Saturday, October 18, 2014

Working for peanuts at PAR Davies.

Hi Everyone,
Today's Harvest 11 lbs. of peanuts     YTD 1541 lbs.

Today we pulled and dug peanuts. Gardeners were G.A., Barbara, Susan, Michelle and myself. If you weren't there, you missed more fun. I think these should have been harvested about a week or two ago, but due to the rain and our workday schedule, we missed it. When peanuts are left in the ground too long, the little pegs holding onto the peanuts rots away, thus leaving the peanuts in the ground when the plant is pulled out. Consequently, you also have to dig up those remaining, making it a little more labor intensive and also creating the possibility of missing some….which will later sprout.

Susan proudly displaying her harvest.

The plan is to put garlic in the peanut bed the end of this month or in November. We feel that the soil is nitrogen rich now with the peanuts having been in ground since the first part of June, and we expect some knockout garlic come next June. Susan and Barbara both took peanuts home to spread out to dry.
Cabbage and broccoli growing nicely.

After the cabbage worm fiasco Wednesday, the cabbage and broccoli looked much better. At first glance no worms were noted, but later some were spied and we spent a little time picking them off. Bt was not reapplied, but probably should be next Wednesday.

Carrots and kale.

Susan and G.A. raked up the in-ground area and sowed crimson clover and hairy vetch. This is the area that is designated for corn next year, which will be the first time for a corn crop at Davies. It is within the range of the walnut tree, so there will be some stunting toward the back, but we hope that we can have the experience of growing corn without too many problems.

Lettuce and kale and two weeds.

The lettuce looked especially nice this morning, and there is some emerging in the block holes that reseeded from last spring. Overall, we were surprised at how everything grew since just last Wednesday.

Mustard greens on the left, crimson clover on the right, 
and wheat grass sticking up at the bottom.

More spinach was planted and Michelle did some weeding. Next workday will be a time to concentrate on replenishing our compost bins, in the hopes of having more excellent rich compost as we had last spring.

Lettuce mix in a container.

Much was accomplished today and the garden looks good. The cabbage is starting to head up but no signs of broccoli heads yet. We are hopeful, always hopeful….and thankful for all we are blessed with.

'Til later, 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Picking worms and other fun stuff.

Hi Everyone,
Today's Harvest 30 lbs.        YTD 1530 lbs.

We finally got back to the garden after a week of rainy weather. The cabbage and broccoli had not been sprayed in the interim because of the rain, and some of the plants looked pretty riddled with holes. Okay, there, I started off with the bad, but all the rest is pretty good.

Worm-eaten Savoy cabbage.

Worm pickers, er gardeners today were Susan, Jamie, Martha, Steve, Barbara and myself. Everyone immediately got busy squishing the buggers, which were not the usual green larvae from the white butterfly, but was a worm with horizontal stripes. I had some on my cabbage at home and Kay McAdams reported to me that she did too. These are new to me but seemed to inflict as much damage as the old familiar green worm. After all the plants were picked clean, each one was sprayed with Bt in an effort to kill any small remaining eggs. Although we probably lost a few plants, I believe most will survive, and some had no damage at all.

Red mustard, peppers and turnip greens.

Today we harvested some baby turnip greens, beautiful red mustard, 5 lbs. of bok choy, pole beans, 9 lbs. of Romaine lettuce, chard and leaf lettuce salad mixture, a variety of peppers, cucumbers and herbs. All was delivered by Martha to the women's shelter. We picked about a half dozen cucumbers, which looked really nice until we realized they had worm holes too. There were many more small ones coming on, so the cukes were sprayed with the Bt also.

Cabbage on the left, beets on the right, wheat grass in the front with sage and rosemary.

Last year we visited the U of M garden and really liked the pretty green wheatgrass plantings, so we put in some too, scattered about the garden. Come to the garden and bring your juicer!

The marigolds look prettier than they have all summer.

There was one more plague of Biblical proportions (exaggerated slightly)…grasshoppers, which were only on the pole bean vines. We didn't exactly know how to deal with these critters because we could have only killed a few by hand picking before they would all fly off, so we decided to leave them to eat the rest of the pole bean plants, which were done for anyway. I will check in the next day or so to make sure they haven't moved to other plants.

Herb bouquet.

Martha picked a beautiful herb bouquet of rosemary, chives, sage, chinese celery, parsley, basil, oregano and some of the nasturtiums. Our two plantings of nasturtiums made it through the summer and have now revived with the cooler weather. I have never seen nasturtiums survive a Memphis summer, so we need to save some of these seeds.

Grosso Lavender

Our two potted lavender plants on either side of the gate are starting to bloom. They have really grown and look so healthy. Nothing has done very well in these pots in the past, but I think the lavender has found a home. I got these plants this year at Spring Fling.

That's all the news from PAR Davies, where all the men and women are strong and good looking, and all the vegetables are above average.

'Til later,

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The fall harvest is just beginning at PAR Davies.

Hi Everyone,
Today's Harvest 16 lbs.        YTD 1481 lbs.

Every week the garden changes, and today a growth spurt was evident after not being at the garden since Saturday. Gardeners today were Susan, Jamie, Cathy, Steve, Barbara and myself.

Bok Choy has shot up.

Today we harvested pole beans, tomatoes, peppers, mustard, okra, herbs and a smattering of peanuts, with all being delivered to the women's shelter by Cathy. 

Getting ready to be weighed.
 Check out our first harvest of the red mustard and our few peanuts.

The pole bean trellises were loaded and made a nice late harvest. We got just one cucumber, but more are coming along. This was our last okra harvest, and we pulled those out so we could plant vetch.

Lovely pole beans just asking to be picked.

We checked the maturity of the peanuts and noticed some were still a little pale looking. I was concerned about some of the mature peanuts sprouting, but found out that this happens if you water your crop near harvest time. We will have to disconnect the irrigation system on that bed so that the only water they get will be from rain. They need to stay in the ground a bit longer.

Red and green Romaine lettuce.

I believe by next week we might be able to harvest some of the Romaine lettuce. It looks so beautiful. The seeded leaf lettuce has been slow at coming on, but finally starting to show some growth.

Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli bed filling up.

Two more rows of tomatoes were taken out, giving us space to plant vetch or spinach on Saturday. We are still getting plenty of peppers, and they are full of blossoms. The smaller varieties will have time to mature before frost, but doubt the Bells will.


The raspberries have put on a few berries--not much to do anything with except eat off the vine. Only two bushes out of five survived, but they look great and we are hopeful that there will be some berry picking next year.

Jamie reminded us that we need to get serious about the compost, so as things slow down a bit, that will be a priority. The garden looks good right now, and we are thankful.

'Til later,