"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

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Hodge-Podge of Garden Pictures

I thought I would post a few pictures, nothing too exciting, as we are pretty much still waiting on the weather to warm up and dry out before we can finish planting and really hit the weeds hard. Things are starting to grow in the spring salad garden, the cool weather has slowed everything down but the lettuces are progressing slow and steady. We have had so much rain of late that the slugs are starting to become an issue, not much I can do about that especially considering they are all such little buggers this time of year.

My wife working in the greenhouse on a rare sunny afternoon attempting to determine the difference between weeds and flowers. I pulled all of our personal tomato plants out for some fresh air, they are getting a bit tall and gangly. No matter, I almost prefer them that way as the long stems make it easier to plant them deeply allowing more roots to form along the stalk. No wise cracks about the Topsy Turvy, it's not ours.:)

Our giant cape gooseberries are finally starting to fill out as are the various cucurbits...the peppers on the other hand are growing oh so slow and in desperate need of a little sunshine and warmth.

Our older currant, gooseberry, and josta bushes are about as full of berries as I have ever seen them, they must like this weather.

The main garden is half planted with root veggies and various brassicas but we are still waiting for warmth and dryness before planting any of our tender crops.

While it's hard to see, this is a picture of some fava beans, weeds, afilia bush peas, kale and spinach thrown in for good measure, and more weeds. One of these days I am going to do a post on why I love weeds and what a great value I perceive them to be for our gardens, if controlled properly.

Parsnips and red and green Belgian endive

The below picture depicts a row of potatoes next to a row of garlic. As soon as the potatoes came up we had a lot of frosty mornings to deal with so I used pots to cover them, all 100 plants...put the pots on in the evening and take them off in the morning. Just today I cooked up some of last year's perfectly fine potatoes for breakfast and also boiled some up with other root veggies for the chickens, we're not exactly in desperate need of new potatoes so perhaps patience in planting would be prudent next season.

Wild onions that I borrowed into our garden are beginning to flower, they like us, unlike our boughten ramps that have pretty much died off...too cold, too wet, not acidic enough, I'm really not sure = no ramps for me.

Liquorice flavored chervil with a few pansies in the background...some of our first flowers of the season besides the wild ones and those found on the fruit trees.

A patch of scallions with a little sea kale growing in front. All of our sea kale plants survived the winter and it will be interesting to watch them grow, flower, and with any luck become a permanent member of the perennial/self-seeding group of garden plants that we work so hard to establish. With any luck I will be planting tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucurbits, and corn out this next week...weather permitting.


happyskunk said...

Love the photos!

Mavis said...

I woke up this morning to sunshine... I don't believe it... it has rained just about everyday for the last 3 weeks... What a strange start to summer... nothing like last year at all. It just goes to show that you really do need to preserve lot's of food just in case the next years crops don't do so well. Luckily we have a lot of extra tomato sauce, jams and canned veggies. Love the photo's!

kitsapFG said...

Welcome to slug world. We live in it constantly in our region. However, I have discovered that my chickens readily gobble up the small ones - so I am tossing them every small one I see! I hope our population goes down with the addition of the birds to the property.

All the garden plantings and the greenhouse look superior. You have a great working food production garden - more beautiful to me than any pampered flower bed could ever be. My peppers are languishing too. They need some sun and warmth. Supposed to be nicer today ... so I am planning to spend the entire day outside!

Roasted Garlicious said...

my favourite trick against slugs is oyster shell... thanks chickies!!! it's good for calcium for the soil as well.. and the slugs hate crawling across it.. i'm loving seeing your garden.. so HUGE!!! as for the weeds... they are helpful as long as they don't squeeze the life out of the veggies :D

Geno said...

A wonderful garden! It will be next year before we can really get ours going, but I hope it does half as well as yours. And the sun is coming out more today.Hope it helps you.

Faith Kolean said...

Hi Mr. H. Your blog has so many great links on it - lovely resource. Hope the weather picks up for you southerners. For us Alaskans our summer is like late June. Many wild plants are advanced - I am even seeing baby daddy long legs. Have a good day.

Naomi said...

Nice photos! I love seeing your garden, and *really* love seeing your greenhouse :) Looks like you have some pretty nam nam lettuce there yourself too Mr H lol.

Good luck with the slugs, we don't have too many issues with them in our garden - the grasshoppers are another story!

Annie's Granny said...

I never quite know what to say when I view photos of your garden. I just kind of sit here with my mouth open, in awe of all you have and do.

I hope you are enjoying a day of sunshine, as I am. It is a most welcome sight.

jairus' daughter said...

i eagerly await your post on the benefits of properly controlled weeds!!!!! i wonder about that a lot.

Ribbit said...

I'm drooling. Everything is so perfect and in wonderful sections and green and lush.

It's the garden and greenhouse of my dreams.

po' pharmer said...

Great pics-inspirational! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on weeds - I could really use a reason to feel better about not being able to keep up with them!

miss m said...

Ditto what Granny said.

granny said...

Oh Mr H !!
I have a huge dose of *Vegie Garden Envy*
I hope the weather warms up and allows you a bumper crop this season :0)
It's winter here now..but still warm.The days are around 22c (71.5f).Jeans and singlets while outside,the grubs are still around.We need a cold snap to be rid of the greedy beggars!!

Ayak said...

Your garden's looking wonderful.

I can't wait for your post on the value of weeds, which may make me feel a little less guilty about giving up on mine.

Granola Girl said...

I can't believe the size of Rowdy! My goodness how they grow! Slugs ate all of our basil. Every last dang leaf in the amazing amount of rain we have been having lately. We can't really complain too much. The more rain, the longer the rain barrels will last!

It is all looking great on your end though. Hang in there, June appeared for the first time over here. It was almost 85+ today.

Mrs. Mac said...

I grind up egg shells in an old electric coffee grinder and sprinkle around the lettuce to keep the slugs at bay around the lettuce. We're having such a slow start this year. Got a little weeding done in the onion patch today .. what a job!

Heiko said...

Looking good, Mr.H! Even with us the cool May has delayed things considerable and excessive rain has brought some slug and snail problems to my garden, which I never have had before. They ate virtually all my pepper seedlings from the cold frame! I wasn't prepared for this at all because it never had been a problem before.

I have a blog entry in mind on weeds and the meaning of life. Watch this space... :)

Anonymous said...

You vegetable garden left me speechless. Very organized and yet so big. How do you manage all of it? I love it.

I also can’t wait for that post on the value of weeds. I am very interested to see what that could be.

My tomatoes were also this tall when I planted them almost 2/3 in the ground. They are doing great now.

Mr. H. said...

Happyskunk - Thanks, I thought I had better get a few "before" shots in so I could see how things have progressed in a month or so.

Mavis - We had sun all day yesterday too. We weeded and weeded all day, it was a nice change and my knees are sore. If the world goes to crap I will have beets, carrots, and potatoes to barter for some of your toiletry items.:)

kitsapFG - We have always have issues with slugs in the garden, last year was not too bad but the year before was terrible. Luckily they seem to prefer our shady salad garden and stay out of the garden plots. We spent the whole day in a sunny garden as well...it was very nice.

Roasted Garlicious - I have some oyster type shells! We were out cutting firewood way up in the woods a few weeks ago and came across a place in the road where someone had dumped a huge pile of shells, very strange place to find them? So I gathered them up and they have been sitting out in the sun becoming less stinky as we do plan on grinding them up for the garden. It brought up a very interesting discussion about the "great flood" and how sea shells possibly end up on mountain tops.

Geno - I have a feeling that with your love of the culinary arts you will have a tremendously successful garden as they do tend to go hand in hand...can't wait to hear you blog about it next year.

Thanks Faith - It has been a chilly spring here in the "south" but I did see a few little daddy long legs yesterday so I can't be that far behind you. It's going to be huckleberry season pretty soon.:)

Naomi - Every once in a while some of our lettuce plants will cross with each other and form something new...I will remember that nam nam name if an interesting variety pops up.

We have grasshoppers too but the chickens do a much better job of keeping them out of the gardens then they do the slugs who are happy to stay put all year where they are safe. I cant wait for our dog to see grasshoppers for the first time, he loves to chase moths so I can only imagine the fun he will have with the hoppers.

Annie's Granny - I feel the same way when looking at your plants.:) I think that you, Mavis, kitsapFG, Mrs. Mac, and I have all been experiencing very similar weather this spring as we are all within a few hundred miles of each other. Bring on the warmth...but not too warm.:)

Jairus' daughter - We have so very many uses for the weeds. Food, fertilizer, cover crop, and most importantly as a great soil amendment.

Ribbit - Thanks for the nice comments, we do enjoy it, weeds and all. You have a very nice garden as well...and those jalapenos of yours look amazing.

po' pharmer - I will do my best to spin some positive thoughts around weeds in the future. Speaking of which, I just read a very interesting article about how people have been using stinging nettles to help combat arthritis.



Miss M - You are too kind. Did you get any rain yet? I am surprised at how different your weather has been compared to ours.

Granny - We will have a good crop one way or another even if the weather does not warm...the root crops will still thrive. Although I am hoping for another perfect gardening season like we had last year...fingers crossed.

Ayak - You must talk to the elders of your village and see if any of those weeds are edible, perhaps your yard is full of wild salad greens rather than weeds...:)

Granola girl - Rowdy is growing fast and finally starting to act more like a dog instead of a puppy...a nice change. I am also trying to be optimistic and hoping all this wet weather will make for a good huckleberry picking season this year. Too bad about your basil...darn slugs.

Mrs. Mac - We took advantage of the sunshine and spent the day weeding as well, we still have a long ways to go though. Perhaps I will try your eggshell method if dry weather does not show up pretty soon and help to keep the slugs at bay. It's supposed to rain again today.:(

Mr. H. said...

Heiko - Aren't slugs some sort of culinary delicacy in Italy?:) It sounds like you are having a very similar wet gardening season this year. Hopefully the weather will warm for you and everything will grow like crazy pretty soon. I very much look forward to hearing about your thoughts on weeds and the meaning of life.

Vrtlarica - We manage the gardens one row at a time and do not worry about how much there is to do so much as making sure that something gets done every day. I hope to plant my tomatoes soon and have my fingers crossed that they will perform as well as yours are.

What I really want is some fresh strawberries though...like yours.

karenandjeff said...

Wow! Amazing pictures. Thanks for posting. I'm surprised your tomatoes aren't out yet. Do you wait for a certain soil temperature?

Diane@Peaceful Acres said...

Wow, it's looking great Mr H! For some reason my carrots didn't come up this year. I've never had that happen...But I still have time to plant a fall crop. I got my first bunch of Fava beans that I grew because you ewwed and ahhed over them. I can't wait to cook them up.

LynnS said...

I am in awe. Without a doubt, your vegetable gardens are the finest I've ever viewed.
Looking forward to a bountiful year and photos to follow!

johnnydesoto said...

I don't know how you find time to maintain all that. It looks like what every home gardener aspires to. I have some currants fruiting for the first time this year. They are actually "Buffalo Currants" or "Clove Currants". Technically black currants aren't allowed here but these are native and resist blister rust. The variety is Crandall (Ribes odoratum). I sprinkle wood ashes on and around my transplants. Slugs won't go near em.

Kim said...

Everything looks wonderful. We are having a lot of cool weather here too (southern ID). We've lost our cucumbers and tomatoes already. Peas are doing great though!

Happy gardening!

Kim said...

I posted some pictures on my blog tonight. If you get a chance would you mind looking at the mushrooms I have growing. I have no idea what they are!


Mr. H. said...

karenandjeff - I prefer to plant my tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and beans out when the weather has warmed, usually around the 1st of June. This year, with all the cold rainy weather, I decided to wait even longer but will probably start planting them any day now...I hope.

Peppers especially don't care for night time temperatures under 50°. None of the above plants like to be rained on every day. The funny thing is that I was sure that I would be able to plant everything early this year because we had such a mild winter...oh well.

Diane - I had to replant quite a few of our Imperator carrots this year. I'm not sure if it was bad seed or the weather. I'm thinking bad seed though as most all of our other carrots germinated OK. I hope you like the fava beans, they make an excellent dry storage bean as well.

Lynn - Thanks! Lets both hope for a bountiful year that will provide plenty of canned and stored goods. Guess what? Rowdy spent the day playing with a 6 year old golden retriever while we put in a garden for my sister-in-law, a perfect play mate for him. They played all afternoon until finally the golden had to retreat and hide from him out of exhaustion. I hope your ramps fared better than mine.:(

Johnny - I'm going to have to try the wood ash thing again. I've done it in the past, and it does work. Thanks for the reminder.

We have lots of red currants but planted a black for the first time this year and are excited to see how it does. I have never eaten a black currant, besides wild ones, and will be curious to see the difference.

Kim - Sorry about your cucs and tomatoes. Cucumbers are very sensitive to harsh weather...and everything hates hail. Our whole garden was wiped out a couple years ago in July due to a freak hail storm, we had to replant almost everything and still ended up with a fairly good harvest. I cringe every time it starts to hail around here.

Robbyn said...

Wow, look at all those tomato plants! Rowdy sure is growing fast, and looking so beautiful :)

Stefaneener said...

Everything looks great, and Rowdy is such a complete beauty. What a fine addition he has been.

Simply Natural Homestead said...

Hey, you guys look familiar. By any chance, did you happen to be selling tomato, strawberry, raspberry and tomatillo plants on Memorial Day? And did you happen to sell them to a lady with a lot of kids? Cause if you did, that was me!

Loving your garden. Sooo jealous. I'm still struggling to get my seedlings done. I have so many seeds that after doing a few flats of seedlings, one seed pot of each kind, I still haven't gotten every seed packet opened yet. Yikes.

Simply Natural Homestead said...

Oh, and the guy on growingyourgreens.com mentioned in a video that you can repel slugs by running strips of copper around your raised beds. Won't help a row gardener I guess, but it will if you do containers or raised beds. He just stapled it on the underside of the little ledge he built on each of his raised beds. 'Course, then you might get copper thieves raiding your garden, lol.

Mr. H. said...

Robbyn - I'm hoping to plant them out this weekend, I got all of the beds prepped and ready to go...if it ever stops raining out. Rowdy is growing like a weed, he is almost a real dog now.

Stefaneener - Rowdy is doing really good. The last few days he has had free range with the chickens off and on all day long and has behaved perfectly...we are so happy with him.

Simply Natural Homestead - That was us.:) If I remember correctly we talked about whether or not there was still time to start peppers from seed and gave you a mini-bell...I think.

Hope your plants are doing well...now if this rain would just stop already. I have a few orders for strawberry plants today and am kicking myself for not getting them ready last night...I'm going to be very wet and muddy, again, today. Thanks so much for the slug advice.

WeekendFarmer said...

gooseberries....yum ; ) !

Yeah...whats up with the upside down tomatoes : ) ?

Jeannette said...

What a wonderful blog! Lots of incredible info and photos. Stumbled across while looking for black garbanzo photos. Your greenhouse caught my eye - looks a like a more practical and economical alternative to the cheapy ones I've been eyeing on the web. Any knowledge you could share about making your own greenhouse what you would do vs. not to again would be wonderful. I'm just starting out on the gardening bit - we too are trying to move to towards self-reliance in this crazy world. Will bookmark your site!

Anonymous said...

Whadaya mean 'nothing too exciting'?! I'd like to come and just graze in your russian kale patch.


PS. I replied to your comment, wondering which scene from LD is your favourite?

ThyHandHathProvided said...

I finally had a chance to check out this post and, as always, I am in awe and inspired! Your gardens are beautiful. It also reminds me that I need to post some garden pix. There is so much to do!

Mr. H. said...

WeekendFarmer - Yes, the upside down tomatoes. We offered to fill a topsy turvy for our sick and elderly neighbors who were unable to do it themselves. All was fine except that I had to keep it in the greehouse for the next couple weeks due to bad weather...and have been bumping into it ever since.:( It was fun though, now I can say that I am familiar with the topsy turvy tomato device.:)

Jeanette - Welcome to our blog.:) As to the greenhouse ~ I went to a local lumber/hardware store and took pictures of one of their greenhouses, bought the lumber from them and made it myself...saved a few buck that way.

If I could do it all over again I would have made it longer and instead of a small window for ventilation on one end I would have put in another door or a much larger window as it really heats up in these little greenhouses. It's very important to have a fan going inside once the temperature gets above 80°or if it is cold and damp inside the fan helps dry it out quickly. Thanks for stopping by.

HDR - We had the good fortune to introduce a fellow gardener to Russian kale the other day, she took one bite and fell in love with it...so good.

Thy Hand - Thanks, I always look forward to seeing your gardening posts as I want to transition my garden to be more like yours in the future...all that mulching you do.

Simply Natural Homestead said...

Mr. H: Yep, that was definitely me, and I think you gave me a purple edged tomatillo, too. Thank you! The plants are doing great,despite my neglect, lol. I got home and realized--uh oh, no containers for transplanting! They sat in their boxes and bags for two days. One of the raspberry plants had some leaves shrivel up and turn blackish, but other leaves are doing okay on it, so hopefully it won't die. I'm working hard trying to get my millions of seedlings started. Yikes, now I know to build a greenhouse and start in Feb or March next year!

6512 and growing said...

Wow! I am new here and wondering if you grow just to feed your family or if you're a commercial grower.
Gorgeous photos!

Mr. H. said...

Simply Natural Homestead - It's pretty normal to lose a few leaves on a raspberry transplant, especially this time of year, that is a bit stressed. If the other leaves look OK than the plant should be fine. Hopefully you will be having raspberry smoothies soon.:)

6512 and growing - For the most part all of those veggies are for us as every meal we eat 365 days a year comes out of those gardens. It is surprising how much space it takes to eat this way. Thanks so much for visiting.:)

Silke said...

Oh, my! I just came in from watering outside in the heat and was starting to cool off - until I saw your pictures and all that work you are putting in to your amazing garden. Maybe in your climate I could handle that, but not here. It's been super hot and humid! But our garden is loving it! We've already eaten more tomatoes this year than in the last two years combined. Wonderful!!

Of course, your garden takes the cake!! Hi to Mrs. H. and Rowdy!! :) Silke

Mr. H. said...

Thank you Silke! I have a story to tell you about that most wonderful German bread of yours when I get a chance...everybody loves it.:)

Fiona said...

How did I miss this post??? Everything looks incredible, Mr H!!! Yours is the kind of productive garden I dream about. Your salad garden is gorgeous and I'm in awe of all the wonderful variety and diversity. And that greenhouse -- wow. I think I've said that before :)
I'm looking forward to that "why weeds are good" post -- I too want to learn to love the weeds, when they behave themselves, that is. Thanks for the inspiration about what's possible...

Mr. H. said...

Fiona - Thanks, we are off to a very slow start this season with all of the rainy cold weather but the garden is growing slowly but surely. You should see the salad garden now, it really likes this weather even though everything else is struggling. Again, thanks for the nice comments.

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