Tuesday, May 20, 2014

check it out!

yes it has been a while since i have posted anything here!  truth is, i post most things on my other blog, easier than pie.  keeping multiple blog pages is more work than i have time for-especially with all that a garden and a full time job can demand on a person.  to keep it simple and so that it all makes sense, gardening topics seem out of place on a baking blog, i have created a new blog!

please visit my new page, will garden for cake, where i plan to blog about all that i do in the kitchen and the garden as well as my adventures around town with my fellow food bloggers.  and if you cannot find me, check the garden-i am probably out there with a slice of cake in one hand and a camera in the other!

Monday, February 13, 2012

first look at the garden for 2012

 the weather has been very warm and mild for winter.  we have had the chance to garden all winter since the temperatures have been warmer than usual.  the plants have survived and we have had plenty of chard, spinach, lettuce, kohlrabi, broccoli, bok choy, pac choy, carrots and collards.  hoops on the beds have allowed us to plant several rounds and the seeds have germinated and thrived.

winter is the season for hellebores

 both of these hellebores came from the garden of a fellow dcmg member who was thinning her beds.  this is the first year that they have bloomed and we finally got to see what color they were.

 from left to right; bunching collards, red cabbage and cauliflower

 broccoli will continue to produce small florets if you let it.  they are tender and sweet and we have been eating them all winter.  the greens are good too-you can cook them like collards.

 kohlrabi, another great veggie-the greens can also be cooked so if you plant enough, you can harvest some of the greens as the roots grow and you will have a nice, steady supply of vegetables.

 spinach in the front and red and green chard in the back.  harvest the larger leaves and leave the smaller ones to mature and again, you have a seemingly endless supply of greens!

 our vegetable garden consists of 4 (4x8) raised beds and one that is about 6x7 for the strawberries and the asparagus is in an area that is 2x10.

 an encouraging sign of spring-peach blossoms

over next to the herb garden where the flamingos are working hard, is the last of our raised beds.  in this 4x8 hooped bed, we have planted peas and kale and are now hoping that they germinate!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

summer update

it's been a while since i have put anything up here and a friend recently asked my what was going on in my garden-she actually told me that i hadn't put any pictures up in a while...well dar, these are for you!

we have an unsightly bunch of rogue tomatoes growing in our front yard.  they sprouted from the compost we put down.  we practice cold composting-we do not make an effort to get the piles hot because it can kill off the beneficial enzymes that the plants need.  my husband the wise guy decided to let them grow and see how long it took me to notice.  needless to say, i wasn't very observant and they got pretty big.  it will be interesting to see if they actually bear fruit.

 market more 76 grows nice straight cukes

 butterstick yellow squash

 cowhorn peppers

 my cukes grow on a sheet of plastic lattice work bent to form a tent and is held in place with metal stakes.  underneath, the soil remains cool and i now have lettuce growing-a major miracle in the south!!!

 asian long beans

 various shades of swiss chard

 the current belle of the ball is our little fig tree 

 it is covered in figs and they are beginning to ripen

 all that remains of our bees.  we were devastated by the loss-our colony split and the majority swarmed with the queen.  the remaining bees were overtaken by small hive beetles, wax moths and invading bees that robbed the honey.  we decided to wait until next spring and start all over and we may start two colonies.

 we do what we can to attract birds too.  here are some cardinals and a female goldfinch having some lunch.

 the yard is in bloom-native hibiscus


 balloon flower

 rudbeckia-black eyed susans

 butter and eggs also known as toad flax is a native alaskan wildflower and it can be invasive

 echinacea-coneflower, magnus

 echinacea-conneflower milk shake

 native pink rose mallow

 sundrops-evening primrose

 rose mallow-white

 joe pye weed

 since we do make an effort to attract critters-we have added milkweed to feed monarchs.  we also have butterfly weed-annual and perennial varieties and bronze fennel and parsley for other butterflies

 honey bees and bumble bees love anise hyssops

native monarda, a favorite of bumble bees

stay cool in the garden!  come back and visit to see what we have growing in the garden.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

signs of spring

peonies are one of the early signs of spring.  the crowns send out new growth and if you are lucky like us, the seed heads you left on the plants last year drop seeds all over and new plants sprout in your lawn.
darry gathered a bunch of them and relocated them to a different area of the yard and in a year or two, we may have flowers.

 grape hyacinth

 peach blossoms

 pink hellebores

 we have filled all of the garden beds with plants or seeds and now we wait for the chance to harvest the vegetables.  the large plants are those that overwintered.  from the bottom-walking onions, left-kale, top right-red cabbage and center right-red russian kale.

 on the top is the kale which was grown from seeds given to us by the folks at long hungry creek farm which is the farm run by jeff poppen, the barefoot farmer.  the bottom is a close up of the red russian kale.

 red cabbage

and one of our favorites, lilacs.

Friday, March 4, 2011

welcome spring!

we had a chance to get into the hive, it was also time to medicate the bees. it is important to treat them and stay ahead of the varroa mites and tracheal mites. varroa mites are visible to the eye and happily, we didn't see any-not a single one! however, tracheal mites live in the tracheas of the bees and are not visible so you have to watch behavior to find signs of them. we are pretty sure that they are not having issues with them either. we saw lots of stored honey and both capped and uncapped brood! we will be putting on the honey supers soon and come summer, we will have honey for our use.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

tonite's dinner

i love it when i can walk out to the garden and pick something for dinner. the garden does not flourish during the heat of summer. we have much better luck in spring, fall and winter. tonight i walked out into the garden and picked some broccoli and shiitake. i cooked pasta and tossed it all together with a cheese sauce.
tonites veggies

a look at the rest of the plants in the garden
and his little friend, parsley


russian red kale

brussel sprouts, almost there!


shiitake logs nestled under the broccoli and brussel sprouts

for my birthday, darry built me a hoop house for my raised bed garden. it is full of greens-both salad and cooking greens.

salad greens-arugula, salad cress, butter head, deer tongue and more awaits the next salad.

baby pack choi and japanese mustard-can you say stir fry?

things are surprising in the herb garden too-i still have basil! this is tiny purple basil

african blue basil in the front, valerian-back left and sweet fennel-back right

one of the true treats of fall-american persimmons. this little tree in our yard is chock full of fruit. today i gathered a small basket and after washing it, i will run it through the food mill and save the puree for a cake.