Monday, July 22, 2013

Return of the Backyard Blueberries

Low bush blueberries grow wild in our back fields. I love sitting down among the bushes, it is much easier to deal with the summer humidity when I'm not bent over all day in the heat. I can peacefully relax while I spend my entire day picking. I find it very therapeutic. I usually try to pick for a week if I have the time. That way I have enough to make smoothies, bake and still freeze some blueberries for later.

The first blueberries of the season are showing face. While it is sparse picking now, in a week or so there will be a multitude of berries to pick. I'm excited just thinking about all the things I'll be able to make with the abundance of fresh blue splendor growing out back. It is nice to just have them on hand to throw in some Greek yogurt or oatmeal. I only picked a handful but I opened up a world of possibilities.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Gardening - Growing Celery from Scraps

This celery was planted from scraps in my kitchen

Potatoes, onions, celery and ginger are a few examples of things that you can grow from scraps in your kitchen. We go through about 1 bunch of celery each week when we make our weekly Greek salad, so I have had a couple potential candidates on hand to replant. Remove the base of your celery leaving an inch or two at the bottom. You can let it air dry for a couple hours or plant it directly in the ground leaving the very top of the plant only partially covered. You will soon notice new celery leaves forming. The picture above was taken after only having been planted a couple weeks ago. This would be ideal for container gardening as well. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Gardening - It Can't Rain All The Time

I'm pleased to announce that everything is doing wonderfully in the small garden bed by the house. The spoon dug rock drain is doing a wonderful job at preventing the water from flooding the rear section of the bed. We got to enjoy about 3 days of sunshine over the weekend before the rains returned. It was long enough to get our gigantic yard mowed and to get a couple beach days in between our regular activities.

Yesterday, I weeded the large garden plot out back. The brussels sprouts and the eggplants are doing nicely and in a few weeks many of the other hot weather crops planted there are going to boom. Right now some things are still delicate and could easily be destroyed by the wind or a hungry creature. I've noticed things tend to grow slower out back in the clay soil compared to the garden beds by the house. The house garden contains a mix of native soil and packaged top soil. We just got a bunch of composted pig poop, I think next year things are going to be very plentiful in the larger plot. I also plan on changing the layout of the garden a bit, the visualization of how the garden will look has been haunting my garden thoughts. I have a lot of work ahead of me in the fall but it is going to be worth it. Besides, if I get it done this fall I can sweeten the soil and plant my onions, garlic and other shallots for next year.

I've decided that I don't mind if it rains an hour a day, it can downpour for an hour, preferably between 5 am and 6 am. That way the sky is still clear for bonfires and stargazing and it's beautiful and sunny during the day for maximum summer enjoyment and the gardens still get wet so I don't have to carry buckets to the garden. I think I've only had to carry buckets once, every other day Mother Nature has taken care of it herself.

My green onions have garden pretty large. They are the biggest I've ever grown them and they aren't done growing. Here is a picture of one of the medium sized green onions, the large ones are almost as big around as leeks.