Friday, July 31, 2009

Garden Blogger Death Day

There is some death happening in the garden lately so I thought it would be fitting to play along with Garden Bloggers Death Day that was started by Gardening Without Skills. Not to long ago I thought my garden may make it through this cool damp summer no problem, that is not the case now. Lets start with the urns shall we:

On the left is the urns on July 15th and on the right is their current state. It has root rot and is now full of green aphids and white fly. I'm not sure I am going to do with them yet. Maybe I will ripe them out and replace them with something else growing around the yard.

The Chocolate Stripes Tomato growing in one of the topsy turvy's had half the plant wilt and now has some kind of bug making fluffy nests. I hope the remaining branch survives. And they said topsy's solve all disease and bug problems :-)

The zucchini also keep rotting. I have been pollinating them but they just don't seem to want to set yet.

Lastly our neighbor had some "idiot" do some yard work for them. He mistakened our garden for theirs and waked the crap out of it. The Ligularia was looking truly amazing and now half the blooms have been looped off, the other Ligularia has had most of its lower leaves removed and now looks lollipopped and my Dicentra has been completely removed. But most of the weeds have been left undisturbed! No pictures, I am trying to avoid looking at it....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Garden Meals

Here is the first BLT of the season from the garden. The BLT's were made with a few Siletz tomatoes that grew on mister early. Not much of a recipe here, toasted & buttered bread topped with bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise and S&P. Yum!

For this Thursday's garden meal I decided to make chicken enchiladas with green chili sauce. I had eight beautiful anaheim chili's (Big Chili II) ready for harvest so I figures green chili sauce was warranted. Here goes the recipe:

Before baking

On the plate

Green Chili Sauce: This recipe was adapted from

  • 2 lbs green chili's, roasted & peeled (How to roast/peel peppers)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • juice of a 1/4 lime
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1-2 hot peppers (optional)
  • 1 cup good chicken stock
Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until chunky. If you have excess sauce it can be frozen for later use.

Chicken Enchiladas: I kind of winged this recipe so I'm not sure how authentic it is

  • olive oil
  • one small onion, finely chopped
  • two cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • juice of half a lime
  • half a bottle of strained tomatoes
  • six boneless/skinless chicken thighs
  • salt
  • lightly toasted tortillas
  • mozzarella cheese
  • sour cream

In a pot heat oil, add onions, garlic, cumin & chili powder and cook until softened. Then add the lime juice, stained tomatoes & chicken thighs and season with salt. Cook this mixture on medium/low heat until the chicken is very tender. Once cooked use two forks to shred chicken. Once done keep on low heat until ready to use. Now add a little oil to a pan and place on high heat. Once the oil is hot start toasting the tortillas until they go limp. Then add shredded chicken, cheese & sour cream to the tortillas and roll up placing the cut side down in a baking dish. Once the dish is full top with green chili sauce & cheese and bake at 375f for 10-20 minutes until the cheese is melted & brown.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday's Harvest Post

Daphne is hosting a "Monday Harvest" event every week so everyone can share their harvests. It sounds like a great idea to me so I thought I would participate this week with what I have harvest over the last week. All you have to do is post on your harvest and then enter your blog name & ulr on her blog so everyone can check it out.

Here is the first tomatoes & cucumber of the season harvested last Wednesday.

This is today's harvest. Three cucumbers, some new potatoes, one pink berkley tie dye tomato, two jimmy nardello peppers and swiss chard from Daphne.

The last thing harvested this week was this pink fleshed variegated lemon. It has been growing on my potted lemon tree for a year now. Not sure what I am going to do with it yet, any ideas?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Root Crop Update

I managed to get some photos taken of the garden today after being rained out the first time. It has been one crappy weekend, lots of heavy rain, thunder and cool weather. Wait a minute, that seems to be what summer is lately.

poor drowning zucchini

Now for the task at hand, The last veggies to update on. Boy does it take a while to update things variety by variety. If you missed any updates here they are: Tomatoes, Potatoes, Beans, Melons, Peppers, Cucurbits, Brassicas and ending with today's Root Crop update.

This photo is the lowest bed and is comprised almost completely of root vegetables except the cucumbers growing on the trellis behind. This bed has onions, shallots, beets & carrots. A bit of a dogs breakfast really and not growing the best either.

Onion Set - these are the best growing onions so far

Prince Onions, Multiplanted - I started these from seed way back
in Feb I believe. I think next year I will just plant sets as the sets
are growing stronger.

Armador Shallots, Multiplanted - I started these from seed as well and I think
they were worth the effort. They are even multiplying in the first year.

Leeks - I seeded these near the end of May and planted them a little
over a week ago. I planted them in trenches that I will fill as they grow for blanching. They have just settled in so I will apply some high nitrogen fertilizer soon to give them a head start.

Atomic Red Carrots - These spindly things were planted at the end of April. Not sure what is happening but they sure don't want to grow. Maybe they will produce something by the fall I hope.

Nantes Carrots - I planted this double row about a month ago. They have grown nicely although they are a little flat after all the rain this weekend. My only problem with them is the beans & zucchini on either side keep shading them.

Detroit Red Beets - These were seeded a month ago for a fall harvest. They are also rather flat from all the rain. They have grown very nicely and need thinning already. They will be growing behind the poly tunnel shortly.

Well that about sums up the garden. I think another coffee is warranted on this cool & damp spring... or should I say summer! day. That will definitely be the next task. Tomorrow will be my Monday Harvest Post to coincide with Daphne's Dandelions Monday Harvest. She has added a widget to her post so everyone can link their harvests to her post. That way everyone can see each others harvests. If you have some harvest photos why not do a post about them and play along.

Friday, July 24, 2009

An afternoon at the lake.

This afternoon we went to check out the bald eagle nest that is a few cities south east of us. No such luck there so we decided to continue along the Grand River until it enters Lake Erie. I have never been to this spot before and Lake Erie is only about an hour from Brantford so it was a nice day trip. Well by the lake we stopped at Long Beach, Lowbanks & Port Maitland which are all on the road along the lake. Here are some photos I took along the way:

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle - Not the greatest shot because the lighting was poor and it was high in the sky. It was spotted on the Grand River as it enters Lake Erie

Blue Heron

Blue Heron - This bird was in a canal along the road. It flew away seconds after taking this shot and kept squawking as it flew. These Herons are a little ornery.


Cormorant & Seagull on the Grand River just before it enters Lake Erie.

Public Acess to Lake Erie

This is a public access to the Lake Erie shoreline. One of the quietest ones I have seen.

Lake Erie

Lake Erie

Wind Turbine

This is one of five wind turbines in this particular spot along Lakeshore Dr. There is a lot of these by the lake now.

Well on the photo subject I thought I would share a few photos I have taken during the last few weeks:

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Cranes

These two shots are of Sandhill Cranes, I have came across these on two occasions now in Brant County. They are rather spectacular birds to see and are reported to date back as far as 2.5 million years.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Tundra(or Trumpeter?)Swan Family I

Swan family that has nested in Brant County. No sure if they are Tundra or Trumpeter Swans?

Country Pond

Country pond with a large amount of duck weed on it.
(This is also a good indication of our weather lately, 80% cloud and cool)

Wild Tiger Lily

A wild Lily

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Need I say more?

Tomatoes 1lb 1oz / Cucumber 5oz

Update - I guess I do need to say more, the big one is a Cherokee Purple and the three smaller ones are Siletz (aka Mister Early)

New Tomatoes Counter

Tomato Count


When I revamped my blog last winter I also made up a new tomato counting widget. It will be located on my sidebar under the weight counter. Last year I harvested a little under 100 tomatoes, this year I am hoping for 200. We shall see how I do.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Brassica Update

I thought I would update on the Brassica's this fine evening. They have been having some tribulations as of late. Lets start with the bad, proceed to the ugly and end with the good.

I have lost one brussels sprout and three broccoli plants either to squirrels or birds. Which ever it is it kept digging them up and snapped a few stems during daylight hours. I'm betting on the squirrels, I swear I am going to go on a squirrel massacre one of these days! I did finally spread a lot of really hot cayenne pepper powder around and it seemed to have deterred it, knock on wood.

The other bad is cabbage butterfly caterpillars. They have been having a field day eating away. The dumb part is I ordered Bt concentrate with one of my spring seed orders and never used it. So after the caterpillars had done some serious damage to a few plants I finally sprayed. It was my first time using Bt, it is supposed to be really good stuff and is non toxic and organic.

This photo and the one below are the ugly although not overly ugly. The photo above is what most of the remaining 11 broccoli plants look like. I will keep up my Bt spraying and hopefully they will not look like swiss cheese soon.

Here is an ugly brussels sprout plant. I found last year that the cabbage butterfly caterpillars particularly like brussels sprouts. I will keep up my spraying on theses as well.

Now for the good, The Romanesco broccoli are starting to come into their prime. I planted these a month after planting the broccoli this spring after reading that they are less cold tolerant. In retrospect delaying planting will give me a nice harvest in between the first and second crop of broccoli. In behind the romanesco are the second crop of broccoli, late planted brussels sprouts as well as a bunch of weeds.

Here is a close up of the head forming on the Romanesco broccoli. This particular one is about the size of a tennis ball and the other one is about half that size. I am guessing they will be ready for harvest in two weeks.

I am almost done updating, all that is left now is the root crops!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Siletz (Mister Early), First clutch

Siletz (Mister Early), Second clutch

Cherokee Purple

I am one happy gardener and will keep my fingers crossed that the tomato thief does not return!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cucurbitaceae Update

Seeing that updating the garden plant variety by plant variety is taking so long I am grouping the Cucumbers, Squash & Zucchini together by plant family. I will start with the cucumbers:

Here is an overview of the cucumber trellis. Half of the vines are over two feet high and are full of blooms and the beginnings of cucumbers.

The other half are just about a foot high because I lost a few plants that I started early and had to direct seed them at planting time. They are really starting to catch up now so I imagine they will be just as large as the others in a week or two.

This is the largest cucumber and will be harvested soon.

This is what most of the cucumbers look like. It won't be long until I have cucumbers to harvest everyday!

Here is an overview of the squash trellis. To the right are Delicata squash (seed is from Skippy's Vegetable Garden) and Red Kuri Squash to the left.

Red Kuri bloom as a honey bee runway.

This is the first Red Kuri Squash that is setting.

Here is a close up of the Delicata plants. I started three early and lost two of them before planting. Like the cucumbers I had to direct sown the lost ones so I have two short and one long plant. I hope they catch up fast.

This is the first Delicata Squash setting.

The last Squash I am growing this season is the Cocozelle Squash above. It is an Italian zucchini as far as I can tell. It was said to be compact but it sure seems to be taking over. I will have to prune it on the right side to keep it from smuther my carrots!

Here is one of the two squash that is currently setting. I hand pollinated this one yesterday to make sure it matures.

All that is left to update now is the Brassica's & Root Vegetables.