Harvested carrots from the greenhouse!
I’m really pleased with the hoop house this season. We got the plastic up later than we intended this fall, but a lot of work on the bracing structure reduced the ‘thwapping’ in the wind. Reducing the air exchange also helped with the warmth overnight. I diligently packing-taped any hole and we added two more 55 gallon barrels full of water for a total of four to increase thermal mass. The plants are loving it!!
Today we finished cleaning up the hoop house from a summer and fall as a tomato bed. We planted peas, dinosaur and red winter kale, bok choy, tat soi, purple orach, chard, radicchio, cilantro and purslane.
We have tiny volunteer tomato plants all over! Some of them made it through the clean up today. We’ll see how far they get…
This summer was *insane* for cherry tomatoes. This was my first time trying a bunch of different varieties by seed. It ended up being a crazy mess of vines everywhere since I never got around to putting any tomato cages up. Picking was twister. I took as many pictures as I could.
Variety review is as follows:
Isis candy cherry – nice classic red one and a half inch fruits. I didn’t see many with the orange variegation ‘cat eye’ come through as advertised.
Cherry Roma – cute one inch little red Roma tomatoes. These were the least prolific of the six I tried and took the longest time to bare.
Blondkopfchen – my second favorite of the six. Tiny round yellow fruits that formed in incredibly prolific bunches. The fruit was sweet and had a really cute elfin point at the base!
Red fig – pretty and firm pear shaped fruits that ranged in size. We still have one of these plants hanging on next to the house in the corner of the hoop house by the 55 gallon drum we have for thermal mass. Yay December tomatoes!
Egg yolk – very round and sweet yellow fruit; prolific too. When it got very ripe it was near orange but was sweet when yellow and got sweeter.
Brown berry – Winner!!! Nice red brown color. And the sweetest, juiciest tomatoes I have ever had. Highly recommended!
It only took a trip to Paria Canyon for a week in the middle May to lead me away from here. But I have loads up fun garden and craft updates from the summer and fall. I think the dire critter situation in the yard kept me longer than I intended. Lets pick up where we felt off, seeking geologic, botanical and culinary experience in Paria
We pooped in a bag provided by the BLM to keep the canyon beautiful. And we carried it for a week. Life is pretty sweet sometimes!!
Super flashy shade set up for the transplants from the hoop house outside.
We stake with what we can find…no kitchen utensil is safe.
Tiny bit droopy but hanging in!
But its better than the heat of a greenhouse for these brassicas.
Not too shabby for the chard either.
Onions and parsley!
pig out on peas!
saving the dandelion and mallow root for medicinal teas and tinctures.
Proof that the weed whacking was done 🙂
Right now, I’m working on an experiment to try transplanting the more cool season plants out of the hoop house into the garden outside. Several weeks ago I did the red Russian kale and it seems to have finally adjusted and is growing more new leaves. It got totally buried in a freak snow storm, so I am quite proud of its progress. Today I transplanted the parsley outside and harvested a lot to dry. This weekend I plan to take the broccoli and Brussels sprouts out too as its getting pretty hot in the hoop house. We have it vented all day and night now.
Today I took out the cauliflower plants since I read they don’t often form side shoots once the main flower head is harvested like broccoli does. I picked the leaves off the plants and will be making them into ‘kale’ chips for our upcoming 5 day backpacking trip. We’re planning to juice the stems as well.
We harvested and ate all the beets over the last week or so. (pink number one and number two!!!) And, the carrots have been tested and seem totally ready to go as well.
The baby seedlings are growing well and some slow chile germinators are still joining in. We are ready to put some of them in the ground in the hoop house along with squashes, fennel and dill. We also have a second crop of chard coming up in the hoop house and planted malabar spinach. Yum! Now if I can only relax enough to let my friends take care of them while I’m gone!
I can’t wait to share more updates!
Seriously! I’m ready for the snow to be done! We didn’t get as much moisture as we needed this winter, so I’m thankful overall for the forest’s sake, but I was under the impression the storm was going to come tomorrow, so I’d have an extra day to get ready. But, there is really no point of being mad about things you can’t change…and its pretty beautiful outside. I have some pretty awesome indoor projects, too, so I can keep myself occupied, and tomorrow maybe a cross country ski is in store for me.
I did prepare for the snow in one way. I find that seeds of cool weather crops do even better emerging from a snow melt around here, and since April snows are not freak storms around here I’ve been able to test it a bunch of springs (or the transition times between our northern AZ seasons ‘winterpsringswinterspring’ and ‘something weird with wind’). We shall see. I planted bok choy, daikon radish, carrots, dwarf siberian kale, spinach and purple orach. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orache I also transplanted red russian kale from the hoophouse outside several days ago. Check out the pics from that day further on down. Oh, and I planted malabar spinach in the kale’s spot in the hoophouse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basella_alba
Here’s the sad pansy…it could bounce back, right…?
Here it is just a few days ago. I got a little over- excited and the warm weather!
Anyway, I had refried beans, corn grits, lacinato kale thinings and avocado for breakfast and I can face any superficial grief about the possibility of crispy brown pansies with grace and poise. I may even be able to face the merino wool sweater that accidentally made it into the dryer. If its tiny, I just can’t change it, so I’ll have to just relax.
Some kale transplants!
Tiny lettuces coming up in the cracks between walking stones. Thanks for reseeding yourselves!
Baby onions…seeded themselves, too!
Naking cherry bush.
Lovage! Celery taste. So strong! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovage
Obvious spring TULIP! Flashy!
Last fall I transplanted a hundred iris rhizomes from the backyard to the front yard. They are going to go off this year!
Oh, and here’s a bonus pic of the kale harvest before the transplant outside.
Hang on out there little guys! You can do it!