Friday, May 15, 2009

Yellow?

So our first successful eggplant was white...we thought that the new one would be purple since it started to come in green. It turns out that there are yellow eggplants too.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Harvesting tomatoes


I can only think that the worm castings have really helped our veggies along this year since we essentially planted them in Florida sand without much rich soil.

Ashtyn working in the garden

One of the tomato plants is more than 5 feet tall, and the others are not far behind.

The greenbeans have just about finished producing, but we planted more seeds, so it shouldn't be too long before we are enjoying them again.

Today we collected the last of the greenbeans, our first tomatoes, a jalapeno and our first white eggplant.


Ashtyn with today's harvest

And growing...

We are having so much fun in the garden with this beautiful weather!

The eggplant just kept on growing, but never turned purple. After consulting with my brother in Virginia, he informed me that there is another type of eggplant that is white. ( http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/EggplantWhite.htm )

Caitlin is showing how big the eggplant got right before it got a small rot spot. We will try cooking it up next week.


There is also a purple eggplant growing on another plant. This one is still small, but it is growing fast.

Caitlin with the new eggplant

The green onions just keep on blossoming. If anyone wants seeds, let us know and we can gather some for you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tomatoes And Eggplants Are Coming In


Wes is inspecting our baby tomatoes in this picture. There are only a few so far, but there are lots of blossoms so we know more tomatoes are coming!



We also have our first eggplant growing! It has grown so much in a week! Check it out!



The Beans Are Back


Well, the beans have come back in full force. We have been able to pick a couple of handfuls every other day, and I must say, green beans are a great healthy snack and they are so tasty!

The green onion blossom opened up and put out some seeds. Once the seeds dry out we can try planting some.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The onion blossom opened up to a beautiful white bloom! It almost always has one bee on it, and it smells like an onion cooking...mmmmmm!







We also have a tiny baby tomato!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Here Piggy Piggy

We found another way to recycle our old newspapers....



Piggy Banks!

Each kid got a balloon, and dipped the newspaper in a flour and water paste. They put the slimy paper on the balloon and added pieces of toilet paper rolls for the feet and snouts. When it was dry they painted it the color of their choice!! Now they have a place to keep all their money!!

Our tomatoes are starting to get big, and should be bearing fruit soon! There are 3 plants currently growing along the trellis.



Our green onions, which we planted from our leftovers last Chinese New Year, have gotten a blossom on top! Look for more pictures once this blossom opens.

Winter Freeze

The greenbeans are still trying to come back from the damage they suffered during the two chilly days we had last month. We had one more great harvest right before the freeze.....



But then the cold weather really stunted the plants....


Our harvest has been really small ever since, but the plants seem to be generating lots of new healthy green leaves, and the greenbeans should be back soon.

Wes with our most recent greenbean harvest



The eggplants, beets, and turnips really seemed to like the cold weather and have been growing really well.


Eggplants

Turnips and Beets



One of our eggplants even has a couple of blossoms on it!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fertilizing

Justin and Will helped fertilize the garden today with some fresh worm castings. Why worm castings?

According to http://www.thetastefulgarden.com/...
1. The humus in the worm castings extracts toxins and harmful fungi and bacteria from the soil. Worm Castings therefore have the ability to fight off plant diseases.

2. The worm castings have the ability to fix heavy metals in organic waste. This prevents plants from absorbing more of these chemical compounds than they need. These compounds can then be released later when the plants need them.

3. Worm Castings act as a barrier to help plants grow in soil where the pH levels are too high or too low. They prevent extreme pH levels from making it impossible for plants to absorb nutrients from the soil.

4. The humic acid in Worm Castings stimulate plant growth, even in very low concentrations. The humic acid is in an ionically distributed state in which it can easily be absorbed by the plant, over and above any normal mineral nutrients. Humic acid also stimulates the development of micro flora populations in the soil.

5. Worm Castings increase the ability of soil to retain water. The worm castings form aggregates, which are mineral clusters that combine in such a way that they can withstand water erosion and compaction, and also increase water retention.

6. Worm Castings reduce the acid-forming carbon in the soil, and increase the nitrogen levels in a state that the plant can easily use. Organic plant wastes usually have a carbon-nitrogen ratio of more than 20 to 1. Because of this ratio, the nitrogen is unavailable to plants, and the soil around the organic waste becomes acidic.

Justin

Justin


Will Feeding The Plants
video


Will also picked some greenbeans off the trellis. We have been getting enough for a side dish about every 3 days. Our crop slowed down for about a week because of the freeze, but it seems to be picking back up again. A bunch of the leaves got burned by the freeze, but the plants are still alive with the exception of the cucumbers which are rotting now.


Will

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Brrrrr!

We had our first real cold snap last night and the temperature got down to 35, and lower with the wind chill. Unfortunately we did not have the garden protected, and we may have gotten some frost bite. Tonight is supposed to be even colder.
In order to protect the plants we borrowed some "cold cover" from Mike Cartrett (http://www.palmbeachbonsai.com/).
Wesley, Shoma, Haley, and Alan helped me (Bekah) cover all of the plants and anchor it down.




Now our garden should be safe from the freeze tonight.


Thanks everyone for your help!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bean Pole

The green bean plants are tall enough now for the kids to reach from their equipment or while standing! This is Ari helping to harvest the beans today.

We got a great harvest today with some really tasty green beans!



These bottles have beet plants and turnip plants. The red plants are beets and the green ones are turnips. We planted the root veggies in the clear bottles so we can see them growing underground when they get bigger.


Friday, January 9, 2009

A Winner is Named

The worms made it through the Winter break without incident! They are doing very well, and have really reduced the amount of waste in the green buckets. The buckets were almost full before break, and now they are down to about half. Some more good news is that there is no smell with the indoor setup, and no unwanted guests.



Now the outdoor experimental bins are a different story! The bin with just paper has a couple of worms still left alive, but the worms are not able to make anything useful with the paper. Basically they made piles of casting-shaped newspaper beads.

The combination bin (food and paper) was pretty nasty after the two weeks away. The worms had created a sludge out of the food and paper, and most of the matter is now unrecognizable. This would be great for the garden except that there were also hundreds of fruitfly families including cocoons, maggots, eggs, and the flies. YUK! The worms are really doing well though, and reproducing rapidly. There are too many baby worms to count.
Click to enlarge (but not right after lunch)

So here is my plan (unless anyone has any better ideas). I am ready to call the combination bin the winner. The question is what to do with the worms and babies. I can't bring them back to the main bin because I don't want to risk getting fruit flies inside. Ewe. I picked out as many adult worms as I could find with a plastic fork and put them in the 'newspaper only' bin. Then tried to get a few of the babies out too, but they are so tiny. I plan to leave the babies in the sludge until they are big enough to pick out. In a few weeks I guess I'll just dump the rest of the sludge into the garden for the plants.


Happy Worms Breaking Down Our Leftovers
video