Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 Begins In Our Garden

Happy New Year to everyone!!  We ushered 2015 out after celebrating a great Christmas.  The girls were so excited they went to bed VERY late and Cameron had us up VERY early!!  It was a wonderful time together and we got to talk later with Amber and Eddie in Oregon as they celebrated the day and my parents in California.  Then in the afternoon Kevin's parents stopped by to spend some time with us.

Lauren and Hannah Christmas Eve - very excited for Christmas morning to come!

Kevin, Cameron and I spent New Years Eve watching Kevin's new video Ant Man then turned the TV on to watch the Times Square Ball drop.  YAY, I actually made it into the New Year. Many times I just get tired and head to bed early- I know how boring, but this year I was wide awake and able to enjoy the change of years.  Now that 2016 has begun, we've been enjoying some extra warm weather that has allowed me to plant and harvest and now replant my Fall/Winter garden.

Kevin enjoying a cooler swim after working in the yard

Jake and Bea finding their spot in the sun to snooze

My papaya trees are loaded with fruit, and the first of my broccoli is providing us with broccoli and the leaves to add to salads and cook up with meals.  My onions continue to grow well, and the asparagus is still coming up, though I've only harvested a few thick spears as I'm still allowing it to get established in that garden bed.

Side garden with newer plantings as well as more established papayas and asparagus


Wando Peas coming up.  Bags of soil in the back, to add to the wicking pots we're now making.

Some of my broccoli and a squash plant growing at the base 

Harvested broccoli

My yellow onions

I've got volunteer tomatillos growing in pots and the garden, a few peanuts came up after clearing out my Spring beds so I potted those up.  My walking onions are in a pot and I look forward to my first results from this new comer to my garden.  I'm trying Chinese Wando Peas for the first time along with Chinese Suyo cucumbers.

My Suyo Cucumber that are supposed to be mild in flavor and burpless.

One of several tomatillo plants
One of several cranberry hibiscus

Flower pods I'll gather for my seed collecting when they dry out

Always love the flowers.  Pretty and edible plant  love that!!

My towers are still producing kale, lettuce, pak choy, garlic chives, a few herbs and some hot peppers that just won't quit from last Spring.  So we've been kept in salad makings.  My tomato on the side by the dog yard that is partially covered by a tree and keeps the heavy rain off, along with the fence to act as support and the wicking bucket I have it in has allowed me to get some decent tomatoes for the first time.  Even if they are cherry tomatoes it's a thrill to have them.  Tomatoes have not done well in my gardens in the past because of high humidity, heat and too much rain has always led to more leaf growth than fruit, disease and split fruit.  So I'm talking note of my success here and will try to recreate it with other types of tomatoes.

Here's my tomato - probably should have taken the picture BEFORE I picked the tomatoes on it

A few of the little toms I've picked from this plant

First time garden addition here is this Purple Prince hot pepper - pretty and delicious

Malabar Spinach in wicking system

Fruit and seed pods on Malabar spinach

Dwarf lemon still in pot and overwhelmed by the size of the fruit on it

Mittens standing guard over the plants

Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce in tower

Pak Choy in the tower

I ordered some seeds and among them was a giant green bean called the Sword Bean (Canavalia Gladiata).  I hadn't planned to plant them quite so soon, I wanted to look up growing conditions first, but I set them in my desk after receiving them while we busied ourselves with Christmas and when I took them out at the first of the New Year they had already started to sprout roots, so I've potted most up with trellises for support and put one in my garden.  I'll see how they do at this time of year, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'll post a picture from an online source to show the size they can grow to.
These are the giant green bean seed that started to sprout

Close up with my thumb for size reference

Two potted up and trellised on the side of Cameron's shed

Photo of the size of bean pod these seeds can produce (photo thanks to Daves
My new garden knife I got for Christmas - LOVE this!!

Literally enjoying some of the fruits of our harvest with fresh squeezed OJ
That's it for now.  We're back to our regular schedules with the holidays over, and have a lot to do in the gardens and yard.  I'll update more as we see progress, particularly with the new wicking beds and pots we've just begun to build.  Take care and we wish you all the best for 2016.

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