Hoo boy, I got busy and never posted for last Thursday’s Kitchen Cupboard, hosted by Robin. That’s where gardeners blog about what they used from their stored produce or made with their fresh produce. Here’s what I used last week.
This is a ham sandwich on Russian Raisin Pecan bread from Schat’s Bakkery in Bishop, CA. The mustard is homemade (thanks, Robin, for the recipe), as are the bread and butter pickles from last summer’s cucumbers. Still have two jars left. The lettuce is freshly picked Deer Tongue lettuce from my garden. Deer Tongue, Black-seeded Simpson and Lollo Rosa are my three favorite letttuces. Oh, better add Red Oakleaf to that list just for the pretty shape and color.
We also had eggs from our hens for breakfast, and some eggs went into a homemade banana nut bread.
I didn’t photograph the rest of my harvest from last week, which was just two avocados. So I’m going to put in pics of the actual garden, which I prefer anyway. I like to see gardens growing. My harvests are generally so pathetically small, that I’d rather photograph the living plants anyway.
Some of the tomato seedlings that I bought developed damping off, a fungus. I cut the tops off above the infection and rooted the tomato tops in glasses of water on the windowsill. They're now ready to plant. I'm also rooting some yams. Note the blue Mason canning jar. That jar is from my Grandma Wilson, and about 80 years old by now.
I'm still excited about my Red Flame grapes making their first flowers this year. I have no idea if these are flower buds or grapes. I'm just watching them grow in fascination, looking forward to my first home-grown grapes.
The Florida Prince peaches are nearing harvest. But I didn't thin them enough and the fruits are pathetically small again this year. This picture makes them look big, but they're not. I'm thinking that they're going to be mainly skin and seed. Time will tell. They should be ready to pick in another few weeks.
Our dwarf Granny Smith apple tree has more blooms on it this year than ever. Our normal crop is 30 full-sized apples. We'll see what the 2012 fruit set is in another month or so.
Couldn't resist posting this pic of a rose. We had a really heavy fog this morning and everything was covered with dense dew. It was gorgeous out there.
This is the view of our backyard looking south. Herb garden is in the foreground, then the chicken coop and the roses, irises, grapes, apple trees, the plum tree, and the Florida Prince peach.
The rest of our backyard is occupied by more fruit trees and three raised beds for vegetables. This is bed #1. It has a few tomatoes, some Brussels sprouts that aren't making sprouts, some Lacinato kale that is at the end of its useful life in my garden, and a giant beet that I'm growing for the "Largest Beet" competition at the 2012 Orange County Fair. I grow mint and thyme outside this bed.
Bed 2 has tomatoes, leeks, Deer Tongue lettuce that is going to seed (it's an heirloom variety and I'll save the seeds), a Black Beauty eggplant that I planted back in 2010 that is still growing, and a row of Super Sugar Snap peas that has just sprouted along the right side of the bed. They'll grow up the metal trellis from Gardener's Supply Company, source of my beautiful raised bed frames.
Nasturtiums and narcissus are growing around the perimeter of the beds. I can hardly get through the tangle of foliage to walk around the beds, but I love the look. We have no lawn at all. Saves water.
Bed 3 with more tomatoes, a row of Blue Lake pole beans that just sprouted, strawberries, some bell pepper plants, a Black Beauty eggplant, and a couple of red cabbages that seem to be making heads. I haven't had a lot of luck with cabbage, so I'm looking forward to actually being able to eat a homegrown cabbage at long last.
I grow peas and beans up a metal pea fence by the deck. These are Mammoth Snow Peas, the second crop of the year to grow up the fence. When they're done, I'll plant pole beans.
I didn't plant this. It sprouted from my homemade compost. I figure it's a pumpkin or winter squash of some kind. I know that I should weed it out, but I just can't. I figure if it came from my compost pile, it must be something that I grew. But I had some mini winter squash that were hybrids, so it could be anything. Hybrids don't breed true. I'm afraid that my curiosity about what it might grow into may overrule my better judgement (OK, THEM. There are 8 of them sprouted.) Time will tell. What do you say, weed it out or transplant it and see what it grows into?
I bought some new orchids this year for the deck. Yep, they grow year-round outdoors in coastal southern California. I really like the three of them massed together.
That’s it for the backyard. Now let’s move on to the less glamorous front.
Our front yards are the showplaces of our properties, right? Sadly, not at our house. I have a vegetable garden right next to the sidewalk, and it never does very well. Consequently, or perhaps because, I neglect it. I call this my Garden of Infinite Neglect. It is so sad looking. I have plans to put in a raised bed here and see if that will improve growing conditions. It's going to rain here on Wednesday, so I am hoping to get that project done in the next two days. Or maybe I'll neglect to get "a round tuit."
I grow potatoes and yams in Gro-pots in our driveway. Here is a pot of potatoes that volunteered from little potatoes that didn't get harvested. I won't know if they're German butterballs or blue potatoes until harvest time. They could even be Russets. I've grown them all in these fabric grow-pots. I just add more fertilizer and reuse the potting soil and pots.
A pot of succulents in front of the Garden of Perpetual Responsibility has flowered. Nice flower.
I see artichokes on the menu for dinner tonight. They were almost ready to harvest on Friday when we left for the weekend, but I didn't want them to just sit in the refrigerator. This one is a bit past prime. But it will go great with some chicken or steak cooked on the BBQ.
My strawberry pot got a bit neglected last year, but the strawberry plants survived. I fertilized and watered them, and am hoping for at least a small crop of berries this year.
Our Fuyu persimmon tree has a half dozen flowers on it. It didn't produce any fruit last year. It might this year, but I STILL don't have it planted. It's in its original nursery pot. I think it would do a lot better if I actually put it into the ground. It's going into the Garden of Perpetual Responsibility, which is always loaded with weeds.
I got some free irises from someone a couple of years ago. They are supposed to be white with ruffled edges. This one is neither. But I like it anyway. This is the first year of bloom for it. The other irises from that source are still small and haven't bloomed yet. Maybe they're the white ruffled ones.
And that is the state of my home garden on April 23. I’ll blog about my community garden plot some other time. On to my itty bitty Harvest Monday.
14.5 oz avocados
2 oz Deer Tongue lettuce
Total Produce 1 lb 0.5 oz plus 10 eggs
If you had a harvest, or you just want to see what others are harvesting, visit Daphne’s Dandelions.