I just came in from Yard Patrol–my morning rounds of my tiny yard and garden. With a cup of coffee in hand, I walk around the garden to keep an informal eye on what is blooming, what is ripe, and what needs doing. It is magnificent out there today.
We had a lovely rain a couple of days ago, and things are still wet. The sky is crystalline blue, flowers and fruit trees are in exuberant bloom, and birds are singing from every tree top.
As you are probably aware, California is in a major drought. We normally get a mere 14 inches of rain a year. So far this 2014-2015 rain season–with not a lot of time left for additional rain–we have received a piddling puddle of about six inches. I save rain water in rain barrels and Rubbermaid trash barrels stationed under the eaves. You can see one rain barrel in the photo above behind the orange tree. I had already emptied three of our 11 rain barrels prior to this week’s rain. One of those barrels–the one under the downspout–is full again. The ones under the eaves with no gutters collected about eight inches of rain from a small storm that delivered less than an inch of rain. Yesterday I used all of the water in one barrel to keep my newly planted veggie bed from drying out.
I am fired up about my garden this year. I was sick a lot last year, and it only rained four inches during the entire rainy season from November to April. The birds and night critters were out of control and they got a lot of my crops–all of the apples, peas, and tomatoes. It was an abysmal year for my garden. I have higher hope for this year. Kale, arugula, collard greens, and limes are ripe and ready in abundance. All of the citrus trees and our avocado tree are bursting into bloom. Thanks to the application of bird netting to my veggie beds, two rows of peas are thriving and undamaged. And the chickens are laying again. Oh, joy.
Right now growing in the vegetable garden I have mixed beets, Scarlet Nantes Carrots, Purple-top Turnips, Komatsuna (an Asian mustard green), Red Mustard, Rainbow Chard, Red Oakleaf Lettuce, red cabbage, cauliflower, Easter Egg Radishes, 120 onions (Texas Red and Texas Sweet White), garlic, Oregon Sugar Pod Peas, Super Sugar Snap Peas, bell pepper plants that overwintered, three kinds of over-wintered kale, collard greens, and a lot of herbs (cilantro, basil, dill, rosemary, thyme, sage, mint, and one struggling parsley plant). The Mibuna (an Asian mustard green) crop was failure. Old seeds. I think I have some Mizuna (yet another Asian mustard green) sprouted from the mesclun mix that went to seed last year. Hope so.
I neglected to make a post on Harvest Monday, but I did indeed have a harvest. Here it is.
HARVEST MONDAY week ending February 22, 2015
8 oz Lemon, Eureka
3 lbs 14 oz Limes
1 lb 7 oz Oranges, Valencia (three oranges, our entire crop!)
5 lbs 13 oz Subtotal Fruit
5.5 oz Arugula
4 oz Bell Pepper (in February!)
2 oz Green Onion
2 oz Herbs
13 oz Kale
3 oz Lettuce
1 lb 13.5 oz Subtotal Vegetables
7 lbs 13.5 oz TOTAL PRODUCE plus 12 EGGS
If you had a harvest, or want to see what others are harvesting this time of year, visit Daphne’s Dandelions. The link is on the sidebar to the right.