Monday, November 8, 2010

sprouted rye

I was more than thrilled to discover that the rye has sprouted and they are almost like 2 inches tall. I can't remember when was the last time I checked on them and I didn't see a single sign of them coming out. And it's like all of a sudden, they poked through the soil, and grew overnight.

I took a chance and sew some more in between the rows to fill the gap. It is November in Vancouver, so we'll see if they can make it or not.

Tonight dinner: garden mixed green with carrot and radish. Oh, we're still enjoying the tomato hanging on the dead vine. The flavour is really intense. Great idea to leave them on the vine!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cover Crop

In order to improve to soil quality, I decided to try growing winter cover crop.

So the test patches are the garlic and the potato areas in the front of the house. Mark took out the pumpkin plant which has spread all over the garlic patch and I randomly spread the rye on top of the whole area and then casually covered them with soil. No, I didn't diligently cover the rye as if I was sowing seeds. Let's see if they will sprout.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Garlic planting

After several years of growing garlic on our small garden, the disease has finally caught up on them. The farmers are right, that you can't keep using the same plot for garlic growing. Though we did switch the garlic patch from front to back for a year, I returned to the same plot the next year, and that's apparently not enough for the patch to recover.

This summer, I went to the Limbert garlic festival in Chilliwack to buy a whole bunch of garlic to use as seed. There were three different garlic farm stands, and I bought some from each of them:
- one sells Italian
- one sells Yugoslavian
- one sells a varieties of garlic. I bought music, porcelain, georgian and red Russian.

When I split up the garlic bulbs today, some of the georgian and red russian bulbs have already turned mouldy and can't be used. Too bad.

Each year we use our own homegrown garlic as seed. This year, every glove is from someone else. I don't really feel good about it. Well, let's hope for the best next year.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tomato Pasta

Today is one of the rare days when Michelle works late. Ordinarily, this means that it's steak night. However, Ruhlman posted something interesting. We still have many Roma tomatos ripening, as well as some Basil. The Basil is long in the tooth, and won't last long, so I decided to use some and try this dish. I used a whole bulb of our russian red garlic and a fistful of basil. The pasta was made from local eggs, but I guess the parmesan that I added came from too far away for the whole dish to qualify as local. A nice salad from the garden made a great meal.
I have to say that this was one of the more delicious pastas I've ever made. I'm quite staggered by just how good it was for being so simple. Nice one Ruhlman.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October Garden

Two posts in two days?

I was taking pictures for other reasons, so I thought I would take a picture of a portion of garden. There are leeks, beets, carrots, salad, parsnips, and brussel sprouts in view. All plants that will feed us well in to the winter.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tomato Harvest

Man do we suck as bloggers. It's the end of the summer, and we have hardly posted at all.

This year we had Five 30 gallon buckets on our patio under an eave. In each we had a Roma. They performed amazingly. Today, I harvested a whole bunch and processed for canning. We use the cans all winter long for soup and pasta.

As you can see, we still have a lot that have not ripened. We've stopped watering, and trimmed the plants back, so hopefully, these will still ripen in time.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Irrigation Changes

We've had domestic strife. Our cats are battling hard to be completely banished to an indoor lifestyle. Despite their love of fresh air they keep treating the garden as a litter box. We've had two motion sensing sprinklers for quite awhile. But due to the water supply they're constrained to fixed location. I decided to augment them with two heat sensing ultrasonic cat annoyance devices.

Unfortunately, these things work entirely too well for pets. Other people cats using your garden? No problem, use these guys, they work. But, if you actually want your pets to enjoy outside, don't. Our cats didn't even go outside anymore. In fact, when I was outside I could hear the little chirp the device makes when it goes off regardless of any moving heat source. They have no sensitivity adjustment, or convenient off switch (though, picking it up and placing it face down effectively turns it off). These two strikes were sufficient to stop using it, the kicker was that their usage manual says that if you're out in the garden you should disconnect it. As I mentioned, it doesn't have a convenient off switch.

Given that it isn't user friendly for cats or humans, I returned the two units.

I reorganized our motionsensing sprinklers to better cover our garden. I had a spare whose sprinkler I'd broken, but was able to buy a sprinkler head for. Between the three we have almost sufficient coverage. Hopefully it's enough.

Additionally, I put in an automated irrigation for our patio tomatos. Five roma's and some kind of cherry we're not sure about yet. It's hot on the patio, and the tomatos are doing well, they need to be watered twice a day, so this will be a bit of a relief.

Here's a nice picture of a silhouette of said tomatos on our living room wall.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


We've been eating out of our garden very regularly since last summer. We had so many leeks we didn't manage to eat them all over the winter.

Here is dinner tonight. Some snow peas steamed in a reduced stock, fresh garlic, basil, and chives. They were delicious.

The strawberries are coming thick and fast and are ending up in our salads. The greens for salad were in the fridge when the picture was taken. They were varied from endive to wild arugula, beet leaves and young red romaine.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lady Bugs Rule

We have been pretty bad about posting. It's been a wet spring. We've been eating salad, and have just started harvesting snow peas. Our apple tree is doing amazing with about 60 apples. We've made a large batch of garlic scape pesto, and planted a lot of everything.

This post though is about aphids, hops & ladybugs. This year the hops have been absolutely invaded by aphids. They covered the undersides of every leaf, and all over all the stalks. Consequently, we've had a lot more lady bugs than normal. This year they're all over the place. As you can see in the picture, they're having a lot sex as well. There's still lots of aphids under the leaves, but the stalks are clean. The underside of most of the leaves are sporting orangish ladybug eggs, so, soon their larvae will take care of the rest of the aphids.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sprouting garlic

Last week Michelle removed the fabric on our garlic. It's already up around 6 inches. This is fully one month ahead of last year. But, last year we had two feet of snow, and this year, since we have the Olympics, we have no snow (none on the ski hills either).