Saturday, June 10, 2017

Boysenberries and blackberries

 photo June 10 2017 berries and sungold_zpswbhdfbte.jpg

I have been picking the berries since May 22 this year. I think I have one week more to go for a total of a three week window. I generally harvest the berries at least every other day. This year I have placed a netting around the boysenberries for the first time because the birds like them too. It seems the birds have figured out a way to get the topmost berries despite the netting.

I think this is a bigger crop of berries than in prior years. One likely factor was our very heavy winter rains of 2016-2017 because I do not generally water the berries. The plant seem to be fairly drought tolerant.

It is a real treat to have boysenberries. Mine are fragile and fall apart easily. I really have no idea how they would handle being picked, packaged, and then sold, even at a farmer's market.

The next task will be to target the vines which bore fruit and to cut those canes back completely. Berries develop on the second year canes so I try to make sure the first year canes stay intact.

The orange things are a few Sungold cherry tomatoes. The first Sungold I harvested this year was May 3. At this point of the year, we are still early in the season, and I have been getting 6-8 cherry tomatoes every two days, just enough for a tiny salad.

more on boysenberries here.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

First Black Krim tomato of 2017

 photo black krim May 24 2017_zpsc1afwjxx.jpg

It's early to be harvesting tomatoes in this area, I know. Here's the back story.

This tomato plant overwintered on my balcony because I planted the seeds in 2016 a bit late. So it sat there through our torrential rains of 2016 and did not even try to bear fruit. Did I also say that the balcony in the winter also gets basically zero hours of direct sun? Definitely no incentive to do anything but survive. Nonetheless, I chose to keep it because I had read tomato plants, in its natural environs, could be perennial plants and just maybe I could get a head start on tomatoes in 2017. I got the poor plant into the ground March 16, a month after I started seeds for this year's tomato plants, and it did well, which is why I have a tomato to harvest so much earlier than normal for this garden plot.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March bouquet of freesias, fava bean tops and nettles

 photo March 8 2017_zpswgyqngxk.jpg
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. Anonymous

I've got freesias, fava bean tops and stinging nettles bouquet to take home from my garden. These are the first of the freesias. I sauté the fava bean tops in extra virgin olive oil and garlic. I make tea from the stinging nettles.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Fava flowers

 photo fava Feb 8 2017_zps4kvp1r83.jpg
Light rain this February morning. The fava beans have shot up in size and are flowering.

Rumi: You are not a drop in the ocean. You are an entire ocean in a drop.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

after the deluge, January 2017

We had around 7.81 inches of rain this month, a real treat after several years of very little rain. I am not savvy enough to be able to find historical records although I know they are out there.

As an indication that southern California was even wetter in the mountains, it was a good month for snow at Mammoth: 245.5 inches of snow. This was apparently the most ever in one month since the 1969-1970 season.

Before the deluge, I planted seeds (carrots, spinach, radish, arugula and peas) in my garden plot. Nothing showing up so far.

However, the violets are in bloom. These are volunteers. I don't know the species. Family: Violaceae. Viola sp.
 photo violets Jan 25 2017_zpsgt9hnctx.jpg

The aloe is also in bloom. Family: Asphodelaceae. Aloe vera

 photo aloe flowering Jan 25 2017_zpsfyz5gcsc.jpg

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hello snails!

Today I spied snails new to me in my garden.

I believe they are decollate snails and apparently eat brown garden snails. Funny, I have noticed fewer of the regular snails.  photo snails Jan 13 2017_zpslahswd89.jpg

Rumina decollate

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