Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fava sprouts emerging

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I wasn't expecting the fava beans would actually sprout, given that they looked like this and were harvested in 2013. Nonetheless, it appears favas are quite resilient. It's been cold for southern California (overnight of 38F) but I think they will do fine.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

California poppy seedlings emerging

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Here's one of my California poppy seedlings, here this year strictly on a volunteer basis. Even better, I don't water them at all, and so they are the drought tolerant part of my winter garden.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Still hanging in there

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This is a Black Krim and could literally be my last tomato. It continues to hang in there despite the cooler weather and the rain. Here it is from another angle.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Fava beans for the winter garden

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I also planted a few fava beans (sorry, no photo of the planting but there isn't much to see). The fava beans were collected 2013; last night I soaked them. I plan to plant more in the next few months. I generally plant fava beans where I have had the summer tomato plants as part of my crop rotation system. I have planted them earlier in previous years.

Black chile peppers harvested before the storm

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It appears there are a lot of storm drama going as southern California prepares for the biggest rain storm since 2009. For my part, I figured it was about time to gather up the rest of the black chile peppers, the chile negro peppers. They are now in the oven, slowly drying at 140 F, protocol from The Ultimate Guide to Drying Chile Peppers.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

So when do I harvest these guys?

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I seriously do not know if I have yams or sweet potatoes but if anyone can tell from this bloom, feel free to holler. This would be the last harvest left in my garden. I don't know when to harvest them. I have had this dilemma two years ago.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

So I ate it (the tomato, that is)

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Black Krim. This is not the last one. There is still another one hanging in there. But seriously, it is getting cooler. We are getting rain. Definitely it is time to think about next season. I will probably start the tomatoes February or March, indoors, of course, in a few months.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Exposition Park: a rose

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Just one rose here but there are plenty in bloom in the Rose Garden at Exposition. If you are local, please be aware the gardens close January to March for pruning so you've got about month left to enjoy the garden and the blooms until March of next year.

I don't know what the name of this rose but spotted it while walking next to the Rose Garden at Exposition Park, downtown Los Angeles. It was after one of the early rain showers today. We should be getting substantially more rain in a few days.

From Wikipedia

From the Natural History Museum site

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

An abundance of black chile peppers

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My summer garden is just about wound down except for the black chile peppers (chile negro), my first year growing them. This plant has done well, mostly because the critters in our garden did not munch on them. So what do I do next? I have to figure out how to harvest them, dry them, and then use them, probably in a mole recipe.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The last tomato

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We have had the warm weather return again, Santa Ana conditions for those who are local, and so I remain on the fence about what to do about the last tomato, still hanging in there.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Autumn tomatoes

 photo IMG_1442_zps5658cc10.jpgWe having a very warm September. Still have a few Black Krim tomatoes hanging in there. I pick these early because I still haven't figured out the critter problem which continues to plague my plot. They ripen on the counter top at home.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Chile negro pepper growing

Excited to see a real chile negro pepper growing. I don't know when to pick them but will cross that bridge later, I suppose.

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aka Pasilla bajio or 'chilaca' or 'chile negro'

Saturday, August 2, 2014

DIY Critter protectors for my tomatoes

Given the critter issue in our community gardens, I decided to take defensive action. Last year, a bulk of my tomatoes were eaten by an unknown critter, probably squirrel. Last year, I wrapped the tomatoes in the mesh bags that the garlic and tomatoes come in from the grocery store. The critters ate right through the mesh. This year, I decided to cut apart the plastic apple cartons and use the individual portions for each tomato. Not pretty but they seem to be working.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

First Sungold on my balcony

Growing tomatoes on a balcony in a pot is a challenge, especially if the conditions are suboptimal. Total direct sun for my balcony is around 4-5 hours per day. Hence, with these limitations, it would only be cherry tomatoes, and I've chosen Sungold, my favorite. The first ones ripening are presented below. I have them in a 15 gallon container.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

First blooms: scarlet runner bean

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A nice surprise to see these poking out. I did plant these a bit late so normally these would be further along at this time of the year. I'm not super fond of the beans for food, meaning I may need to look up some recipes, but the blooms are spectacular. Because I have read the hummers love the flowers, they are a definite go for me regardless of the food aspect. I do know for sure bumblebees come around for the flowers as well. I am happy to provide support the locals with the scarlet runner beans. Interesting to me that I read the scarlet runner beans are perennials because I find they die out during our fairly mild winters.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

First chile pepper bloom: Pasilla bajio or chile negro

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Presenting Pasilla Bajio or 'chilaca' or 'chile negro'. This is the first year I have had success with germination. I only had one seedling at that. We'll see how it turns out. Family: Solanaceae Capsicum annuum

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The first of the season: Purple Cherokee and Black Krim

 photo IMG_1366_zpsb73b8d43.jpg Here we go: the first tomatoes of 2014 and um sorry but I forgot which is which. I think Purple Cherokee is on the left and Black Krim is on the right. I harvested the one on the right early because the squirrel problem continues. Squirrels run rampant in our community gardens.
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