Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Summer to Fall Crops Transition Underway at PAR Davies

Hi Everyone,
TODAY'S HARVEST 100 lbs.         YTD 1206 lbs.

This was the first day that we started working in the cool of the day at 7:00 a.m. to beat the heat, and we were leaving the garden just as things were starting to heat up. We like this idea and will continue to start early until the weather turns cooler. Gardeners today were Susan, Marilane, the two Martha's, Mary Elizabeth, Steve, Barbara and myself.

Our huge harvest filled Marilane's Prius.

Today we got a bunch of tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, okra, peppers and herbs....many varieties of beans and peppers...and a bouquet of zinnias. This was all delivered to the women's shelter.

Since we had such a big harvest we didn't get as much planted today as I'd wished, but we did get 18 broccoli plants and two late season squash put in. After picking, we took out several rows of beans to make room for fall crops. The bean plants were added to the compost, which Jamie will start shredding after we clean out most of the beds. A layer of compost was added before planting anything today.

Marilane and Martha picking Santa Anna pole beans.

The pole beans are starting to produce and should be giving us beans into the fall. Rotted tomatoes were cleaned out of the beds. Mary Elizabeth babied the Butternut bed, watering and squishing squash bugs and eggs. We hope to be able to pick a few of these next week. The squash bugs are really starting to get bad this time of year, but the Butternuts still look in fairly good shape.

Butternut squash bed.

Saturday I hope to get more beds cleaned out and some seeds planted. There is a good chance of rain and slightly cooler temps. We have plenty of things to plant in our cool weather garden.

Chicken coop underway in the Davies manor house kitchen garden.

When we arrived this morning we found some construction going on. There will be chickens arriving Monday, and the coop is being erected inside the fenced-in garden area. We will get to see first hand how to take care of chickens. We are excited.

Sunflowers to greet you at the front gate.

We had a good day and a good harvest. We are looking forward to our fall plantings and cooler weather and fewer bugs.

'Til later,

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hi Everyone,
Today's Harvest 62 lbs.        YTD 919 lbs.

On a warmish day when I wasn't expecting many, we had a great crew with the two Marthas, Mary Elizabeth, Rita, Peggy, G.A., Jamie, Cathy, Susan, Barbara, Nancy Crompton (newbie), Steve, Nancy and myself.

Loaded up in Cathy's vehicle.

We got busy right away with the harvest. Look at all those yellow wax beans! They are really prolific. Other things we picked were cucumbers (finally), squash, okra, peppers, eggplant, lots of different varieties of bush beans, Bubba's Black Beans, tomatoes, herbs and chard.

Burgundy Beans

I must amend my statement about the Burgundy beans being poor producers. Apparently they were just taking their time! We got almost 5 lbs. today and more on the way.

Butternut Squash....ain't they pretty?

The butternut are really looking good. We picked some squash bugs and eggs off today, but they still look nice and green with little squash looking very healthy. They start out kind of green and striped, but then turn to the tan color as they mature. The one above is just starting to turn tan. Martha Payne has a recipe for an appetizer with butternut squash on puff pastry with sage on top. When we deliver the butternut, we will send along some sage and the recipe.

Barbara and the sunflowers.

We've been having problems with something getting many of the sunflowers that we planted, but the pic shows some that have survived. These are mixed, and the first ones to bloom have been the dark rust colored ones. We have some recently planted along the fence that will look nice in early fall.

Two rows of compact okra coming along nicely.

G.A. filled in with some more beet seeds in the bed with poor germination. Martha weeded the peanuts and watered them good. Many areas that the irrigation was not getting to were watered--but we are hoping for some rain to perk things up.

Castor bean next to lemon grass.

Peggy took a few sprigs of lemon grass to try in a Thai recipe. Several of us decided to find a recipe using lemon grass to try. Most of us have not cooked with it before, and we'd like to experiment. If we find a good easy dish, we can send the recipe along with the lemon grass to the shelter ladies. It smells heavenly.

Celosia (Cockscomb) popping up all over the garden.

We didn't get any planting done today (except for the beets), but lots of weeding, watering and harvesting. Mary Elizabeth fertilized with the comfrey tea and G.A. mixed up a new brew. So that ought to hold us until the next workday. A big thanks to all our workers.

'Til later,