus 15 eggs