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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Long awaited Update!

I do hope Blogger lets me put in pictures today I tried about 2 days ago and it wouldn't let me. WE had a lovely rain storm last night with lightning and thunder and .. dogs whining... We found out the why on that one this morning. Seems Paris had gotten herself wound up around one of the few roots that we can't get out, by them and so she was drenched. If it weren't for the fact it was a lightning storm I would have run out and unwound her so she could have gotten into her dog house. You know... it's weird seeing a cloundy rainy morning with a tiny bit of sun peeking through...

Oh well here we go with our update starting with your favorite and mine (I hope) Potatoes!

This is about 6 Cups of potatoes out of my own potato plot!We had dug up the half of the plot that had died back and this is what we got. Now remember that, the "front" half of my plot were sprouters and store bought seed potatoes. So they were of unknown variety.

But, as you can see it seems we had a good deal of the "yukon gold" type and a few russets. Now I did plant 2-3 fingerlings that had sprouted, and I did get some fingerlings out of this... but not where I had planted them. Also considering I had planted them just barely into the goat manure they potatoes did grow down into the dirt. Only barely growing in the straw, Silver says next year no burying them at all just lay them out with the straw over them and see.

Doesn't this look pretty? This is the dirt under all the straw, and it is pretty! So if you want to turn clay into good soil? Drop a (until it's "Aged down") 3ft layer of straw where you want your good soil and let it sit a year.. watering it at random.

The straw has started composting down, the lower half of it was black and changing. So it has been "turned" as I put it back in the space after my "treasure hunt". Once the rest of the plot is "dug out" (yeah late august treasure hunt!) I will add my "official" compost pile to it. I will "stir it" well then we will get a tarp and put it over it and let it sit till spring and if it's not ready then, I'll stir it again and recover it.

OK, unfortunalty (sp?) that is all my pictures for now but more updates...

I managed to pick some of the beans all but the long beans which have just started getting flowers. I really like the flavor of the rice beans as a green bean and am glad I planted more of them, and they have come up. Considering they are a "bush" bean I have planted many in a small space. I will get some pics of them when I get more next and hold them in my hand to show the small size. The Tiger's eye were a tad bit on the bitter side, but I was planning if they are good to have them as a dry bean; so I already know they are not that tasty as a green. I thought the one pole bean I got was ok, but after that rice been it was not as sweet tasting. So next time I might try the pole bean(s) first. Oh, while on the bean subject... anyone guess why my beans (not the longs or the rice ones...) are yellowing at the bottom? Phalen mentioned in her blog (correct me if I'm wrong) that her beans weren't making it in the heat.. so could that be it?

I still do not have any squashes growing other than male flowers. The bitter melon plant is still growing though a tad on the slow side to me, no flowers on it as yet and it is starting to put out the "tendrils" that like cucumbers have to hold on to things. I think even the bought pepper isn't going to make it this year, as it's pitiful... speaking of pitiful my grapes are dieing back again, I hope they come back again. My lemon cucumbers have TONS of flowers, I hope they produce soon, the late start ones in my front door pot it growing well they have secondary leaves now.
The replanted cukes have sprouted, those are "Dragon's egg" and (I hope I spell this right) "Humong giant". Now I have put like I did with the lemon cukes a tomato cage over the Dragon's egg ones thinking they might be small enough that it won't rip the plant while climbing. The giant is a Chinese variety and I think it is one of the ones you use in stir fries. We will try it raw like standard cukes and we'll know quickly I bet if it's a cooking one.

Now I have a tomato issue... my tomato plants are covered in tomatoes, all different kinds/shapes. Now the problem is the tomatoes in my box have been covered in bugs, hornworms and aphids... not to mention stink bugs. One of the plants in the box has gotten half eaten. Now aside from being boxed and having "made soil" which is just peat and the local topsoil and a tad bit of ash. The only difference is that when we got a packet of free fertilizer in the mail I thought what the heck and put it on the boxed tomatoes. Could that be causing the bug attractant? Also we have a "new" problem in my box.. I have had to pull and toss about 10 green young tomatoes as they were rotting from the bottom up on the plant...????? what causes that?

I have does some new plantings one as a trial and a few to see if I can get something out of them before it's too cold. I planted some Amaranth, they have sprouted and once they start getting a bit bigger we will try the "greens" (red plants "greens " hahahahahaha), and see if they will produce seed heads if started in the beginning of July. We had gotten some free carrot seeds when we were buying at Baker Creek short variety and I planted them and they have started sprouting. I got some edible Chrysanthymums (sp?) and some Nastrums that I thought were pretty (all varieties are edible right?) the chrys's are sprouting as are the nastrums.

We have just gotten a replacement drill bit for the root cellar so once the rain stops and our... "pond" dries up it's back to digging. On a side note we have come up with a wonderful solution to all the clay we are digging up. We are going to build a cob-ish oven, and rebuild our "stove" for outdoor cooking that we had last year as well. Right now we have been "tearing" through youtube looking up rocket stove and cob oven vids to see the best way to combine the 2, to make a suitable oven. My biggest issue with cob ovens is it seems you NEED to build a cover for them... I think if it's an outdoor oven it should be weather proof so Silver is working that out.

Well that is all for now.

Be Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...

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