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Showing posts from July, 2010

Golden Cherry Tomatoes

"Your love of gardening will take on new meaning in your life." Fortune Cookie

Last year there was a blight in the area so very few gardeners were able to produce a healthy crop of tomatoes. There is discussion that the blight has shown up in the neighboring county again this summer.

This year I tried to grow three varities of tomatoes. I am working on a crop of beefsteak tomatoes for my grandmother, with little success, red cherry tomatoes and the subject of this blog the golden cherry tomato. Anyone with an interest in growing these "fruits" know that there are literally hundreds of different tomatoes to choose from in size, color and flavor. My four year old daughter would like to try something more exotic next year so maybe we will give it a go.

The golden cherry was purchased as a starter plant at our local farmers market, Frog Pond. It has proven to be a hearty little plant that produces extremely well also. The tomatoes themselves are very sweet. I prefer …

Black Beauty Zucchini

It has been a few years since we have grown zucchini in our garden. This season we decided to try the heirloom, Black Beauty, variety from the Seed Savers Exchange.

An interesting note about zucchini is that it is actually a fruit. It comes in three different colors, yellow, green or light green and generally taste better the smaller that it is. They are a good source of Vitamin C, an important antioxidant. They are also extremely low in total fat so if you are watching your daily intake this is a good "veggie" to consider. It is also believed that they help protect against colon cancer.

You can bake them, fry them, eat them raw and even use them to bake bread with. As for storage we either blanche them and put them in the freezer or dehydrate them.

If you happen to be growing the heirloom variety you can save your seed by allowing the fruit to pass maturity by three weeks and then remove the seed. You will want to wash the seed and let it dry before storing in a cool place, …

Beans (3)

This year we grew four different types of beans. We grew Dragon's Tongue (see our July 29th, 2009 blog entry for more details on this particular bean), also the Pencil Pod Golden Wax bean, and the Royalty Purple Pod bean from seed acquired through the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. All three of those seeds are heirloom strains. The fourth bean that we grew was another purple variety that was not heirloom and though delicious will not be sought out again simply because it is not an heirloom, if you are interested in knowing more about it you can check out our blog from August 1st, 2009 which speaks in detail about this bean.

We grew so many beans this year because friends of the family had given us some beans that they had pickled last year and they were amazing! So far we have eaten ours fresh, given some away, dehydrated some and recently froze a few pounds for "fresh" veggies in the winter. I am going to briefly tell you how to freeze your own beans so that you…

Potatoes (2)

I'll admit it, Quayle is not the only one who has spelled potato wrong, in fact I am one of those people. Now I think twice before writing anything about the tater because it pains me to be in the same population as Danny boy.

August, 2009 I wrote a short piece on the nutritional value of the potato so if you are interested please feel free to refer back to the above mentioned post for more info.

As I am sure I have mentioned in the past about two years ago I lost my job, as many Americans had/have, and my garden went from being a hobby to a way of putting food on the table. We were able to gather potatoes rather early in the year and whenever I dig up my first group of roots I think back to that time period and how self-sufficient my family was forced to become.

I have tried a number of methods of planting potatoes. I know it seems rather easy but I have had some success and some failure. This year I tried a very easy method I had taken from the author Dick Raymond. Basically what…

Blueberries

I am still a rookie in regards to growing blueberries. We only have two small bushes, but do have plans over the next few growing seasons to add a few more.

Two tricks of the trade that I can pass along happen to be that blueberries need mulch and they also like acidic soil. In order to kill two birds with one stone we began to take our old coffee grounds and started creating a "mulch" made entirely out of the coffee. Towards the end of spring my two year started adding grass clippings from the lawn after it had been freshly mowed, smart boy, and now we have a good base around the plants.

I pruned one of the two plants this spring while the other had been attacked by rabbits the past two winters so it has been pruned by nature so to speak. Pruning is a recommended method for a number of reasons if not simply to create fuller plants.

Aside from the way the warm berries melt in your mouth fresh from the bush there are a number of health benefits associated with blueberries. I&…

Short Season Gardening

The August/September 2010 issue of Organic Gardening has a nice little article about short season planting called "Plan for Fall Veggies" on page 76. I have to admit I am a bit torn in regards to this periodical in general. Some of the material it prints is really worth reading while other articles are debatable as to whether or not they are even an organic approach to begin with. I was given a free years worth of the magazine by a close friend who also enjoys digging in the dirt so I really can't complain but I figured I should give you folks the heads up if you were considering paying for it.

When I was planning the garden this past winter I had decided that I was going to plant the golden sweet pea in the spring and then another variety of pea late in the summer. At the time I was not really attempting to double up on my space and yield, I simply did not want the two heirlooms to cross-pollinate. But as the year began to move along I saw the benefits associated with u…