I left these on the vine as long as I could to make sure they had full flavor. I was not disappointed. There would be more to show you, but I couldn't help checking product quality(snacking) while I was harvesting.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Monday, August 14, 2017
What You Can Plant in the Central U.S./Midwest in August
Sunday, August 13, 2017
As much as I love lettuce, it has the nasty habit of bolting and turning bitter in the heat of summer, not so with cabbages. They can continue to grow from the spring through the summer and well into the fall. And cabbage is such a versatile and healthy crop. And it not only provides dietary fiber and antioxidants, but also it's a very good source of manganese, potassium, vitamin B1, folate and copper. And it provides the added benefits of choline, phosphorus, vitamin B2, magnesium, calcium, selenium, iron, pantothenic acid, protein and niacin.
You don't need a patch to grow your cabbages. I've grown mine in individual pots for years. And I can tell you from personal experience that they make an excellent container garden vegetable. So let your garden grow on that balcony or patio. And make sure it contains some potted cabbages.
Friday, August 11, 2017
In this modern age we take for granted the common knowledge that many of the fruits and vegetables grown in our gardens contain vitamins and minerals that are essential to our good health. As a result, we rarely consider that there was a time when such knowledge didn't exist. And that men and women had to struggle mightily to pull back the veil of ignorance that hides the truth from our eyes.
Today is the birthday of a man born in 1858, who found a direct connection between a vitamin deficiency and a disease. In doing so, he liberated humanity from the suffering caused by an ailment that most people have never heard of, Beriberi. And he was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1929 for his achievement. So lets raise a glass to Christiaan Eijkman, whose discover of vitamin B1(Thiamine) has earned him a prominent place in medical history.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Did you know that August 8th is national Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day? Hey, I'm not making this up! And if you've ever grown these Italian cousins of American summer squash you would know why such a day is necessary.
Just one Zucchini plant has enough output to feed a small developing nation. And a small row of plants could be a major contributor to ending world hunger. If you plant early, by August you've given every family member, coworker and neighbor a lifetime supply. And people you know start avoiding you because they've made all the soups, stews, breads and dips that one can that are zucchini based and don't want to take the chance that you'll hand them any more of your garden's bounty.
So desperate times call for desperate measures and you have to start sneaking over to the porches in your area, sometimes in the dark of the night, and gift the unsuspecting with zucchini. So go boldly forth and remember that it IS better to give than to receive, no matter what your neighbors may think.
Monday, August 7, 2017
This banana pepper plant spent the winter perched on the sill of a south facing window. All seemed to be going well until just before I was about to put it outside. I noticed the leaves were changing and falling off. Turns out that some very small insects were attacking it. I took it outside anyway and thought about throwing it away. I found some organic insecticide and sprayed it, but it still looked as though it was at death's door. I decided to put it aside and see what would happen.
As it turns out, Mother Nature was more than happy to lend some help in reviving her creation after it had been given an assist in fending off its attackers. It now looks like it was never in any danger at all. Amazing!
Sunday, August 6, 2017
I had read that wonderberries can fruit in a container of almost any size. So I decided to try a little experiment. The results can be seen below. So anyone whose gardening efforts must be limited to a south facing window sill, has no excuse to eliminate berries from the mix. And those empty yogurt cups can now have a new life as planters.
Saturday, August 5, 2017
I love peppers in a way that I can't describe. They truly are a vegetable I'd never want to live without. But, why oh why did Mother Nature make a tropical plant that is so slow growing? The anticipation is enough to kill you. And here in zone 5 we can't even think about putting peppers out overnight until the end of May. Oh well, one does what one can with what one has.
Friday, August 4, 2017
This is one of my favorite times of the year. After the a couple of months of anticipation, the garden has begun to yield its bounty. And there is nothing like having fresh produce available for use just steps away from your own door. These summer squash beauties are destined for soups, stews and perhaps even a dessert or two.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
I planted a container variety of butternut squash last year and saw the plants wither and die for no apparent reason. This year I planted the remaining six seeds and only one of them sprouted. As you can see, it's coming along quite nicely. Although I must admit that based on the pictures in the seed catalog and the hefty size of the container I'm using, I thought there would be more than three squash on the plant. But, it certainly has been a better result than no squash at all. I can't wait to find out how they taste.
Monday, July 31, 2017
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Just because you have a garden, doesn't mean you can't patronize your local farmer's market(s) every now and then. You never know what you'll find that might strike your fancy. And while we may grow our own, few of us have resources vast enough to even begin cultivating the amazing variety that exists in nature's bounty.
So support your local food providers and take a look at what's available out there. A good place to start would be local newspapers. And of course, there is always the internet.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
The months of April and May have been cooler than normal. And while this may be a problem for some, for cool weather plants such as lettuce, those extra days have been a godsend. And those of us who enjoy fresh greens have no complaints at all about that.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Although the term black gold may cause many to think of oil or perhaps The Ballad of Jed Clampett, in gardening it means only one thing, compost. As I removed the cover of my compost container today to add more organic material to the mix, I saw something I had never seen before. White wisps resembling steam rising from the surface of the contents within. It was an indication that the composting process was proceeding as it should and that the past few days of record setting warmth that we have experienced were coming to an end. For only in cooler temperatures could I see this phenomena. And only when the surface of the composting materials had not yet been frozen over by temps below the freezing point of water. All is well. Spring is only about four weeks away, at least as far as the calender is concerned. That's plenty of time to produce more black gold for the garden.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Normally at this time of year, the only things I'd be turning with any regularity would be a shovel full of snow and a key in an ignition. However, this year is different. How different? Consider this, yesterday's high in the mid 60s broke a record that had existed since the 1880s. And today, another record was broken when we hit 70. This is definitely not the norm for February here in NWI. As a result, I found myself giving the compost pile a few good turns. Something that would usually have been impossible in late February since most of it would have been a block of ice.
I don't know what Mother Nature has in store for us. But I'm hoping that March won't come in like the lion in winter. Sure, we're bound to get some snow between now and the first day of spring. We need some just to get back to average. Let's hope it won't all come in one day or even one weekend.