Harvest Monday, April 30 2012

Where is the time going? It’s going to be May tomorrow and I’m sooooo far behind in my planting. I have done nothing with either the community garden (other than weed it) or the Garden of Infinite Neglect.  At least the back is planted. I guess that’s something. The older I get, the slower I go.

My harvest photos this week are going to focus on beauty, a harvest for the soul. I didn’t pick and eat these things, I just enjoyed them in the yard, which is one purpose of my garden. I love watching things grow and change.

These two pretty boys came to our front yard last week, attracted by the pond.

I gave them some chicken feed, and made them happy. They stayed a couple of days and moved on.

This is one of three colors of Douglas iris in our yard, part of our native California plant garden.

My bearded iris are doing well this year, first year most of my varieties are blooming. It takes them a couple of years to get established before they bloom, at least for me.

I like this pale one. My husband prefers the traditional all purple ones.

This is a blue iris with white centers. So pretty.

That was my visual feast for the soul. Now for some future food.

Having never grown grapes before, I'm fascinated by the flowering process. I think that these are flower buds that haven't opened. It took three years for my grapevines to make grapes. Well, technically these aren't grapes yet, but I'm hopeful.

My Florida Prince peach is the earliest to produce of my stone fruit trees. Some of the peaches are almost edible size, but most are still really small. They're still hard, so they will grow a bit more before harvest time. I see some peach preserves, peach pie, peach cobbler, peaches on cereal, and peaches in ice cream in our near future. Our Babcock peach tree has set about 50 fruit this year, but the August Pride set only three peaches. It's still a tiny tree.

The Panamint nectarine tree shown here has 30-40 nectarines that are looking good. The Snow Queen has even better tasting nectarines, and has more blooms on it this year than ever. It lags way behind the Panamint, so I'll have a staggered crop.

I'm really excited about these Grandpa Admire lettuce seedlings. I got a pack of this variety, a speckled Romaine, from Seed Savers Exchange. But my plantings of it failed in 2010 and 2011. I figured that the seeds were no good, and planted all of the rest of the packet this year even though they were 3 years old and had never germinated for me. Whoopee, I got 18 seedlings sprouted. I will be transplanting them to give them more room. Maybe I'll finally get to see what this lettuce tastes like and with luck save some seeds for next year.

That’s my garden status update for this week.  Here is my veggie and fruit harvest for the week.

FRUIT

2 lbs 2 oz Meyer lemons

2 oz lime

Subtotal 2 lbs 4 oz fruit

VEGETABLES

23 oz artichokes

2 oz ginger

1 oz green onions

Subtotal 1 lb 10 oz vegetables

TOTAL 3 lbs 14 oz produce plus 13 eggs

The lemons and ginger are going into a lemon-ginger marmalade. If I ever get a ROUND TUIT.

To see what others are harvesting this week, visit Daphne’s Dandelions.

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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10 Responses to Harvest Monday, April 30 2012

  1. Daphne says:

    My peach trees are in their second year right now. One of them started setting fruit. I’m thinking I should pull it off. The tree is a tiny little thing.

    • Daphne, I can’t bear to thin my fruit, but I really should have because my ripe peaches are only the size of apricots. Some of them are like small apricots. As for tiny trees, I usually support the branches of trees that are still tiny to help them hold up the fruit. Again, because I can’t bear to take off the fruit.

  2. Prairie Cat says:

    Loved your photos! The grapes we put in last fall are forming those bulby things, too. I go out every day and stare at them… just waiting for them to do something. It is always fun to grow something new.

  3. Norma Chang says:

    Those 2 pretty boys are indeed lovely. Your irises are beautiful, such varied colors. You will be having quite a fruit harvest, congrats.

    • Thanks, Norma. I must confess that thoughts of duck a la orange crossed my mind, since we had mallards in the front yard and navel oranges in back. But that would be wrong. So wrong.

  4. Jennie says:

    beautiful photos of the pre-grapes. 🙂 everything looks wonderful

  5. You’re going to love eating your own homegrown grapes. I miss having a plant in this garden. We were overwhelmed with grapes in our last garden, and loved every minute of it! Your peach trees look like they’re escaping the scourge of peach leaf curl this spring. It seems to be a bad year for it here again, and we even have a little of it on our two resistant varieties. Congrats on your lettuce seedlings, I hope they do well for you. I had a couple of varieties this spring with some very erratic germination too. Sometimes I wonder if it’s me, or the seed stock!

    • Clare, blame poor germination on the weather. That’s what I do. Look for a scapegoat. As for peach leaf curl, I have plenty of that. I just didn’t take pictures of it. 🙂

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