"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 22nd Garden Pictures

Click to enlarge four nectar seekers riding a wild cow parsnip.↓

As the week progresses we will be closing in on 100° temperatures. The food gardens have been thriving with growth and if they make it through these hot spells and into August we may be in for a really good harvest this season. So far I have never had any issues with the weather in August and always breath a sigh of relief once we have reached that mile mark. The weeds are now under control and need only be pulled occasionally as we stroll through our little oasis in the trees.

The tomatoes, let me rephrase that... one of our tomatoes has finally ripened. As was the case in previous years the extremely hardy yet delicious Bloody Butcher tomato was the first to cross the finish line. They are an heirloom indeterminate plant whose fruit ripens quickly and are probably my favorite all around tomato for all the above mentioned reasons.

This section of the garden contains around 47 of the embarrassingly ridiculous number of tomato plants we are attempting to grow this year.

The Painted Mountain corn all adorned in tassels is doing well, while the Blue Jade is off to a rather slow start. Will this be the year Mike (that's me:) has planted corn that not only grows tall and green but also forms an edible grain? We shall see.

I've had to plant and replant the cabbage a bit this spring but it is looking good now. We are growing Ruby Ball, Derby Day, Savoy Perfection, Copenhagen, Danish Ballhead, and Late Flat Dutch this year. The picture below is where the majority are grown but like the tomatoes we have them scattered in various locations all over the gardens.

This beauty is from my own saved seed, and is a cross between a couple unknown cabbages. It was one of the two cabbages to survive winter storage in 2007 and was planted last spring and allowed to form seed, as I did not plan on saving seed from them my records regarding variety were nil.

Someday I may make my own website just so I can get the pictures to show properly. This once nice shot depicts a row of beets, celery, celeriac, and garlic.

Same crops, different angle.

Strawberries, Belgian endive, Purple Peacock broccoli, and a few sunflowers.

The row below is dedicated to seeds, the front part is comprised of various salad greens and further back there are carrots, beets, Umpqua broccoli, celery, Belgian endive and other plants becoming seedy. It was a real mental struggle to dedicate a 50' row in the main garden for seed purposes. I'm glad I did, but watching a entire row just sit there knowing it will only produce seed at the end of the year is definitely challenging. I think that pretty much every row in our gardens have a couple plants set aside for seed saving, that's how I normally do it. Don't be fooled by the onions in the pictures, they are not for seed they're bolting. ugh!! No big deal though, this row was planted with set onions and it's mostly the red ones that have chosen to bolt?

This section contains flax and onions grown from seed, not sets, for winter storage that thankfully are not bolting.

Litchi tomatoes, purple & green tomatillos, and ground cherries are doing well except I mixed up a few of the tags and we seem to have a lot fewer ground cherries and Cape gooseberries than I had originally planned on. Oops.

Squash, zucchini, and a few kohlrabi.

Cucumbers, Mexican sour gherkins, peppers, eggplants and the last of the afila peas drying on the vine...for seeds.

My assistant keeping an ever watchful eye on the red Belgium peppers and me.

We are still harvesting kale and broccoli for the freezer. The jar contains clover sun tea in the making.

And last but most importantly a parting shot of our seedy salad garden with raspberries and blackberries at the far end. Then there are the sunchokes, potatoes, herbs, beans, and a whole lot of other veggies that will have to wait for another post...Ay yi yi.


randi said...

"Wow" is an inadequate response to this well tended Eden. Inspirational to say the least and when you mentioned the high temps, well, we here would gladly exchange a few of our grey 60 degree days for one or two sunnies and hots. Sigh.
But truly you and Mrs H. have done a beautiful job with your many gardens.

Silke said...

WOW! Wow! And - once more - WOW! You are living in a true Garden of Eden! Here's what I want to know -- how in the world will you keep up with the harvest and preserving all that food? Do you get help or just the two of you? I am speechless at the bounty you two are producing! Wonderful!! Silke

mostlypurple said...

I'm stealing that butterfly picture for my desktop wallpaper.

Stefaneener said...

So much food! You do so much that can I tell you it warms my pathetic labeling heart to hear of even a slight mix-up? Lovely.

Frugilegus said...

Really impressive. My dream for a few years' time!

Mrs. Mac said...

Nice garden indeed. You could supply enough food for an army ;) How do you keep out the deer and moose .. as I see no fence?

Mr. H. said...

Thanks Randi,

I wish I could share some of our good weather with you, but alas it is beyond me to do so. We were fortunate to miss all the thunderstorms that rolled through this area today...luckily as they usually bring hail and wind.

I don't want any of your grey 60°days though, not even one. Sorry.

Mr. H. said...


It's just us taking care of our gardens and as you know doing what one loves can hardly be considered work. The shovel, hoe, and rake become our brush. The earth our palette and clay. The seeds that spring forth with their various colors our paint. What more could anyone ask for.:)

Mr. H. said...


Please do steal it, such beautiful creatures should adorn more than just my monitors wallpaper.:)

Mr. H. said...


I tried so hard this year to keep everything in order, it's hard isn't it? Special tags, separate flats... last year it was the peppers and at least I got them right this time. Next year will be better though...yeah right. :)

Mr. H. said...


Thank you, it's my dream coming true. You know I spent a lot of years trying to figure out what my place in life was....now I know. I love to grow things, watch them develop, and be involved in every aspect of that miracle. It's so simple yet oh so rewarding. Till the earth, plant the seed, enjoy the fruits of ones labor.

Mr. H. said...

Mrs. Mac,

We have a 7' fence around all our garden areas. The fence does not show up in the picture but believe me with out it there would be no pictures. Every night the deer wonder the perimeter, I see their tracks and often them in the early morning hours.

We feed an army of three plus a troop of 14 chickens, it never ceases to amaze me how fast we can go through all of it. The garden is our grocery store for sure.

LynnS said...

What a fantastic, productive, and beautiful garden. There aren't enough adjectives to describe your garden-world, but, oh, to wander through your garden.....

Your spirit is inspirational for us all.

Leigh said...

I sure know what you mean about having a hard time psychologically allotting garden space for seed production. My food producing pragmatism struggles with my overwhelming curiosity about plants.

el said...

Mike, you disappointed me because you should have waited to post this for today, Friday, when I absolutely NEED to see such beauty, being tied to my cruddy office desk, not a plant in sight! As it was I read it late Thursday night!

Wonderful stuff growing out there. And yeah some of my feedstore onion sets bolted too. They're 2nd year onions so that's what they should be doing...just that most times they don't. Ah well.

WeekendFarmer said...

what a beautilful garden...I could make a small hut and live there : )

How do you make the clover tea? What benefits are there? Very interesting.

Thanks for sharing.

Eva said...

Wow! I'm speechless.
Great job growing an incredible amount & variety of food!

Mr. H. said...


Thanks, we are having a great time of it. Our grandson picked his own zucchini tonight and had it breaded and fried with a salad and sliced apple for dinner. Now he is outside having story time before bed. It does not get any better than that.

Mr. H. said...


It's terrible is it not. I so love to watch and learn every nuance of every plant possible, but yes it can get in the way of food production. It's almost an addiction, but it is also what makes all this so very interesting.

Mr. H. said...

Hi El,

I will have to work on my event scheduling...sorry.:)

Someday I will get a handle on those alliums. You know I have never really thought about them being a second year onion as mine have never bolted before. It must have been the weather fluctuations this spring. Hopefully as I become more confident growing onions from seed I will be able to phase out the sets a bit more. They never do that great for me anyway.

Mr. H. said...


If I start renting huts I will let you know.:)

The clover tea can be made from fresh or dried blossoms. Normally 2-3 tablespoons are steeped in hot water for 15 minutes. The sun tea is made by simply setting a 1 gallon jar of water with about 1/2 - 1 cup clover in the sun for the better part of the day. I prefer the heated version though.

Clover is full of antioxidants and vitamin E. It is also supposed to be good for respiratory conditions such as the common cold and I've read that it may reduce bad cholesterol. Add a little honey and it makes for a pretty good tea.

Mr. H. said...

Thanks Eva,

Sometimes I think we are little too diversified but it's definitely worth it.

Roasted Garlicious said...

your garden is absolutely luscious!!! i noted that your belgian peppers don't hang down like other peppers is this 'normal' for that variety??

Mr. H. said...

Roasted Garlicious,

You know this is the first year we have grown them and yes all the planTs peppers have so far pointed up. They were also the first to come on, a full two weeks before some of the other ones.

Rick said...

Mr. H.

Thanks for sharing all of this with us. You guys are so far down the road that you serve as a wonderful inspiration.

Anonymous said...

The pictures show that your garden really is a labor of love. Beautiful. Certainly looks like your place in life.

Mr. H. said...

Thanks Rick,

I appreciate the compliment. Believe me, we receive much more inspiration from fellow bloggers like yourself.

Mr. H. said...


Thanks, I couldn't ask for more and will try to enjoy every minute of it for as long as possible.

Patrick said...

Well I'm one more voice in the crowd thinking your garden looks great!

I'm growing painted hills sweet corn, a cross between painted mountain and luther hills sweet. Maybe next year I'll try the 'real' painted mountain, so I'm curious to hear how it does, what you think of the taste and how you cook it, etc.

Mr. H. said...

Hi Patrick,

Thanks for your comment on the garden. I will definitely do a post this fall regarding my corn, regardless of whether I am victorious in growing it this year or not. I'm pretty curious to see how it tastes as well.

Although I am a bit concerned as it is already much taller than it is supposed to get. I wanted a shorter corn that could stand up to the wind better...we shall see.

Bekki said...

What an inspiration! I probably can't take too many notes, as I live in a vastly different gardening zone (southern Texas), but I am hoping to put in my first garden this year. I have a sketchy track record with the green kingdom... I am trying VERY hard to start small and reasonable. Someday, when I get some land, I dream of growing all the veggies and fruits I need. How on earth do you preserve all that harvest? I struggle with even properly preserving the excess from my CSA box.

Mr. H. said...


We have a very old house with a cold basement. It acts as our root cellar and keeps us in food year all winter. It would be really tough to store food in Texas though. If it was me I would just try to garden all year and eat fresh.

The trick to growing and preserving all of your own food is to start really small and expand slowly...baby steps. Fruit and berries can be dried and most everything else can be canned if a root cellar is not an option. Feel free to ask me any questions on gardening when you get started.

From a fellow lover of pirates and hater of shoes, thanks so much for visiting my blog.


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