newprotest.org: END OF THE GROWING SEASON 2009

END OF THE GROWING SEASON 2009

September 28, 2009
by: jovial_cynic
I haven't been good about posting pictures from the garden this year. I've taken plenty of pictures (I've got some here from July), but because I keep waiting until a "better" picture, I've ended up having them pile up until now.

July:


I've got two blueberry bushes, one of which produces very plump and delicious berries, and another that produces tiny berries which aren't worth eating. I planted a third bush, hoping that adding to the gene pool might generate more delicious berries.


So much broccoli. I filled a 4x10' bed with third-generation broccoli plants that I started from seed, and pretty much had so much broccoli that I couldn't keep up with it. I have now have a billion seed pods, from which I hope to collect lots and lots of seeds. For people who are interested, I may sell packets for what will be a fourth-generation crop.


Because we planted THREE zucchini plants (just to be silly), we gave a lot away. I brought this basket to work, and had so many zucchini coming up that I could have filled this basket every day. We also had a volunteer squash plant come up. I don't like squash so much.


The ginger did really well outside. I have another picture in the Late September batch of photos that shows how much I've got growing as of this weekend. They don't do well in the cold, so I'll probably select a few choice pieces and grow them indoors.


The grapes came through for me this year (they don't produce the first year you plant them), and here they are, still green. Later, I have pictures of them ready to eat.


Did you know you can eat radish seed-pods? Instead of pulling up the radish from the ground, if you let the radish go to seed, and if you collect the seed pods when they look like this (before they turn reddish and woody), they have the same taste as a radish, but the texture and consistency of a snap pea. Delicious!

August:


Our carrots, snap peas, and cucumbers did really well, and we had some friends over to enjoy a tray of fresh-from-the-garden vegetables. There are also chives that we cut up into a cucumber salad which came out great.

Early September:


It's sad that asparagus grows so slowly. We have quite a bit of it growing right now, but we can't eat it yet. I guess this much growth in the first year is typical, so we expect to have something great next year.


My diviner's sage isn't food, but it's fun to grow. It did really well outdoors, but is also not very cold resistant, so I'll have to bring it in soon.


My grape vine isn't large enough for me to bring in baskets of grapes, but even so, the kids enjoyed plucking the little grapes and munching on them as they played in the back yard. Hopefully I can get a larger vine growing.


We're growing this plant, but we didn't harvest it at all this year. Maybe we should before the cold kills it off.


I tried growing soy beans this year. The plants are VERY slow to grow, and take a while to get established. I was pretty convinced that I wasn't going to get anything.


Once the soy plant gets set, it actually produces a LOT of bean pods. I spent a lot of afternoons shelling them and eating them while sitting in the garden.


The cherry tomatoes were much more successful than my roma tomatoes, and I think they tasted better, too. They also don't require as much bracing, since the fruit isn't too heavy for the branches. These plants are a second-generation crop that I picked up from my brother-in-law; I think I'll try to harvest seeds from this plant and replant next year with them.

Late September:

I'm personally not a fan of ornamental plants, but my kids seem to enjoy having these baby pumpkins around. I suppose I'll keep them growing.


Here's a shot of the ginger, pretty much ready to climb out of the pot. I think I'll need to build a wide pot to help it spread out more. I haven't used any of this ginger yet, but I think that I'll try to harvest some soon. Ginger beef is delicious.


I'm digging for something here...


POTATOES! My three daughters are showing off some of the tubers I've dug up from my square potato bed. My oldest is holding up a tiny one, my youngest has two brown potatoes, and my middle child found a good-sized red potato.


Most of the potatoes are red, as seen here. The wheel barrow is FULL of potatoes.


Yum.


I'm not sure why I'm so intent on growing wheat. Two years ago, I found some wheat growing on the side of the road, and figured I'd see what I can grow. Last year, I had some growing and harvested those seeds which I planted early this spring, and now I've got another harvest of seeds.


This packet is for a third-generation crop of wheat. I think I have enough to grow a crop that will be capable of producing enough flour for a single loaf of bread. But if I do that, I won't have any seeds left for the next crop. And if I carve out enough land to grow enough wheat for a single loaf AND another subsequent crop, I'm not quite sure that it'll be worth the effort! I suppose that, instead of making flour, I can just supplement any breadmaking effort with some crushed grains from the garden, that would be worthwhile. In which case, I should probably consider growing some other grains as well.


It's been a very good year, overall. We've had SO much food growing, and an increase in variety that I've really appreciated. Of course, our water bill tripled during the growing season, so weighing out what is worth growing against how much it costs to keep things growing is something to consider. There are some plants that I feel are "valuable" to me, so the time and money invested is worth it... but some of the plants either produced very little, or weren't delicious enough for me to want to repeat, so I'd rather use the space for more of the food that I enjoy the most.
np category: gardening
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COMMENTS for END OF THE GROWING SEASON 2009


Angela said:
Thank you for this wonderful post and photos! I'm getting ready to start my first container garden this year and was excited to find this tonight - it was just what I wanted to read. What an inspiration! I didn't think I wanted to do potatoes until I read your post. Now I'm going to turn one of our squares into a potato container. You also got me thinking about grapes now....hmm... Thanks and good luck in 2010!
April 25, 2010


jovial_cynic said:
Angela -

Thanks for the comment!

We recently moved from Washington down to California and are in a temporary housing situation until we move into our new house at the end of May. All of those beautiful plants on this post are still back in Washington, hopefully being enjoyed by the new owners of our old house.

Due to the timing of the growing season here in California, I'm not sure if we're going to get much growth this year, but if we manage to plant a few things once we move in, I'll be sure to post.

Good luck with your garden, and feel free to ask questions!

April 26, 2010


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