Wednesday, July 30, 2008

misc update

It rained.

Veggies are growing fast during the past month, a month full of sunshine and nothing else. Flowers are coming out from the tomato plants. Then the rain came.

Hopefully the rain will not do much harm to the blooming plants.

The banana pepper plant has pepper of about 3 inches long now. A pretty slow growing plant. I wonder why my in-law's plant is tall and the peppers are big...?

Today, I also harvested all the shelling pea. Vines go to the compost. Nothing is wasted.

Ladybug in transformation.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ice wax

I think we have harvested the ice wax bean twice, and that's about it. Not at high yield plant and the flavour is average. I wonder if it is related to the location of the plant. Though the instructor said the three plants can fit into the pot (cherry tomoato, bean and basil), as it turns out, it simply gets too crowded. Having said that, it is our first time to grow bush bean and we are happy to see something new growing on our patio.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Harvesting shelling pea

What a busy day! After the garlic harvest, we turned to our shelling pea. We have harvested half of them (will finish them off in probably a week).

This is our plan: pick, shell, vacuum pack, freeze...(later)...defroze, cook, eat!

Why freeze them? We have snow pea and green salad to is abundant in a humble little backyard. We have to put some away for winter consumption.

I planted two varieties of shelling pea. On the left is Paladio,
on the right is Oregon Trail.
It seems that Paladio is sweeter than Oregon Trail. They grow in about the same speed. (see posting on April 12).

Harvesting garlics

This is our second year growing garlic. Last year, we harvested the goodies on July 15. This year, it was on July 20. Gardening advice says that garlics are ready to be harvested when half of the green have turned yellow (ratio varies depending on who gives the advice). Thus I have a hard time deciding when is the time to pull them out.

The weather has been dry and hot for weeks now. We decided to pull the garlics out today. The variety with the smaller bulbs were pulled two weeks ago. They have red outer skin. Today, we pulled those bulbs grown from the garlics we grew from last year. They are hard neck with white skin (note to myself: remember to write down the name of the variety).

There are a total of about 100 heads, including a dozen that we planted in between the flower bed...40 bulbs short from last year. (I planted really close to one another last year though)

We tied up 10 bulbs as a bundle and hang them under the patio deck for curing.
It took quite a while to remove the outer layer and clean up the dirt. But the process was very satisfying.

Brown spots were found on some of the garlics last year. They were found on many of the garlics this year. However, none were found from the garlics that were grown in the flower bed. Oh, just one more pic...a cute twin garlic.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Shelling pea

I can almost taste the many delicious meals that are about to come.

The uncooked shelling peas are so sweet. The sweetness will start to lose as they stay on the vine beyond maturity. So now it's time. We bought some chicken bones over the weekend and made chicken stock. With this homemade stock and fresh shelling peas, I'll see what Mark is going to turn them into. (We'll probably blog the dishes that we make)

The pea stand that we created seem to be insufficient in holding them in place. The vines are all leaning downhill instead of climbing upwards. We'll need to improve our pea stand strategy next year.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

veggies are ready!

I went out of town for about 10 days and I can't believe how much our urban farm has transformed during this period. The weather has been great, and plants are growing fast. We have the same dinner almost everyday: snow pea and green salad with radishes and herbs. Nothing taste better than veggies straight from the backyard. When the tomato and carrot are ready, we'll mix them into the salad as well.

The beet seeds that we had in the previous year yielded pretty big bulbs.
However, we have a different variety this year and the bulbs are small. Oh well...

Also, the garlics seem to be ready to be picked. Since it is still early July, we'll wait for maybe a couple more weeks.