October 29, 2013

Back on Track

written by Yvonne

No, the date stamped on the picture isn't wrong.

Yes, I realizes it reads October and yes, these are tomatoes.

And so are these...

and these.

And yes, these are the beginnings of cucumbers and yes, I know these things aren't supposed to grow in October.  All of these were late season plants we started just to see what happened. What happened was everything grew! We will remember this for next year and not hesitate to plant a second round of everything to take us through to the first frost.  My prediction is that this stuff isn't going to survive until they ripen. Tom is sure they will. Temperature outside is dropping fast. Stay tuned to see what happens.

The Russian kale grows like crazy. We've already harvest some and need to harvest some more.

Beets are coming along.

First batch of collards are ready to harvest. (Check out that dog action in the background!)

The second planting of collards (small plants in the front) have all taken off.

You can start to see the rows of spinach (darker) and lettuce (lighter color).

A big basket of health!

Last of the cow peas for the season.

October 1, 2013

Holy Cow! It's October 1!

written by Yvonne

We've had pretty good success with the melons...

What do you mean, "Those don't look like melons, they look like butternut squash?"  Hmm. They sure do look like squash, don't they? Well, as it turns out, that's what they are.

Before you think us complete idiots, yes, we had planted some volunteer plants that we had assumed were melons, but we also planted a TON of melon seeds in the same location so we figured at least SOME of what came up were melons.

Early on, when we still thought they were melons, we cut one off the vine that was white-ish in color. It was green inside, but of course Honeydew melons are green so we proceeded to try cutting it with the intent of eating it. The knife wouldn't even go thought it. Then we smelled it - hmm, doesn't smell like melon. Kinda smells like squash. Know what? I think this is a squash. We left the others on the vine and just watched their progress.  They continued to change color and get more butternut-squashy looking until we finally determined, sho nuf' those are squash. We've eaten two now and these two are ready to be eatn. They taste GREAT as squash, not so good as melons.

We purchased new fall seeds from Sow True in Asheville to get more Fall crops going.  We bought 5 varieties of lettuce, two carrots and spinach. (Some of what's shown is seeds we already had.)

I did some work on the small herb box. The oregano finally came up but it was long after the dill, basil and cilantro. I cut most off this oregano to dry.

I cut back all of the basil and made a large batch of pesto. The first of the season. (Honey helped.)

Bed #1 is looking good with our late summer crops.

The dwarf okra is certainly dwarf in size. We really didn't get the okra planted in time but I think if Tom get's a least one serving, he'll be happy.  The days are still warm (high 70s) but the evenings are getting cooler and cooler so I don't expect they'll last long.

Tom has been pruning the tomatoes plants and it seems to be working. As new branches come out, he pinches them off. This is supposed to direct the growing energy to the fruit instead of the plant.

It looks like we'll have at least two varieties of late-summer tomatoes. Although today is October 1 so I think they'd technically they are early Fall tomatoes. Is there even such a thing?  I just hope they hold on and ripen before it gets too cold.

Same with round two of cucumbers. Hopefully they hold on long enough to produce something, but I won't be surprised if they don't.  Not sure if I mentioned this in the last post or not, but Tom planted these cucumbers the same way he did some of the tomatoes; he just took a cucumber that had fallen off the vine and partially broken open, and shoved it into the ground. It certainly worked!

Peppers are STILL putting out.

And changing colors too.

We have had several dinners over that last few months of Red Pepper Fajitas and it looks like there will be for this weekend!

The new kale Tom planted a few weeks ago is coming along.

The collards are small but are coming out.

Now, on to Bed #3. Here is the before of our embarrassing laziness of the latter half of the summer.

Tom got to work pulling out the mass of old tomato plants and VERY old kale.

Way to tackle it, babe!

Once Bed #3 was all cleared, I planted five types of lettuce. As I face the bed, from right to left is:
  1. Red Romaine
  2. Lolla Rosa Darky
  3. Speckled Amish Butterhead
  4. Green Oakleaf
  5. Black Seeded Simpson
As much salad as we're eating these days, we felt a whole bed of lettuce would not be overdoing it.

Tom also added beets and more collard seeds to Bed #2 (behind him). Then a good watering for all the new seeds.