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Monday, August 23, 2010

Harvest (yes you heard me, I have a harvest) Monday!

Welcome to Harvest Monday, hosted graciously by Daphne's Dandelions!

Well you heard me right, this week I actually have a harvest. It's small but it's something and there's more where this came from. The eggplants are so beautiful and the peppers are extra sweet.

In addition the carrots and broccoli I started are coming along nicely.

The cosmos in the drive have not begun to bloom yet, but continue to get taller and taller. The anticipation of what color they will be is killing me!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jealous Monday a.k.a Harvest Monday

Welcome to Harvest Monday hosted graciously by Daphne's Dandelions. The past few weeks I have been looking in sheer awe at the amazing harvest's of all of my fellow gardener's. This week though I really found my mouth watering for all of the yummy tomatoes and melons coming out of your gardens. We had a rather late plant out date this year, by three weeks, in Northeast Florida due to an unusually long and cold winter met with an extra early and hot summer. These weather woe's made for a very short growing season, so I have lived vicariously through you all.

The good news is that fall is just around the corner. I chose some of my favorite tomatoes from spring, Sungold and Mr Stripey, and cut them back to just above where the first "new" plant was forming near the bottom. They should really begin to take off growing in a week or two as we get a break in the heat, and with any luck will produce all the way through the holidays like they did last year.

Growing now, I still have eggplant that will grow through October or so, and peppers that will also continue to grow through the holidays.

I've started my purple peacock broccoli and broccoli raab under the lights. It was so awesome to have fresh broccoli last year that I plan on successively planting every two to three weeks through February.

Other planned fall crops:

Carrots - started my first bucket 4 days ago and will continue to sew every two weeks through March
Pumpkins - this may only be a dream, but the vine is looking good. Planted 4 "Casper" seeds and only one germinated.
Sweet Potato Squash - a winter squash variety, mostly an after thought. They just sprouted and I will be pushing mother nature' limits to get them to maturity.
Beets, onions, lettuce, dwarf pak choy - all will sew directly around sep 15 and will continue to sew every few weeks through spring.
Onions and Artichokes - plant out in October for a spring harvest

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Urban Gardening Hotlanta Style....

Summer is in full swing here in zone 8/9. The only thing surviving right now, aside from the weeds, are eggplants and peppers, and even they seem to struggle. Even after a deep watering the droopy leaves just seem to be begging for cooler weather.

So while the garden is almost empty I will relish in the bounty of others.
This past weekend I visited some friends in Atlanta. One of my favorite things to do while on vacation is to eat, and visit other gardens and see what’s going on. I inevitably learn something new every time.

This trip was all about tracking down The King of Pops. We are talking yummy, homemade, gourmet popsicles from a street corner vendor. This guy is the real deal. These pops are made from as many local as possible and always fresh ingredients. The Arnold Palmer was so refreshing. The perfect southern treat for a 100+ degree day.

Another noteworthy addition to the Atlanta restaurant scene is Farm Burger. Truly farm to table.
“Farm Burger is defined by its mission, its farms, its team, and its community. We depend on local farmers, ranchers and land stewards to make your burger as good as it is. From our beef to our tomatoes to our compostable containers to our owners, Farm Burger is sustainable, local, humane, and helping to reroute our food system to function more like an ecosystem than a corporation. Our goal is to connect soil, animal, plant, rancher, butcher, chef & you…all in a simple wire basket.”
And though we chose not to wait it out, the enormous line out the door said it all. It is a must the next time I am there.

But truly the highlight was getting to see my friend Robins garden. It was a small 3x8 raised bed, but it was prolific. Over flowing with cucumbers, tomatoes, beans and herbs. It was seemingly disease free, just a few beginning signs of powdery mildew. But I really was left with a strong admiration for what has always seemed to be the perfectness of zone 7 gardening.

To do this week:
Finish cleaning up after last weeks storms
Put together new raised beds (HELLO - half price at Lowes!)
Start fall seeds (broccoli, broccoli and more broccoli) inside
Finish spreading out all of the free mulch that my friend Samantha delivered after having some trees taken down and the stumps ground up. (I LOVE FREE!)
Read new Fall 2010 Edition of URBAN FARM magazine (make sure to check out the list of notable blogs on page 106!!!)