"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

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 13th Garden Pictures

Things are looking up in our gardens. Salad bowls are overflowing with green goodness, seeding and re-seeding has taken place, all of the core crops are growing fairly well, and the weeding has been keeping us very busy this past week. All the rain has washed away my wit so pictures will have to replace so many words in this post.

Dave's Spotted Trout Lettuce is growing splendidly, a nice addition to our salad selection.

Red Oak leaf and Black Seeded Simpson I believe.

RedBor kale and more lettuce lines the walkway to our greenhouse. I thought the Redbor would be more frilly leafed?

An intent little brown face in the oregano patch.:) He is thinking "Is that cat supposed to be in our garden?"

I like this mint, I planted it a decade ago and while it doesn't spread very fast it manages to come back every year. The name slips me but my wife suggests perhaps it was "Orange Mint"...doesn't taste very orangy though.

The kale in the foreground of this picture is a bit of an experiment as the seed was a cross between Gigante kohlrabi, White Russian kale, and Blue Curled kale. Time will tell how well this new creation suits our garden and palate, so far so good though as the plants are vigorous and the leaves impart a nice flavor to our salads. I'm hoping most don't bulb up like kohlrabi as it is the greens I am after. Anyway, more about this in another post.

The spinach is liking our extremely rainy spring.

Tomatoes not so much, but they are hanging in there and if it ever warms up for good they should take...might be another "ripen the green tomatoes on the porch" year again.

One of the few plants that thrives directly under our fir trees, once established, is rhubarb. Its impressive tap root allows it to delve deep for water. Notice that black cherry tree to the left, now almost 20' tall and grown from a seed maybe 6 or 7 years ago, it looks to be fruiting for the first time this year and will be the first of my many direct seeded fruit trees to produce.

Potato plants are starting to leaf out...we planted lots and lots of potatoes this year.

Carrots, beets, parsnips, and other direct seeded root veggies will soon need to be thinned.

Hesperis brightens up the garden with its pretty flowers and edible leaves...and I'll leave it at that as I'm at my wits end.:)


Annie's Granny said...

With the weather as cold as it has been, I was surprised you had anything growing at all, let alone that beautiful, lush garden! I especially like the small brown specimen in the oregano patch. You wouldn't have any seeds to share for that one, would you? It would go very well with my brown and black varieties ;-)

Speaking of seeds, the tomato plants that are growing from seeds you shared are looking strong and healthy. All are either fruiting or blossoming and, with these warmer days, growing like weeds!

ThyHandHathProvided said...

Everything looks gorgeous and lush. I love imagining the two of you sitting in front of heaping bowls of your amazing salads. It just makes me happy:-).

Lynda said...

Your garden is fantabulous! My goodness! How many fruit trees have you grown from seed? I saved 5 heirloom peach pits and would love for them to become trees. Have you planted peaches from the pits?

granny said...

Your gardens look amazing as usual Mr H ! Funny how I am growing the same produce here in Winter as you are in Summer,lol...gotta love the sub-tropics :0)
Wishing you a bumper crop!

Anne said...

Looking good! No worries on the tomatoes... just a little delay this year, but that means longer season for greens. :)

Dani said...

Looking good Mr H :-) My mouth is salivating...

Sweet Life Garden said...

Just found your lovely garden blog. Thankyou, you have just about all of the info. here anyone would ever need! I'd love to add you to my favorites on my site. I shall keep in touch!

~Holly~ said...

Things are looking fabulous in your garden!! Here's hoping for warmer tomato weather soon!!

Terri @ Coulee Creek Florals said...

Wow! Your garden is far along despite our weird weather! I think your mint might be Apple Mint. I have a question: How do you keep Leaf Miners from ruining your Spinach? I harvested my first batch of leaves--no miners, but there were tiny white egg "clusters" on the undersides of many of the leafs. I see you don' use floating row covers, so what do you suggest? Thanks in advance.

Mark Willis said...

Mr.H, what on earth do you do with the huge amounts of veg that come out of your garden? You could surely feed the whole neighbourhood with at that lot!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely, lush, leafy selection. I'm intrigued why you have caged your tomatoes though?

Oh and we've a dog who rather likes the oregano patch. I figure it's his attempt of getting out of bath time ;-)

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

I am looking forward to hear more about those kale cross seeds. Like Mike, I am curious what you do with all those gorgeous lettuce. We have so cold weather this fall that none of our Asian greens and lettuce manage to grow big before the cold weather sets in so the growth are stunted and so slow. We had so many Asian greens and lettuce previous year in June sadly this year almost none to harvest. Good Luck growing sweet potatoes this year under nettings.

Robin said...

Your garden looks absolutely wonderful despite the cold rainy weather you have had. Hopefully the temps will warm up and those warm weather crops will burst in to action!

Love the pic with your dog in the oregano!

Buttons said...

Dear Mr. H. Your garden looks wonderful I know the weather is not co operating here either. You have manged to make things grow. I love the way you describe everything it makes me want to try different varieties of veggies.
The sun is warming up here so I suspect everything will be growing fast here soon, even the weeds.
Great post. B

randi said...

Great to get an update on the doings at M&M's and, as usual, it does not disappoint. You may not be aware but every post of yours gives me, (or somebody), encouragement and ideas. This insane rainy Spring has been challenging but I guess it's now the 'new normal' and to be expected and dealt with in future gardens. Gotta love a challenge! Digging the cherry tree story and again reaffirming my theory that a true gardener is a patient gardener.

farmer said...

Amazing as usual....you guys are something else!!

Anonymous said...

Your gardens are so well organized! I'm glad that everything is doing so well, after a slow start. We also had a cool and rainy spring here in southern Ontario.

That's a good looking dog you have! He's busy doing a good job of protecting your garden patch!

It's exciting to hear of your fruit trees grown from seed. It must be very satisfying to see that cherry tree finally produce fruit after so many years.


Ida Hunt said...

Pineapple mint is what you have in the garden. Apple mint has no variegation. Your garden is always an inspiration to me. It's awesome

Mr. H. said...

Annie's Granny - Gardening has been a slow process this year that's for sure but I have high hopes that it will soon warm up enough that my own tomatoes will start to grow. Sorry, I can't help you out with the little brown speciman...one of a kind.:)

ThyHandHathProvided - Thanks, it makes me happy too, nothing I like better than a nice salad...definitely my favorite part of the whole gardening experience.

Lynda - We have lots, maybe 25 to 30, trees that are now over 6 - 10' tall started from seed and many more in the works. They will not all develop to be the same as the parent plant but that is all part of the fun. I have not planted peaches from pits but do have a couple apricots grown from seed that I am nursing along. Just remember to plant the seeds in the fall because the seed needs a period of cold stratifiction to germinate. Here is an excellent article on growing peaches from seed...make sure and let me know how this turns out for you.:)

Granny - Yes, it's pretty funny that our spring and early summer can be as cold as your winters. Its been a good year for growing greens...but I sure would like some tomatoes and peppers too.:)

Anne - I hope so because the clock is ticking fast at this point with only a couple months in which the sun will be high enough over the trees to shine on our garden.

Dani - Thanks, stop in for a nice salad anytime.:)

Sweet Life Garden - I appreciate your compliment and am glad you found some of this blogs information to be of use. Look forward to hearing from you again.:)

Holly - I know its coming, all my hoses and sprinklers are ready...which is probabely why it keeps raining out.:)

Terri - Apple mint, I will have to look that up.:) Some years are better than others but we have drastically cut back on how much Swiss chard and spinach we grow because of the leaf miner issues we face. Last year I did notice that there were many more parasitic wasps going after the leaf miners and am hoping that they will continue to help keep them in check. You might look into Spinosad. It's a treatment that is derived from a bacterium and works on many different chewing insects including leaf miners (approved for organic crops)...I have never used this product.

get soiled said...

Hi boss!

I know now why I don't visit as much as I'd secretly like to (other than the time thing that afflicts us all)...the truth is that I have a perennial (friendly) utter jealousy that has taken deep rooting in my core, just like that beautiful rubarb that I, in this side of the railroad tracks, can only dream of growing!

As usual, I salivate thinking of the many ways I'd play with those greens in my kitchen before the veggies would meet their demise in my belly. I go through your pics thinking stuff like: "Um, I'd steam that with some nice wild fish." "Oh, and that one with eggs in the morning" and so on and so forth ad nauseum.

About that mint, we have a mint here in FL that looks like the one in your pic (orange mint) but we call it pineapple mint, I think.

Off to reply to your email soon my bud-in-dirt!

Mr. H. said...

Mark - I do share some but as we are mostly vegetarian in nature it is amazing how much of this food we can eat.

Contandina - Most of the tomatoes we grow are indeterminate varieties that get over 6' tall by the end of the season and the cages do a great job of holding them up and making it easier to pick the fruits. Our dog hates baths too.:)

Malay-Kadazan girl - I look forward to doing a post on the crossed greens once they have developed a bit more.:) Honestly, we eat a large salad almost twice a day 365 days each year...takes a lot of greens. I just planted our sweet potato slips in the ground and have them covered...it will be interesting to see how they do this year.

Robin - My fingers are crossed and we are tired of the rain. With any luck it will soon warm up and all of the warm weather crops will start to develop and produce.

Buttons - We have had an excellent crop of weeds this year, they don't seem to mind the cooler weather at all.:) Lets hope for some warmer weather, but not too warm.

Randi - Patience does pay off, it has just been in the past few years that all of our semi-dwarf trees have started to produce. The seeded trees are all standard so it will still be a while before they do anything, but I'm not going anywhere.:) One sad thing though, our little peach tree was ringed by voles this past winter and I hold little hope that it will survive the summer.

In the coming years we will be making many more changes in how we grow things as I think you are right in that the cooler conditions will be the norm going forward.

Farmer - Thanks, it has been an interesting year with all of the projects we have going but I look forward to spending more time enjoying the garden in future months.

Brenda - It is very exciting to finally see little green cherries on that tree, hopefully the birds will be willing to share a few of the ripe ones with us.:) Hope your weather turns around and allows for a decent growing season.

Ida - Thanks a bunch, I will look that up.:)

Get Soiled - Ah but, when I hear the tales of all those semi-tropical fruits grown in your area I have the same kitchen fantasies. I'll trade you a rhubarb for some of those New Smyrna Quince or perhaps an apple for a peach? Thanks for the info on the mint.

villager said...

Gosh, your greens are really lush looking. Spinach is just a fond memory here, except for that in the freezer. I would be happy to send some of our warm weather your way. It's been so hot some days I'm afraid our tomatoes and peppers won't even set on.

I'm still trying to get our Spotted Trout to flower. The spring plantings rotted from all the rain, so I put two plants in the greenhouse. Surely the long days plus 100F+ temps will get it to bolt.

I'd like to hear more about those 'crossed greens' too!

Granola Girl said...

I'm glad it has all worked out for you. We have been thinking of you often as the weather continued to deteriorate.

If you all need any help later in the season (on in years to come) drop us a line. We are now only a couple hours from you, have many free weekends, and are always eager to help.

Eden said...

Thanks for the tip re: rhubarb! I like the intercropping aspect.

Mavis said...

Ahhhh Mr. H. That post was worth the wait :)

Glad to know you were not eaten alive by a giant slug... I was worried there for awhile.

Your garden looks great (or course it does)... But I have 1 question. How does one eat Kohlrabi... Is it something you eat raw... in salads... do you steam it? Do you eat the whole things? Mavis needs to know.

Jane said...

What a rebound you have made from your horrible spring! Everything looks so lush. What is your secret? Voodoo, sell your soul, sacrifice a tomato under the full moon?

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

What else can I say that hasn't already been said about that beautiful garden! It's like a "Garden of Eden" and wish I had one like it..Everything looks nice and healthy and well cared for..Heavenly!

Wendy said...

I was right to prepare myself for gorgeousness when I saw the title of this post! How do you guys keep up?!!

Fiona said...

Wow, Mr H! Everything looks gorgeous and so productive! I, too, was surprised given the slow start to the year. Keep up the great work! You're an inspiration. :)

kitsapFG said...

HURRAH! Mr. H returns from the gardening wilderness to post a lovely series of photos for all of us to get caught up on what has been happening! (can you tell we were all missing you alot?!)

I am totally interested in your multicross brassica experiment. I do hope you will give us updates in the future about what the results are.

Before you know it the weather will warm up and those tomatoes will start taking over and pulling down their supports. At least that is what I am hoping will happen - for both of us!

africanaussie said...

oh gosh your speckled lettuce looks good! You don't just have a pot of mint like regular people - you have acres of it! You make me quite jealous with all your produce - no wonder you are worn out.

Mr. H. said...

Villager - I think I would almost prefer our cool rainy weather over your intense heat...my garden would certainly shrivel under those conditions. We are growing a mix of Bloomingsdale and Giant winter spinach, the Giant seems to be much slower to bolt. Yes, the Spotted lettuce turned out nice, not as big as yours by a long shot but still very nice. I am hoping to save seeds of of ours too.

Granola Girl - Thanks so much for the offer, I didn't realize you were so close now. The weather is supposed to become warmer this next week so I am hoping the forcast will come true and some of our warm weather crops will begin to grow. Anyway, it was a bit of a struggle to get some of the direct seeded plants to germinate this year and weeds have been a huge issue but I think we are finally on top of everything and can focus on garden maintenance now...and hiking and foraging.:)

Eden - We have it growing under the trees in four diffferent spots now, the trick is to baby it along the first couple years until a nice tap root developes.

Mavis - You know I did see a giant slug the other day but it's the ants that might do me in this year, everywhere I go there are ants. As to kohlrabi, a bulbous tuber forms on the stem and is harvested once it gets just under a baseball in size. Simply peal the skin off and use the sweet white flesh grated raw in salads, cut up as one would a carrot stick, lightly steamed, fried, or any numbe rof other ways. The leaves are quite good as a cooked green. I highly recomend the Gigante variety if you ever run across it, even when the bulbs get really large they still remain quite tender.

Jane - I did think about sacrificing some of my tomato plants to appease the rain gods but in the end time won out and slowly everything is startig to grow...kind of like a rain forest around here this year. I would take these conditions over your horrible heat...hope things cool down a bit for you.

Ginny - I forgot to take a picture of our little collard greens patch, they are doing great this year...loving all of this rain. Thanks for inspiring me to get some growing this season.:)

Wendy - One weed at a time...thanks.:)

Fiona - Slowly but surely everything is coming along...we may not have great tomatoes this year but all the greens are looking good.

Laura - I promise to do up a post on the crossed greens, I grew a couple patches of them and there are at least three distictly different looking plants so it should be very interesting to see how they turn out. As to the tomatoes...fingers crossed tightly as I have never had them look so sad this late in the season, we better have a late and warm fall. I'll try to be less of a lurker and do more posts going forward...its been a hectic spring.

Africanaussi - You are too kind, the various perennial herbs, especially oregano are really enjoying the cool rainy weather and growing like crazy.

Carolemc said...

Your garden looks wonderful and lush. Our soil is incredibly dry, as is the river much to our dogs disgust - she does love her morning swim!

Lovely to see what you guys are up to again,

all best wishes, Carole

Geno said...

looking good Mr.H! especially with the weather we have been having. it has been very slow gardening for us, althouhg we finally got our first rhubarb in the ground.

Mr. H. said...

Carolemc - We have a creek that our dog loves to play in and it is always disappointing when it starts to dry up later in the year. Hope you get some rain soon.

Geno - Once you plant that Rhubarb it will be there for life.:) We have been starting lots of little rhubarb from seed and are excited to see how they turn out. It has indeed been a rough year for gardening but with any luck the weather will eventually warm. I must say that I am a bit concerned about how the huckleberries will be this year, all this cold wet weather is good for the plants but not their ability to produce berries...we shall see.

Mama Gone Green said...

What a great garden. I love the photo of your dog!

johnnydesoto said...

looking splendid..but then your garden's always do :)

Life's in the way of online stuff...but my own garden is going great guns :)hopefully some pictures soon. Remodeling and vehicle woes..what's that they say?..."trouble comes in 3's". surpassed that..but I've been through rapids before...we'll navigate alright.

had some trouble with aphids in the favas..not a great crop but about the same as last year which is enough for me. Right now awaiting the mass invasion of the Marmorated Stink Bug. Something you all ought to pay attention too. A major nuisance to home gardeners but a plague for all who make their living growing food. In 31 states now and spreading. It's a great hitchhiker..thank you international trading. Broad host range and no native predation or parasitism...keep an eye out.

More info here: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/stinkbug/

BTW I have speckled trout seed for the fall. Looking good! also Speckled Friz Chickendive..and lots of Bulls Blood Beet on your recommendation. Tried Egyptian Turnip Rooted Beet this year..very nice here. Some of the best greens I've ever eaten.

Argentata Chard did nicely also. Had my best crops of broccoli raab ever. Pole Beans are climbing for the stars already and I have to find some taller poles for these soup peas http://www.nativeseeds.org/catalog product_info.php?cPath=1_32&products_id=450 they are 5' tall already and just starting to flower.

Sorry for the long-winded comment. Happy gardening y'all!

Kumi said...

Your vegetables are growing beautifully as usual! I can just imagine delicious bowls after bowls of salad served from your garden. I'm further inspired to work on our small vegetable patch. What was the easiest fruit tree you've grown?

Heiko said...

Man, life's not fair. We get a drought and you get washed away! Many of your plants seem to like the rain though. Almost all my cherry trees are self-sown and producing heavily. I keep loosing count how many there actually are as some new ones appear every year.

Mr. H. said...

Mama Gone Green - Thanks so much.:)

Johnny Desoto - Life has been getting in the way of our online stuff too, hope you are able to get everything in good order soon..it's never fun to get all caught up in a bunch of unexpected events.

I think your Turnip beet is the same or very similar to the Flat Of Egypt beet we grow...they really are nice beets. I'm putting the Speckled Friz Chickendive on my wish list for next year, sounds exactly like the type of resilient green we love to try growing in our gardens. Also, thanks for the information on that nasty stink bug, I will keep an eye out for them. We do get stink bugs around here but only a few and I never notice any damage but the one you linked to sounds like quite the terrible pest.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing pictures of your garden and hope you get all those projects tackled.

Kumi - So glad to hear that you are excited about gardening and I wish you lots of luck with your own veggie endeavours. I would say that the most trouble free fruit that we grow is Italian plums.

Heiko - I'm not complainng though, I'll take a cool rainy spring over the issues many others have had to face this year any day. Now if I could just get those darn green beans to germinate...Planted 2 Autumn Olives and 10 Aronia berry bushes last night...can't wait until they start to bare (bear?) berries in a couple years.

Silke said...

Wonderful!! Your garden looks fantastic even with the rain and cold you've apparently had. Loved the photo of Rowdy in the oregano - that dog knows his herbs apparently... Such a lush garden - your salad bowls must indeed be overflowing! Guten Appetit! :) Silke

Lorena said...

Hey Mr. H, nice Idaho weather we are having. I've been looking at real estate in Provence France for kicks, when I get down. I finally understand the phrase"feeling under the weather"! What's your guess, am I safe to plant more spinach now without it bolting? I'm guessing yes! Nice greens

Mr. H. said...

Silke - Rowdy is actually quite fond of most berries, loves kale and raspberry leaves but is not at all a big fan of oregano.:) Hope your garden is doing well too and it's not too hot out.

Lorena - I told my wife last night that I have about had it with this cold rainy weather and perhaps we should move some where warmer...what has it been, almost 8 months of cold rainy weather now, there is moss growing on my boots and I have never had so many mushrooms in the garden. I'm thinking of planting some more spinach too...got to go with the flow.:)

Ohiofarmgirl said...

spectacular! tell Rowdy that Kai says hi! i cant get over your spinach - i don't think i can get that going here, especially now. i hope you are enjoying every bite. i started some rhubarb from seeds. they are just little plantlets but i have big plans for them. great to see an update!

Mr. H. said...

Ohio - Too cool, besides me you are the only person I know that starts little rhubarb plantlets from seed...we have a bunch going and also have big plans for them.:) So, tomorrow we take Rowdy on his first real hike way up into the mountains...snow and all, wish us luck. I think he will love it. Love your peeps!

Dani said...

Mr H - even though your posting "Farming With Nature" shows on my dashboard, when I click on it to open it, IE says that the page is not found...?

'Nother Blogger problem?

Mr. H. said...

Dani - Sorry about that, I was working on a post about Sepp Holzer and accidently posted it before it was ready. You can watch a great video about "Farming With Nature here and read about Sepp Holzer here. It is truly fascinating stuff.:)

Dani said...

Mr H - LOL thanks :-)

LynnS said...

Despite your wet, chilly weather, the garden looks wonderful, Mike. I hope you get some sun so that your 'maters grow and ripen in the garden this year! I see your morning temp is 39-degrees -- got the woodstove going? ;-) All of that chilly weather explains why your chives are just now blooming.

We've had 2 conditions this year: nasty heat waves or monsoons. It's very trying but we have to work with what we're given. Lucky you with all of that spinach -- a fast fading memory here, too.

Rowdy's still as cute as ever. And our dog loves the oregano patch, too....must be something instinctive about the scent.

Mr. H. said...

Lynn - It looks like it will finally be in the 70's and maybe even up to 80°this week so I am hopeful that this first day of summer will bring summer like conditions with it. I'll take our cooler spring weather over your heat waves and monsoons any day. At least Rowdy likes the cooler weather...such a hairy little beast, the heat really gets to him.

WeekendFarmer said...

I seriously think I need to move by you and help you eat all that green!!! wow. Good for you. It is therapeutic to look at those pictures. Happy 1st day of summer - June 21st, 2011 : )

Mr. H. said...

WeekendFarmer - We would make a good team, you with all those animals and me with my gardens.:) Happy 1st day of summer to you too.

Vegetable Garden Cook said...

Thanks for the update! I've been wondering how your garden is coming along.

Leigh said...

Sure wish I could trade some of my tomato plants for some of your lettuce. And your rhubarb! Very impressive. I nursed three plants along but they just didn't make it. Of course, I don't think this is exactly rhubarb growing country.

Mr. H. said...

Vegetable Garden Cook - It was 80°yesterday so we have high hopes that everything will really start to take off and grow.:)

Leigh - I wish we could make that trade as well...wish I could share some rhubarb with you.:)

sylvie in Rappahannock said...

Cool temperature and rain are doing wonder for all the leafy greens. Here in the Northern Virginia Piedmont spinach and lettuce have long ago succumbed to the heat (although I am trying to grow lettuce on the north side of the corn). On the other hand, I am only days away from my first ripe tomato...
Would love to hear more about your brassica crossing sometimes... this is all so inspiring!

Mr. H. said...

Sylvie - Our salad greens are loving this cooler weather, for the most part we have been in the 60-70°range but it is supposed to get close to 80°this week. Enjoy those fresh tomatoes...can't wait until ours start to ripen, unfortuntely it won't be anytime soon.

I'm excited about the new brassicas and promise to do up a post on them sometime this summer once I can see how they turn out...a little experimentation in the garden is always fun.:)

meemsnyc said...

Holy smokes! Your rhubarb is just gigantic!! Wowser!

meemsnyc said...

Holy macaroni! I am loving how large your rhubarb is! Its gigantic. I wish mine grew like that! We have bugs that eat it's leaves. Do you have that problem too?

Mr. H. said...

Meemsnyc - We do occasionally have bugs get at our leaves but this year no problems at all...so far.

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